Research Associate in Geotechnical engineering

Perth, Australia
07 Dec 2018
End of advertisement period
31 Jan 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems

  • Three year appointment
  • Salary range: Level A Step 8 $92,497.00

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight and ranked amongst the top100 universities in the world, with a broad and balanced coverage of disciplines in the arts, sciences and major professions. For the past 100 years, UWA has contributed significantly to the intellectual, cultural and economic development of the State of Western Australia and the nation as a whole.

About the role:

The successful candidate will work on an ARC Linkage project between UWA, University of Melbourne and Lloyd’s Register EMEA (LR) aimed at developing an industry-wide design guideline for suction caissons supporting offshore wind turbines. The UWA team on this project includes two academic staff and two PhD students based in the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems and the Oceans Graduate School and is part of a larger team working on offshore renewable energy.

The project will develop methods to accurately predict the installation of suction caissons in layered seabed profiles and models to predict the evolution of foundation stiffness and rotation accumulation that account for the effects of the installation process.  By minimising installation and design uncertainties in the use of suction caissons this research will aim to reduce foundation costs (that are currently of the order of approximately 25% of offshore wind developments) and increase the competitiveness of other sources of energy.

Working in close collaboration with the larger project team, this role will be primarily responsible for the physical aspect of the project and for developing the design guideline. The physical modelling will include challenging centrifuge experiments involving image analysis, data analysis, synthesis and interpretation. The role requires understanding of soil mechanics and the theory of image analysis. Numerical modelling can complement insights on suction bucket performance gained from physical modelling.

To be considered for this role, it is essential you possess the following:

  • A PhD in geotechnical engineering
  • Research experience relevant to the role
  • Experience in (offshore) geotechnics
  • Highly developed written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience in preparing manuscripts for publication and giving presentations at conferences
  • Ability to work independently, show initiative and work productively as part of a team
  • Commitment to service roles in the workplace
  • Commitment to inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.

Whilst not essential, it is desirable that applicants are also able to demonstrate knowledge of the following:

  • Research experience relevant to suction caissons
  • Experience in image analysis (e.g. Particle Image velocimetry, Digital Image Correlation)
  • Experience in numerical modelling of coupled problems with advanced soil constitutive models
  • Experience related to offshore wind energy
  • Experience in supervising and training postgraduate or undergraduate research students

Full details of the position’s responsibilities and the selection criteria are outlined in the position description and applicants should clearly demonstrate that they meet the selection criteria attached.


Closing date: 31 January 2019

This position is open to international applicants.

Benefits include generous superannuation and leave provisions.  These and other benefits will be specified in the offer of employment.

Application Details: Please apply online via the Apply Now button.

  • UWA has been awarded Top Ten Employer for LGBTI – inclusion the Australian Workplace Equity Index (AWEI -2016).
  • The University is also a proud member of the Athena SWAN/SAGE Pilot for Gender Equity.