University of Western Australia: Fugro and UWA extend partnership for further five years

The Fugro Chair in Geotechnics at The University of Western Australia has been renewed for a further five years.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Amit Chakma said that collaborations with industry had never been more important for universities and the wider community.

“As the world’s leading provider of geo-intelligence – the collection and analysis of geotechnical data on land and at sea – Fugro is concerned, as we are, with the creation of new knowledge,” Professor Chakma said.

“The Chair links our University with Fugro for mutual benefit. Fugro employs a large number of our graduates and post-graduates. We want our students to build careers and Fugro wants the high-quality training and education that we provide.”

Since the Fugro Chair in Geotechnics was established in 2014, UWA and Fugro have worked increasingly close together, informing UWA activities to deliver benefits to Fugro’s activities worldwide.

By ensuring the group’s applied research is targeted to solving real world problems – and these are increasingly related to offshore renewable energy – it also supports the wider geotechnical community.

The partnership will continue to address key questions related to design and performance within the field of offshore geotechnics, with an increasing focus on offshore renewable energy, to assist in solving one of the most pressing challenges of our time.

It also provides funding for PhD scholarships to facilitate the growth of high quality graduates in offshore geotechnics and engineering, with selected students offered the opportunity to work with Fugro.

David Williams, leader of Fugro’s Asia-Pacific Marine Geoconsulting group said the opportunities for Fugro’s staff to exchange ideas with some of the best academic minds in the industry was hugely attractive and valued, as was the ongoing collaboration on academic papers as both parties worked to enhance the understanding of offshore geotechnics.

“Fugro sees immense value in continuing the partnership with UWA through the Fugro Chair,” Mr Williams said.

Professor Fraser Bransby, who was appointed Fugro Chair in Geotechnics in May 2018, said the partnership involved Fugro employing several UWA PhD and Master of Professional Engineering graduates, engaging Fugro staff to discuss research ideas and projects, while UWA provided project-specific testing for Fugro.

“The relationship has also provided UWA with the generation of research ideas, the opportunity to link student projects with industry providing them with unique experience, and has enhanced our ability to make a direct impact on practice,” Professor Bransby said.

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