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Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering – Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging TechnologiesNews and Events

Susan Gourvenec delivers keynote at Indian Geotechnical Conference 2021

Published: 18 January 2022
Indial Geotechnical Conference

IROE Chair, Susan Gourvenec delivered a keynote paper “Whole life design: theory and applications of this new approach to offshore geotechnics“ for the Indian Geotechnical Conference, held virtually (due to Covid-10) 16 – 18 December 2021, to an audience of over 1000 registered from all across the globe.

Indian Geotechnical Conference

Geotechnical properties can evolve throughout the design life of a structure due to actions imposed during installation, the operational life or late and end of life management of an asset. Whole life geotechnical design seeks to predict soil-structure responses across the design life by considering the whole life of imposed actions coupled with geotechnical properties that evolve with each action. In contrast, traditional geotechnical design considers the ‘worst case’ single value of minimum resistance or stiffness coupled with the ‘worst case’ single value of maximum action over the design life. The emerging philosophy of whole life geotechnical design checks limit states at different stages of the ‘whole life’ against ‘current’ geotechnical properties, updated based on the processes that have occurred and the responses that have accumulated earlier in the design life. Consideration of whole life geotechnical response provides greater insight, enabling forecasting of the response of a supported structure through and beyond its design life. Insights can be applied at the initial design stage for optimal sizing; through life for assessing or predicting cumulative displacements or changes in resistance, and assumptions in the initial design against observed performance. By extension, these insights can be used to predict actual remaining design life; for re-lifing or re-purposing; and decommissioning.

Susan’s keynote paper presents the overarching philosophy of whole life geotechnical design, the theory underpinning the evolution of geotechnical properties, derivation of the appropriate parameters, and some applications. This paper draws on a decade of work, including recent developments driven forward by Susan’s RAEng Chair in Emerging Technologies, and demonstrates the potential of whole life design, particularly to offshore renewable energy infrastructure.

The Indian Geotechnical Conference is the annual national flagship event of Indian Geotechnical Society and this year was hosted jointly hosted by the Indian Geotechnical Society, Trichy Chapter and the National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli.

Other invited lecturers at the conference were drawn from across the international geotechnical community from academia and industry, including Prof Jean-Louis Briaud, Texas A&M University, US and President of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Professor Kenichi Soga, University of California at Berkeley, US,  Prof Selvadurai, McGill University, Canada, Prof Hesham El Naggar, Western University, Canada, Prof Buddhima Indraratna, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, Dr John Endicott, Executive Director of AECOM, Prof Alesessandro Flora,  University of Napoli and Prof Gali Madhavi Latha, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.

The keynote papers will be published in due course in a special issue of the Indian Geotechnical Journal, published by Springer.

All the presentations can be viewed here

Susan’s lecture is in Plenary Session 4 – and can alternatively be viewed by the direct link here.

Susan’s presentation runs between 42:21 (Intro) or 44:52 (start of lecture) to 1:15:41.

Indian Geotechnical Conference
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