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 UWA’s Oceans Graduate School, holds the Lloyd's Register Foundation Chair and leads the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems. She specialises in research activities that span offshore geotechnical engineering applications, from shallow to deep water, and relate to both the oil and gas and renewable energy industries. Her research combines experimental and numerical approaches to develop practical prediction methods for offshore foundations.

Following the completion of her PhD, Dr Bienen joined the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems in 2008. She was appointed a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellow in 2011.

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 recently written 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 and teaches the Offshore Geomechanics unit.

Dr Bienen is a leading expert on foundations for offshore wind turbines in Australia, with her collaborative research capitalising on the unique physical modelling facilities developed under her leadership at UWA.

Her current research projects include examining the effect of installation on subsequent response of offshore foundations under cyclic loading, installation and response of suction buckets in layered soils, and combined VHM foundation capacity in layered soils or following consolidation.

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’.


  • 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.