Dr Britta Bienen

Started at UWA: 2008

Developing innovative offshore geotechnical engineering solutions for oil and gas and renewable energy infrastructure

Dr Britta Bienen is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Offshore Foundations within UWA’s Oceans Graduate School, specialising in offshore geotechnical engineering. Current research interests focus on challenges related to foundations for offshore wind turbines: The effect of the installation process on the in-service performance of monopiles, installation strategies for suction buckets in layered soils and the subsequent in-service performance of the foundations, rapid shearing of saturated sand and the impact of this fundamental geomechanical problem on the wave heights that jack-up wind installer vessels can operate in. 

Her research combines experimental and numerical approaches to develop practical prediction methods for offshore foundations. Britta collaborates widely, both with academia and industry and is actively involved in the development of international guidelines (ISO, InSafeJIP).

Britta joined the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS) in 2008, was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2014) and was appointed Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) Chair in Offshore Foundations, leading this Centre of Excellence 2018-2020. She was appointed a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellow in 2011. Britta is the 2020 John Booker medal recipient, awarded by the Australian Academy of Science, for her contributions to the development of practical predictive methods for soil-structure interaction problems, grounded in sound geotechnical science. Dr Bienen has published more than 100 refereed papers and, in 2012, was awarded with colleagues the Geotechnical Research Medal by the Institution of Civil Engineers, UK, for their research paper ‘Investigation of the potential of bottom water jetting to ease spudcan extraction in soft clay’.

Dr Bienen has an international reputation for the development of novel methods to assess foundation performance during installation, operation and removal. Her research features in international guidelines and has led to increased economy and reliability in foundation design. She has made significant contributions to the development of the current state-of-the-art macro-element models.

Her expertise in the field of jack-up rig foundations led to her becoming a collaborator in the Joint Industry Project ‘InSafeJIP’ and a co-author of the industry guideline emanating from this project. The recommendations, aimed at improving the prediction of jack-up installation and removal, have had significant impact in the international jack-up industry and now form an Annex to the ISO guidelines. Dr Bienen also led the state-of-practice chapter on spudcan-seabed interaction of the Encyclopedia of Marine and Offshore Engineering.

Since 2009, Dr Bienen has been a member of the International Organization for Standardization Committee (ISO OGP TC67/SC7/WG7/P4) that provides geotechnical design guidance for mobile jack-up platforms and also joined the recently established ISO OGP TC67/SC7/WG7/P54 on Emplacement and removal of jack-ups. She has served on the editorial panel of Géotechnique, the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering and was a guest editor of the Soils and Foundations (Offshore Wind). Britta teaches the Introduction to professional engineering and Offshore Geomechanics units.

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Transportation Engineering) with Distinction, Napier University, Edinburgh, UK
  • Diplom-Ingenieur, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • PhD in Offshore Geotechnical Engineering, UWA
My research investigates various aspects of offshore geotechnical engineering, including the effects of the foundation installation procedure and cyclic loading resulting from the ocean environment. These relate to applications such as jack-up platforms and offshore wind farms.Dr Britta Bienen



  • 'Design guideline for suction caissons supporting offshore wind turbines', Australian Research Council Linkage Projects

2016 – 2018

  • LRF Chair and Centre of Excellence for Offshore Foundations, Lloyd’s Register Foundation

2014 – 2016

  • 'Behaviour of suction buckets in layered soils', Lloyd's Register, Aberdeen, UK


  • 'Unlocking the Mechanisms Governing Foundation Penetration into Carbonate Sand', UWA Research Collaboration Award


  • 'Centrifuge Modelling of Pile Installation', Hamburg University of Technology, Germany

More grants and publications.

Contact Dr Britta Bienen

If you are interested in research with a geotechnical focus and in working with Dr Bienen, send an email with your CV, academic transcript and, if possible, English proficiency. Applicants are expected to apply for a scholarship.