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Unit Overview


This unit considers the process of approaching geotechnical design problems for which there is no prior experience, or a level of uncertainty that warrants additional modelling. Students will experience this unit through a series of offshore design scenarios that lie beyond the coverage of available design guidance. Students will learn how to ascertain if a particular design problem is 'unique', which will require an assessment of the loading conditions for the foundation or infrastructure, knowledge of the soil response and ultimately the limit state that the design needs to satisfy. The unit will introduce a range of modelling approaches - including physical modelling, numerical modelling and data mining - that could be adopted to provide the additional knowledge to reduce the design uncertainty to an acceptable level.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2OnlineOnline timetabled

Students are able to (1) identify when offshore geotechnical design problems lie beyond current experience and coverage provided by available design guidance; (2) describe modelling approaches that can reduce offshore geotechnical design uncertainty; (3) evaluate the merit of the various modelling approaches that may be applied for different offshore geotechnical designs; (4) develop an appropriate scope of work for additional modelling that would produce data to aid an offshore geotechnical design; and (5) interpret modelling data in the context of reducing offshore geotechnical design uncertainty.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignment and (2) project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Christophe Gaudin
Unit rules
Enrolment in
74550 Master in Geotechnics for Offshore Wind Energy
Approved quota: 25—quota places will be allocated according to allocations for the Master in Geotechnics for Offshore Wind Energy programme, noting that this unit is only offered within this programme. Quota places for the Master in Geotechnics for Offshore Wind Energy programme will be based on merit, gender equity and diversity criteria, as described in the Ranking and Admissions criteria.
Contact hours
4 hours per week
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  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.