Oceans Graduate School

Providing innovative and effective solutions for the challenges facing the world’s oceans

The Oceans Graduate School engages in fundamental and applied research to find solutions for the critical issues facing our oceans, coasts and estuaries. Our School comprises state-of-the-art facilities around Western Australia used for world-class marine research to investigate the ocean.

The issues facing our oceans are complex and our School gives students not just the scientific knowledge they require, but the technology, resources and community involvement that is essential for the future. We provide students with a science-based education and the know-how to form strong policy and governance, which creates a team of leaders ready to confront global issues. Our flagship course, the Master of Ocean Leadership, centres on tackling real threats our oceans face and provides graduates with the skills to lead multidisciplinary projects across the Indian Ocean.

Our research

The Oceans Graduate School engages with partners around the world, including other universities, governments and research institutions, so more can be done to better our oceans and ensure a healthy future for our population.

The Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC) at UWA was built to house the research our School undertakes with partners such as the CSIRO, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Fisheries Division of the Department of Primary Industries, and Regional Development Western Australia.

Discover our PhD Opportunities within the Oceans Graduate School on our LinkedIn page.

Key contacts:

Our courses

Master of Ocean Leadership

The Master of Ocean Leadership combines science, engineering, law and environmental management to create a thorough course tackling the challenges our oceans face and finding ways to improve the future of our seas.

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Micro-credentials

Micro-credentials are short professional qualifications that demonstrate your skills, knowledge and experience in a given subject area. These qualifications can be completed as a one-off or you can stack them up towards a higher qualification. Complete a micro-credential to improve your employability and future career outcomes.

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Multidisciplinary research centres

ARC Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities

The Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities (OFFshore ITRH) is a multi-disciplinary research initiative jointly funded by industry and the Australian Research Council. OFFshore ITRH are collaborating on the critical engineering challenges faced by offshore oil and gas projects by creating improved design and operating procedures. The team are based at the University of Western Australia, with nodes at Western Sydney University and The University of Southampton.

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Albany Wave Energy Research Centre

The Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC) in Albany, Western Australia, was built to look at ways we can generate renewable energy from our oceans on an industrial scale.

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Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems

The Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS) is a world-leading research facility used to examine offshore geomechanics and engineering.

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ARC Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies undertakes world-best integrated research for sustainable use and management of coral reefs.

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Industry partners

The Oceans Graduate School has a range of partnerships with local, national and international organisations and bodies.

Partners include:
  • The Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • The West Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI)
  • Ningaloo Alliance
  • The Pawsey Super Computing Centre
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  • Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS)

The Oceans Graduate School also collaborates with nine international universities and institutes involved in ocean research.


Industry advisory panel

Christophe Gaudin: Head of Oceans Graduate School

Christophe is a Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Western Australia. He is the Director of the newly established Wave Energy Research Centre in Albany and the Head of the Oceans Graduate School, a multi-disciplinary research group of about 100 oceanographers, structural, hydrodynamics and geotechnical engineers.  Christophe graduated with a Doctorate in Soil Mechanics from the Ecole Centrale de Nantes in November 2002, and joined the University of Western Australia in July 2003. His research interests cover offshore anchoring systems and shallow foundations, pipeline-soil interaction and similitude principles associated with centrifuge modelling, for which he has authored over 180 referred publications. He is currently spearheading several research initiatives associated with foundation systems for offshore renewables, with support from local and international industry.

Level of engagement with Universities / Academia

Christophe has undertaken over 50 research contracts with industry over the last 15 years associated with oil and gas developments all around the world, and used to consult for Advanced Geomechanics. He is a strong advocate of close collaboration between universities and industry to better train students, inform research and optimise impact and outcomes and develop relevant support and services.

Dave Hazle: Consulting Director, Granherne / KBR

Dave has been working in the oil industry for over 18 years. Dave is currently the Director of Consulting for Granherne / KBR in Perth. Previously Dave was the engineering manager for Shell seconded into Arrow Energy in Queensland where he ran all engineering and design work on all of their upstream developments. Dave has also led all deep water development and engineering work for Shell In Perth, participated in 4 mega-project FIDs in Western Australia and worked in offshore operations in Australia and the North Sea. Dave holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and is a chartered Electrical and Petroleum engineer and a Fellow of Engineers Australia. Dave is an adjunct Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland and the Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board to the Oceans Graduate School at UWA.

Level of engagement with Universities / Academia

Dave helped set up Shell’s involvement with UWA. Dave has actively participated in linking universities and Industry in both WA and QLD. David is keen to see Granherne / KBR lead the way in contractor engagement with universities and actively participate in their work as there are huge wins for both organisations from working together. 

Colin McGinnis: Shelf Subsea
Jeff Baker: Lloyds Register

Graduated from Southampton University in 1982 with an Honours Degree in Ship Science.

Has 25 year’s experience with the Lloyds Register Group (LR) as Project Manager for new construction Validation, Verification, Classification and Certification Services Contracts, dealing with Fixed and Floating Offshore Installations, pipelines and risers in UK, Australian, NZ, Nigerian and Brazilian waters.

Jeff relocated from London to Perth in early 2004 to manage LR’s involvement in the Woodside Enfield Project and subsequently the Angel and Vincent Projects. In 2008 he was appointed Oil and Gas Business Manager for Australasia.

Following the merger of LR's Oil and Gas Compliance and Marine businesses, Jeff is currently Offshore Business Development Manager for Australasia, covering all onshore and offshore compliance services to the Oil and Gas industry in the region.

Level of engagement with Universities / Academia

Jeff is a UWA FOI ITRH Board Member for Lloyds Register Group, represents the Lloyds Register Foundation in their ongoing support of the UWA COFS team and is focal point for miscellaneous other initiatives with the UWA team.

Jill Stajduhar: Wayfarer Connect

Jill is founder of a small boutique agency setup to support industry-research engagement. Previously she was the GM for industry-research and innovation at NERA, Deputy Director of the UWA Energy & Minerals Institute, Deputy Director of the International Mining for Development Centre, CEO of the Science Teachers Association and CEO of the International Association of Teachers as a Foreign Language. Passionate about economic development and especially keen to see women in high-value STEM roles. She holds degrees in Accounting, Social Impact, Marketing and Management. Jill is a Director on the Commercialisations Studies Centre Board, an IMNIS mentor and Read Write Now volunteer.

Level of engagement with Universities / Academia

Jill has been associated with the university and research sector for the past 10 years in an energy business development role, she helped secure over $80M during this time for academic research and infrastructure. She currently supports PhDs into industry, is supporting the setup of a UWA Industry 4.0 digital interoperability laboratory for process control, she is supporting a Cooperative Research Centre bid for Future Energy Exports and an automation centre in Karratha. Jill is a passionate supporter of the university sector and in particular research engagement with industry.

Luke Twomey: WAMSI

Luke is the CEO of the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI), a joint venture made up of 14 partners with the objective to maximise the sustainable environmental, economic and social benefits from Western Australia’s marine estate by enabling outcome focussed marine science. Previously, Luke was a Director and Principal Consultant for BMT Oceanica, a specialist marine environmental consultancy. Luke worked on developing EIA and compliance assessment of capital dredging programs such as the Oakajee Deepwater Port, Albany Port Expansion Project and Post-Development Surveys for the Chevron Australia Gorgon Project. Luke was also the first Principal Scientist for the Swan River Trust, where he utilised his knowledge of phytoplankton ecology developed from his PhD at Curtin University and Postdoctoral position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Luke holds adjunct Associate Professor positions at Murdoch University and Curtin University. 

Level of engagement with Universities / Academia

Through the WAMSI partner membership with Curtin, ECU, Murdoch and UWA, Luke has a strong connection with Western Australian universities and academics. WAMSI has engaged Industry stakeholders in the development of long-term strategy for marine science in Western Australia through the Blueprint for Marine Science.

In his previous role as a Principal Consultant and Director at BMT Oceanica, Luke often engaged specialists from the universities to assist with aspects of environmental impact assessment on major infrastructure projects for Oil and Gas and Port sectors. Luke is a strong advocate of student programs in applied marine science.

Murray Burling: RPS Group
Saul Kavonic: Credit Suisse
Sean Salter: Woodside

Sean graduate with a BSc in Marine GeoTechnics & an MSc in Subsea Engineering in 1989. He has worked in the Oil & Gas Industry for 30 years, predominantly in Subsea & Pipeline Engineering & Project Management (Design, Manufacture, Construction and Operations); spending 15 yrs. with Shell International in the North Sea, Deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and West of Africa before moving to Western Australia to join Woodside. Since 2004 Sean has been responsible for developing Woodside’s Subsea & Pipeline capability and infra-structure before moving to VP Technology in 2015 and recently; VP Remote Operations.

Level of engagement with Universities / Academia

Woodside has a very strong and broad relationship with UWA across many faculties. Sean has been engaged directly in ‘O-Tube’ & Flow Assurance activities and more broadly in the FutureLab (Oceanworks & RiverLab) initiatives at UWA. Sean has also been involved in equivalent FutureLab initiatives at Curtin and Monash Universities, all designed to encourage and stimulate collaboration and enhanced industry / academic interactions.

Tanya Stul: National Committee on Coast and Ocean Engineering
Tom Hatton: Environmental Protection Authority

Hatton has served as Chairman of the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority since 2015.

He holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from Humboldt State University, and a doctorate from the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University. Following post-doctoral studies in mathematics at the University of New South Wales he joined the CSIRO as an environmental scientist, working on the many water-related challenges facing Australia.  Over a 25-year career at the CSIRO, he had national leadership of their water, marine and energy research. 

In 2008, Tom received the CSIRO Chairman’s Medal and the Australian Public Service Medal for his contributions to the management of Australia’s water resources, and was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2017.

Level of engagement with Universities / Academia

He is an adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia and serves on the Boards of the Oceans Institute, the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and the Western Australia Parks Foundation. 

Pru Ayling: Manager, UWA Industry Engagement and Innovation

Pru Ayling is currently Industry Engagement Manager at the University of Western Australia and is responsible for enabling key university initiatives in defence, space and oceans. Prior to working at UWA, Pru has worked in WA State Government for over ten years and has been responsible for a range of key strategic state initiatives, including defence, oil and gas, innovation and the Australian Marine Complex.

Level of engagement with Universities / Academia

Pru works in multi-disciplinary projects across UWA and facilitates sustainable partnerships with industry and the University.

Stuart Smith: NOPSEMA

Stuart Smith was appointed CEO of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) in September 2014; Australia’s independent regulator of offshore safety, well integrity and environmental management of offshore oil and gas facilities around Australia.

Prior to this appointment, Stuart spent six years as Director General for the Department of Fisheries in Western Australia (WA) with responsibilities for managing aquatic resources in federal and state waters.

Stuart also worked with the Department of Industry and Resources in WA as Acting Director General and a Deputy Director General. In these roles, he had responsibility for facilitating international trade and investment, negotiating major state development projects and regulating the resources sector, including onshore and offshore oil and gas safety and environmental management.

Before joining the WA Public Service in 2003, Stuart spent 14 years with the Australian Public Service in Canberra, Melbourne and Perth. During this period he held various industry development and regulatory roles including positions with the Industry portfolio and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Stuart holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australian and a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the Australian National University.

Contact the Oceans Graduate School

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Monday to Friday, 8.30am- 4.30pm

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