Mark Randolph (2017)

Design Oriented Model Testing for Offshore Applications


There are strong incentives in the offshore industry for conducting properly scaled model tests in order to expand the rather sparse data bases for different types of application. In particular, novel technical solutions, such as new anchor types, need to be validated through test data in addition to numerical analysis. The lecture starts by reviewing the relative contributions of physical and numerical modelling in design, including perceived strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Three application examples are then presented, the first two (for suction embedded plate anchors, and hybrid skirted mudmat foundations) are where centrifuge model test data were used to validate a design basis. The third example, response of steel catenary risers in the touchdown zone, was where load-deformation response functions were extracted directly from the test data itself. The lecture concludes by noting that physical modelling is most effective when used in parallel with advanced numerical modelling. The use of actual soil from the application region is preferable even though, in most cases, the primary objective of physical modelling is as a source of data to help validate and calibrate numerical analysis and simplified design tools, rather than as a direct model of a specific design


Professor Mark Randolph AO MA PhD DSc h.c. FAA FREng FRS FTSE HonFIEAust CPEng

Mark Randolph is Emeritus Professor and Honorary Fellow in the Oceans Graduate School at the University of Western Australia. His research interests range broadly across foundation engineering, with particular focus on pile foundations and offshore geotechnics. He has always been a strong advocate of centrifuge modelling as a source of data to validate simplified design models. He has coauthored two books, including “Piling Engineering” and the more recent “Offshore Geotechnical Engineering”, and over 300 journal articles. He interacts closely with industry, both in research and through his role as Technical Advisor within Fugro. He is a Fellow of several learned academies including the Royal Society in the UK and the Australian Academy of Science, and in 2021 he was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia


Schofield Lecture