Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
The University of Southampton
Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering – Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies



Current offshore structures are designed as one-off bespoke structures against criteria evolved from handling hazardous hydrocarbons. In contrast, mass produced structures are needed for large scale offshore renewable energy or food production and present lesser hazards to people and the environment. This presents a challenge and opportunity to unshackle offshore structure design from the inherited oil and gas paradigm, and establish a culture of mass produced resilient structures utilising next generation materials, providing a basis for efficient and sustainable ocean engineering.

Challenging traditional design paradigms of failure that require structures to be large enough to resist all applied loads, to enable performance-based design such that failure is redefined as when a structure or system can no-longer perform the task it is designed for, unlocks opportunities for softer and tolerable mobile structures that are resilient to extreme loads. Challenging the traditional bespoke design approach with an alternative template of modular systems, which can be combined to create a next generation ocean system, opens up opportunities for future harvesting of ocean resources and use of ocean space.

Performance-based design has potential to transform the seascape of ocean structures, enabling future visions for ocean structures that include versatile, reconfigurable, modular components fabricated from advanced materials for harnessing renewable, mineral and biomass resources and enabling greater use of ocean space.

Activities within Research Goal 4 ‘Design’ focus on development of next generation design concepts and methodologies.

Privacy Settings