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

IROE Chair Susan Gourvenec admitted as Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering in ceremony in London

Published: 15 November 2022
Professor Susan Gourvenec

Professor Susan Gourvenec, RAEng Chair in Emerging Technologies for Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering, Professor of Offshore Geotechnical Engineering and Deputy Director of the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute, was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering  at a ceremony in London.

Susan, who was elected as a New Fellow in September 2022, was formally admitted to the Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship in a day ceremony at Prince Philip House and an evening reception at Drapers Hall in London on 8 November. The day’s activities involved an introduction to the many activities of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Q&A session with Academy CEO Dr Hyaatun Sillem CBE and Academy President Sir Jim MacDonald FREng FRSE, along with the new Fellows signing the roll book.

Susan was invited to make a presentation to other new Fellows and invited guests at the day ceremony, sharing aspects of her research in seabed engineering and her aspirations for the opportunities ahead as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Susan noted that her research “is centred on developing methods to efficiently characterise and interpret engineering seabed properties spatially over a site and temporally over the design life of infrastructure, and to predict how these variations affect the performance of offshore infrastructure placed on or in the seabed.

This is tricky as seabeds are (i) not very accessible – being at the bottom of the ocean, (ii) highly heterogeneous, and may comprise anything from boulders to the finest clay particles and (iii) the engineering properties of the seabed evolve with time as a result of the interaction of the infrastructure placed on or in it, with operational or environmental loadings.

Better understanding of seabed response, and the intersection with and optimization of design methods for infrastructure, is critical to enable the necessary scale of offshore renewable energy generation, as many more structures are required over a much greater area for the equivalent energy yield of a fossil fuel development.”

Anticipating the opportunities of becoming FREng, Susan noted “My career has certainly been shaped by the kindness and support of various role models, mentors and sponsors, which I have always endeavoured to pay forward, and I am particularly looking forward to the opportunities as a member of the RAEng Fellowship to achieve this at a greater scale and beyond my normal zone of influence. As well as looking forward to the many unknown unknowns that await as FREng!”

Professor Susan Gourvenec FREng

The evening reception was held in the grand surroundings of Draper’s Hall, situated in Throgmorton Street, London, originally bought from King Henry VIII in 1543. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, Royal Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, presented each of the new Fellows with their scroll as part of their admittance to the Academy.

You can find out more about the Royal Academy of Engineering from their website and more about the 2022 New Fellows from the Academy’s press release

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