UWA’s Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS) is settling into their new address at the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC) where high tech facilities are available for use by industry.

The new $62 million facility is a six storey purpose-built facility that supports marine scientists from CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and UWA’s Ocean Institute who will work alongside COFS ocean engineers.

The COFS team is one of the world’s largest teams of sophisticated internationally recognised researchers in offshore geomechanics who work with industry to provide offshore foundations solutions worldwide through sophisticated modelling and experimental facilities.  

COFS Director Mark Cassidy said the move was inspired by the need to collaborate with marine scientists on finding ocean based solutions for some of the big sustainability questions around  water, food, energy and bio-resources.

“The nature of complex marine research requires that multi-disciplinary teams find solutions to key ocean challenges and by exchanging our knowledge we have an opportunity to accelerate vital innovation for the world.

“The whole team is excited to be in a professional space where collaborations between students, academics, government and industry have been made easier through the co-working office layout and high tech facilities.

“In this building we really get a sense that people are working together with glass–windowed offices opening out into interactive spaces. The openness encourages communication rather than everyone being hidden behind closed doors,” Professor Cassidy said.

An open plan student area supports a graduate training environment, with close access to academic and industry mentors, helping to advance Australia’s marine and engineering capability. 

On the ground floor a multi-purpose lecture theatre with an 80 – 100 people capacity, links to a large interaction space with an external courtyard, workshops and the world-unique National Geotechnical Centrifuge facility.

The NGCF operates three centrifuges, including the new 26 tonne fixed-beam centrifuge that was lowered by crane in to the new IOMRC building, after arriving from France in September.  

The new centrifuge has a 10m diameter and is capable of spinning 2400kg of soil, at 100 gravitons and three revolutions per second. Results from modelling help to design pipelines, anchors and other offshore infrastructure, at a fraction of the cost and hazard when compared to full-scale modelling. 

State-of-the-art telepresence creates a real-time collection of data straight from the centrifuge to multiple-users from all around the world to facilitate national and international collaborative relationships.  

Another co-working space that optimises collaboration is the Woodside OceanWorks, as part of the FutureLab network, that aims to integrate technical and non-technical work streams to collaborate in the physical and virtual space.

Industry are invited to find out more about the facilities by contacting COFS Rochelle Gunn on 6488 1142 or oceanworks@uwa.edu.au and UWA Oceans Institute by contacting Tracy Parker on 6488 8014 or tracy.parker@uwa.edu.au 

Media reference

EMI Communications Coordinator Nicola Holman +61 439 906 200