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

Industry course on seafloor investigations for offshore infrastructure

Published: 19 January 2023
Industry course lecture
Morning lectures

On 18-19 January, the University of Southampton hosted a 2-day introductory course on geophysics and geotechnics for the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT). The course featured morning lectures followed by hands-on sessions in the afternoons coordinated by SMMI’s Justin Dix (Ocean and Earth Science) and Dave White (Engineering), with invaluable help from colleagues from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute.

Industry Course Activities
Hands-on activities in the National Infrastructure Laboratory

The course was attended by 40 industry delegates - including consultants, contractors, and operators - mainly from the offshore renewables sector.

Day 1 of the program was held at the NOC, Southampton with the focus on geophysical methods. The morning lectures by industry experts were followed by an afternoon spent in the computer lab using bathymetric, high-resolution seismic and digital geotechnical data to tackle and range of seabed engineering problems. The day closed with a networking session and a fine dinner served in the refurbished NOCS café.

Day 2 took place on the Boldrewood Innovation Campus, with lectures on geotechnics in the morning followed by an afternoon of activities spread around the National Infrastructure Laboratory. These included core logging, soil testing, seabed mapping, centrifuge modelling, a CPT truck visit and virtual and augmented reality viewing of maritime archaeology.

The course convenor, Francesca Ciavaglia of Lloyd’s Register said “This was a very successful event thanks to the expertise and dedication of all the presenters and demonstrators, and the superb organisation by the team in Southampton. I was particularly impressed by the ocean-related technologies and research facilities of the University of Southampton, which provide a distinctive extra dimension for this course.”

Industry Course Delegate Group
Delegate group photo

The SMMI staff involved in the course were Justin Dix, Dave White, Susan Gourvenec, Jared Charles, Madhu Murthy, Felix Pedrotti, Stephanie Blankshein, Miquel Massot Campos, Faten Ibrahim, Katherine Kwa, Hitesh Halai, and Hugo Putuhena, along with Mike Clare of the NOC, Santiago Quinteros and Vishal Dantal of NGI, and Andrea Diambra from the University of Bristol. Fugro kindly supplied a cone penetration testing truck from their Wallingford headquarters, providing tours of this equipment.


The course was heavily over-subscribed, highlighting the demand for skilled expertise to support the growth of offshore developments, particular for offshore wind energy. We are working with the SUT to offer the course again in the near future. 

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