A message from the CEO

Debiprasad
Author Centre for Australia-India Relations
Date 20 May 24

What is your research topic seeking to answer/explain?

There has been a recent global thrust in developing infrastructure for harnessing offshore wind energy through wind turbines. Such offshore turbines are supported by offshore foundations (such as monopiles, suction buckets or anchors) that transfer their load to the underlying soil. In practice, the geotechnical design of such foundations is based mainly on in-situ soil parameters without accounting for the changes in soil state during installation. Recent experiments however indicate that the underlying soil state would change during installation of such foundations, which affects the overall design performance during its service life. This project will develop advanced numerical techniques to model installation of offshore foundations, thus providing a clear picture of the changes in soil state during installation. This improved geotechnical understanding will ultimately lead to more confident, robust and improved design for offshore foundations. 

How is your research going to contribute to STEM research in Australia and India?

My research aims to advance the geotechnical understanding of soil states during the installation process of offshore wind foundations. The research, involving advanced numerical modelling and use of sophisticated soil constitutive models, would advance the current finite element approaches with minimum user intervention. The novel numerical tools can then be applied in efficient design of offshore wind foundations and reduce the reliance on expensive field testing or physical experiments. Keeping net-zero carbon emission in mind, Australia is spearheading its first offshore wind farm along the Victorian coastline. The Victorian Government is targeting offshore wind installations of 9 GW by 2040. India has also announced ambitions of increasing renewable energy sources by 2030, inclusive of 30 GW offshore wind capacity. As such, the findings from the current research would be relevant for the offshore geotechnical industry in both nations.

What are you most excited for during your trip to Australia?

My desire to explore new places, experiencing new culture, was a major reason behind my interest in doing higher studies here in Australia. The unique environment, vibrant campus life at University of Melbourne got me excited to join as a student. Moreover, the weather, lush green landscape and natural beauty of Australia are something to cherish, and that is going to stay in my mind for a long time. The project idea, that was floated for the prospective doctorate position, also piqued my interest. Apart from doctoral studies, the opportunities to engage and collaborate with the burgeoning offshore wind projects in Australia will provide a valuable first-hand experience and make me a well-rounded researcher in future. In short, the overall experience will certainly help me to be more proficient in offshore geomechanics and to grow as a person.