Offshore wind turbines and legume research boosted by grants

15/11/2023 | 2 mins

Researchers at The University of Western Australia have received grants to study the performance of offshore wind turbine foundations in carbonate soil and improve legume production for Australian growers.

The Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects 2023 (round 1) scheme has awarded more than $1 million for the two projects.

UWA’s Ocean Graduate School Professors Britta Bienen and Mark Randolph partnered with the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute to research foundations for offshore wind turbines in Australian carbonate seabed soils and have been awarded $465,603.

The project aims to enable performance prediction of foundations for offshore wind turbines in the challenging carbonate sandy sediments which are prevalent offshore Australia.

“This is significant for an emerging industry with each project costing tens of billions of dollars and foundations accounting for a quarter of the development cost,” Professor Bienen said.

“We expect to provide guidance for these complex soil conditions based on advanced understanding obtained from innovative experimental and numerical techniques.

“The research could have significant economic and societal benefits for affordable clean energy and contribute to the creation of a generation of jobs.”

Professor David Edwards, Director of the UWA Centre for Applied Bioinformatics, and ARC Laureate Fellow Professor Jacqueline Batley, from UWA’s School of Biological Sciences, partnered with InterGrain to research accelerating pulse breeding using machine learning and have been awarded $676,198.00.

“Advances in molecular biology and the ability to measure genetic traits are generating vast quantities of data that can be applied for crop improvement, however the lack of computational analysis tools and approaches limits the full exploitation of this data,” Professor Edwards said.

“Pulse legumes are currently underutilised in Australian agriculture due to poor adaptation, however they offer significant benefits for soil improvement and the production of high protein crops.

“This project will develop machine learning tools for the analysis of pulse legume crop traits and their association with genomic variation to accelerate the breeding of high-performance pulse legumes for Australian growers."

Media references

Annelies Gartner (UWA PR & Media Adviser) 08 6488 6876

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