Sam Stanier

Dr, PhD Sheff.

  • The University of Western Australia (M017), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Sam Stanier graduated from The University of Sheffield with an MEng (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering in 2007. Following this he joined the Geotechnical Engineering Group at The University of Sheffield as a postgraduate student, investigating the use of transparent synthetic soils and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) techniques to assess the failure mechanics of geotechnical structures non-intrusively. Upon award of a doctorate in Geotechnical Engineering in 2011 Sam joined the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems at UWA.

Roles and responsibilities

Editorial board member for Canadian Geotechnical Journal
COFS management committee member
NGCF management committee member
SUT OSIGp committee member

Funding overview

• 2018 – $54k AUD – Application of RIGSS JIP penetrometer system on West African samples provided by Woodside. Principal Investigator.
• 2018 – $443k AUD – Design of suction piles for submarine systems under combined loading and deep water geotechnical conditions. Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo (IMP). Co-Investigator.
• 2017 – $280k AUD – A 21st century laboratory testing device for geotechnical engineering. ARC Discovery Project DP180100973. Co-Investigator.
• 2017 – $220k AUD – Deployment of RIGSS JIP penetrometer system on the Total Absheron Survey. Principal Investigator.
• 2017 – $110k AUD – Deployment of RIGSS JIP penetrometer system on the Shell Crux Survey. Principal Investigator.
• 2017 – $360k AUD – Unlocking the changing strength of fine-grained soils in numerical analysis. ARC DECRA Fellowship DE170100119. Principal Investigator.
• 2014 – $975k AUD – Remote Remote Intelligent Geotechnical Seabed Surveys (RIGSS) JIP. Co-Investigator.
• 2013 – $20k AUD – Development of shallow penetrometer technology for Remotely Operated Vehicle based seabed property measurement. Principal Investigator.
• 2012 – $65k AUD – Seabed friction on carbonate soils - ROV mounted data gathering. Co-Investigator.
• 2012 – $300k AUD – A national facility for in-situ testing of soft soils. ARC LIEF Grant LE130100028. Co-Investigator.

Previous positions

2007 Postgraduate Student, University of Sheffield
2007 Research Assistant, University of Sheffield
2011-2014 Research Associate, Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, UWA

Current projects

Mark Schneider - PhD - Expected Completion mid-2017 - Shallow penetrometers for offshore in-situ testing (title to be confirmed). Co-supervised with Prof. David White and Prof. Mark Randolph

Yining Teng - PhD - Expected completion mid-2017: Foundation performance on carbonate silts (title to be confirmed). Co-supervised with Prof. Susan Gourvenec and Dr. Nathalie Boukpeti.

Cyrus Todeshkejoei - PhD - Expected completion mid-2016: Modelling the installation of helical screw piles (title to be confirmed). Co-supervised with Dr. James Hambleton (University of Newcastle, NSW).

Shah Neyamat Ullah -PhD - Submitted late-2015: Jack-up foundation punch-through in clay with interbedded sand.

Dr. Pan Hu - PhD - Awarded mid-2015: Predicting punch-through failure of a spudcan on sand overlying clay. Co-supervised with Dr. Dong Wang and Prof. Mark Cassidy.

Teaching overview

Unit coordinator for CIVL5504 - Offshore Geotechnics (fourth year elective undergraduate module on offshore geomechanics)


Punch-through risk assessment for jack-up rigs - On arrival at COFS in 2011 Sam worked on the prediction of the performance of jack-up foundations (Spudcans) in multi-layered soils (largely sand-over-clay and clay-sand-clay stratigraphies). Punch-through of jack-up foundations – the so called crème-brulee effect where a strong thin layer above a soft thick layer of soil fails – is the single largest cause of jack-up loss worldwide. Sam and UWA-COFS colleagues and students Mark Cassidy, David White, Yuxia Hu, Dong Wang, Pan Hu and Shah Neyamat Ullah have extensively used the drum centrifuge at UWA in conjunction with large deformation finite element modelling (RITSS and CEL) to tackle the problem of predicting punch-through risk from typical site investigation data. The research has led to methodologies to predict the peak resistance during punch-through and the punch-through depth, which can be used for site-specific assessment prior to jack-up deployment.
Offshore in-situ testing methods (RIGSS JIP) - Since 2014 Sam has been the lead researcher on the RIGSS (Remote Intelligent Geotechnical Seabed Surveys) JIP project funded by Benthic, Fugro, Total, Shell and Woodside ($1M AUD over three years). The JIP is developing novel tools for in-situ testing such as shallow penetrometers, free-falling penetrometers and in-situ scour erosion test devices (see www.rigss for further details). Sam’s research has focussed on development of the shallow penetrometers. These tools are designed to mimic pipelines and other shallowly embedded infrastructure and can measure soil strength, consolidation characteristics and interface friction properties - in a single test - at very low stress levels (Image-based deformation measurement (GeoPIV-RG) - In 2015 Sam, along with co-authors Justin Blaber (Georgia Tech., USA), Andy Take (Queen’s University, Canada) and David White (UWA) released a new version of the popular MATLAB -based geotechnical image measurement software GeoPIV. The new version of the software – called GeoPIV-RG - allows the subsets of the analyses to rotate and deform leading to an order-of-magnitude increase in measurement precision over the previous generation of software. The software is currently being used in over 60 academic and consulting institutions around the world, by over 180 researchers. GeoPIV-RG can be downloaded for free at

Research expertise keywords

  • Centrifuge and 1g physical modelling
  • Advanced image analysis techniques (PIV/DIC)
  • Finite Element analysis (small strain, large deformation, coupled pore pressure)
  • In-situ testing for offshore applications
  • Shallow penetrometers


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