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Professor Susan Gourvenec

Professor Susan Gourvenec

 FREng, FICE, FIEAust, PhD, BEng
Deputy Director SMMI


Professor Susan Gourvenec is Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies – Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering, Deputy Director Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute and Professor of Offshore Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Southampton.

Susan's research addresses technology gaps at each stage of the engineered life cycle of ocean structures, from characterising and forecasting ocean and seafloor behaviour, to the design and operation of novel platforms for ocean facilities. By harnessing the intelligence of sensing, robotics and autonomy, next generation resilient engineered systems will unlock ocean resources more efficiently and more sustainably, with less risk to life.

Susan is a specialist of offshore geotechnical engineering, which involves developing technologies and methodologies to characterise the engineering properties of the seabed and advance geotechnical design of infrastructure that is founded on or in the seabed. Emerging technologies of sensing, robotics and big data have immeasurable potential to improve the safety of engineering operations in the ocean for workers and the environment, and open up new approaches to design and operations.

Susan has co-authored the text books “Offshore Geotechnical Engineering” and "Intermediate Offshore Foundations", chaired and co-edited the proceedings of international conferences, and authored of over 100 international scientific papers. I write about a range of mainstream interest marine and a maritime topics on The Conversation.

Susan works collaboratively with industry partners through research projects, through her role as a consultant to industry,  as Deputy Director of the SMMI, and in her role as a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies. She is a Member and past Chair of the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) committee responsible for developing industry standards for marine soil investigation and offshore geotechnical design, Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK) and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2022 for her contributions to offshore geotechnical design.