Britta Bienen

Associate Professor, BEng Napier, Dipl.-Ing. Aachen, PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M053), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile

Biography

Britta is an Associate Professor, specialising in offshore geotechnical engineering. Current research interests focus on challenges related to foundations for offshore wind turbines: The effect of the installation process on the in-service performance of monopiles, installation strategies for suction buckets in layered soils and the subsequent in-service performance of the foundations, rapid shearing of saturated sand and the impact of this fundamental geomechanical problem on the wave heights that jack-up wind installer vessels can operate in.

Britta’s research combines experimental and numerical approaches to develop practical prediction methods for offshore foundations. Britta collaborates widely, both with academia and industry and is actively involved in the development of international guidelines (ISO, InSafeJIP).

Britta joined the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS) in 2008, was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2014) and was appointed Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) Chair in Offshore Foundations, leading this CoE 2018-2020. Britta is the 2020 John Booker medal recipient, awarded by the Australian Academy of Science, for her contributions to the development of practical predictive methods for soil-structure interaction problems, grounded in sound geotechnical science. She currently serves on the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts (2021-2023).

Britta undertook her PhD research (Three-dimensional physical and numerical modelling of jack-up structures on sand) at COFS and was awarded the degrees of ‘Diplom-Ingenieur’ from RWTH Aachen University, Germany, and Bachelor of Engineering from Napier University, Edinburgh, UK.

Funding overview

I have raised funding from a variety of sources, including the Australian Research Council, industry and overseas funding agencies with international collaborators. I held the Lloyd's Register Foundation Chair of Offshore Foundations and led this Centre of Excellence (with three CIs and five PhD students, 2018-2020). 

Current projects

Current projects include:

  • Understanding vibratory piles in sand: installation and lateral response (ARC DP)
  • Solutions for rapid penetration in sand for offshore energy installations (ARC DP)
  • Design guideline for suction caissons supporting offshore wind turbines (ARC LP)
  • Australia-China Joint Research Centre of Offshore Wind and Wave Energy Harnessing (DIIS)

Industrial relevance

My research addresses complex geotechnical challenges relating to the offshore energy industry, focussing on offhore wind. Collaborators include academics at the University of Oxford, Cambridge, Bologna, Perugia, Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, National University of Singapore, Charles University Prague, Oceans Univeristy China and industry colleagues at Lloyd's Register, NGI, Orsted, Vattenfall, Gusto MSC, DNV GL.

Teaching overview

15 PhD students (7 completed), 4 Master students, 6 Honours students and a number of visiting PhD students from international collaborators 

I coordinate and teach 'Introduction to Professional Engineering' (1st year unit), 'Offshore Geomechanics' (Option in Master of Professional Engineering) and have previously taught in 'Introduction to offshore engineering' (3rd year unit), 'Engineering structures' (1st year unit), 'Applied geomechanics' (3rd year unit) and 'Engineering structures' (1st year unit).

Research

Offshore geotechnics
Centrifuge modelling
Numerical modelling

Offshore wind turbines

Foundations for offshore wind energy installations

Jack-up vessels and their spudcan foundations

Soil–structure–fluid interaction
Development of foundation–soil interaction models
Offshore foundations under combined and cyclic loading

Languages

German
English
some French
some Dutch
some Spanish
(Latin)

Research expertise keywords

  • Offshore geotechnics
  • Centrifuge modelling
  • Numerical modelling
  • Soil–structure–fluid interaction
  • Development of foundation–soil interaction models
  • Offshore foundations under combined loading
  • Consolidation effects
  • Mobile jack-up platforms and their spudcan foundations
  • Foundations for offshore wind energy installations
  • Subsea foundation analysis and design

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