UWA Oceans Institute

Community of researchers

RiverLab brings together researchers from oceanography and engineering, through to experts in sensory systems of aquatic vertebrates and zoology.

Master's students

Mr Brenton Atkinson

Mr Atkinson is a Master of Engineering student who is completing his master’s research project on the design and test of a reduced scale model of a Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO). This will include the development of a low cost IMU to measure the dynamic response of the FPSO.

 
Ms Kirsten Chick

Ms Kirsten Chick is currently undertaking her Masters of Professional Engineering at UWA. Her final year thesis utilises the RiverLab through analysing the hydrodynamic response of a scale model spar structure and comparing these results to those predicted through numeric models.

Mr Alex Ferguson

Mr Ferguson is a Master of Engineering student who is completing his master’s research project on the damage detection of fixed offshore platforms using machine learning algorithms. His project is based on data collection from sensors attached to a model jacket platform positioned in the Swan River. 

Mr Justin Geldard-Ker

Mr Geldard-Ker has completed undergraduate studies in both civil engineering and environmental science. He is currently undertaking his Masters in Professional Engineering and Honours in Civil Engineering, focusing on innovative engineering applications. Mr Geldard-Ker was the 2016 Pritchard Francis Scholarship winner and his final year project is contributing to the RiverLab through the detailed measurement, analysis and application of the unique wave climate of the Swan River.

 
Mr Travis Germain

Mr Germain is studying a Masters of Mechanical Engineering and is completing his final year project on testing of innovative concept design for floating buoy structure. A scale model of a Not Normally Manned (NNM) floating production system will be tested using the RiverLab. The hydrodynamic response will be complemented by analysis using Hydrostar software.

Mr Vincent Goh

Mr Vincent Goh is currently pursuing his Master's in Professional Engineering in Civil Engineering. His final year project is contributing to the RiverLab by assessing the performance of freefall penetrometer prototypes in the Swan River.

Mr Matthew Lewis

Mr Lewis is a Master of Engineering student who is completing his master’s research project on the design and test of a reduced scale model of an FPSO. This will include designing the model FPSO and comparing measured motions with predicted motions.

Ms Mashallah Love

Ms Love is a Master of Engineering student who is completing her master’s research project on the measurement of currents and turbulence in the Swan River.

Mr Rian McIlduff

Mr McIlduff completed his undergraduate studies majoring in Engineering and Finance in 2015. He is currently studying his Master's of Professional Engineering specialising in Civil Engineering. His final year project contributes to the RiverLab through analysis and interpretation of the performance of free-fall penetrometer prototypes in the Swan River area.

Ms Louisa Nguyen

Ms Hieu Nguyen is currently undertaking her Master in Professional Engineering specialising in Civil Engineering. Her final year project contributes to the RiverLab through interpretation and validation of the performance of free-fall penetrometers.

Mr Leo Reith

Mr Reith is a Master of Engineering student who is completing his master’s research project on the measurement and analysis of directional spreading and the response of wind generated waves to a rapidly changing wind on the Swan River.

Mr Gilbert Wong

Mr Gilbert Wong is a Master of Engineering student who is currently completing his master’s research project on Machine learning algorithm for damage detection of fixed offshore platform. His project’s main experiment will be carried out long term in Swan River with a prototype platform attached with a sensors network to collect data for MLA algorithm. 

Mr Tony Yang

Mr Yang completed his undergraduate studies in engineering and finance and is currently undertaking his Masters in Professional Engineering in Chemical Engineering. His final year project involves testing novel coatings for improved marine growth management on subsea structures.

UWA researchers

Dr Cynthia Bluteau

Dr Bluteau's expertise is in environmental fluid mechanics; specifically, small-scale transport processes and mixing in inland and coastal waters. The overarching goal of her research is to assess and improve the capabilities of various theoretical models in predicting turbulent processes from field measurements and numerical models.

Ms Lucille Chapuis

Ms Chapuis is completing a postgraduate thesis on auditory abilities of sharks and their relatives. This study will be the first to accurately assess the hearing abilities of a range of sharks and rays from different habitats and assess the effects of sound on behaviour. Her study intends to contribute to the broad field of sensory biology of cartilaginous fishes and bony fishes.

Dr Shiaohuey Chow

Dr Chow has been a research fellow at UWA since 2013. Her key research focuses on offshore site investigation - free falling penetrometers, strain rate effects in soil, offshore anchoring systems in sands and geotechnical physical modelling.

Professor Shaun Collin

Professor Collin is the author of over 240 scientific publications including five books on sensory systems of aquatic vertebrates. A former WA Research Fellow, he is a world leader in how animals perceive and process their sensory world under different environmental conditions. He uses innovative techniques in anatomy, electrophysiology, bioimaging, molecular biology and behaviour to understand the evolution and mechanisms of neural processing for a range of senses including vision, hearing, olfaction and electroreception.

Dr Scott Draper

Dr Draper’s research focuses on offshore fluid mechanics, applied to both the oil and gas and marine renewable energy industries. This includes subsea scour, hydrodynamics of floating bodies and marine renewables. He works on projects supported by the Australian Research Council in combination with industry partners Woodside, Shell, Bureau Veritas, Lloyds Register Group and Carnegie Wave Energy. His work has been presented in more than 100 publications.

Dr Andrew Grime

Dr Grime is a structural engineer with over 15 years’ experience, having worked in both industry and academic roles. His PhD studies focused on the prediction of response statistics and reliability or mooring FPSOs with rigorous consideration of parametric uncertainty. He currently manages the Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities at UWA and has broad research interests around the motions of floating vessels and their attachments.

Dr Nicole Jones

Dr Jones' research focus is environmental and geophysical fluid dynamics. In particular, the interaction between the physics and biogeochemistry in natural aquatic environments. She uses a combination of field and laboratory observations and numerical modelling in her research.

Dr Ian Milne

Dr Milne is a research fellow within the newly established Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities. His main research focus is on wave-structure interaction for side- by- side offloading and greenwater, involving numerical modelling, model-scale testing and field data acquisition. His other research interests include metocean engineering and the design of mechanical systems for the offshore industry.

Dr Henning Mohr

Dr Mohr graduated with a 1st class MSc and Diplom Ingenieur from the Technical University Darmstadt in 2010. Following this, he joined the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems and worked as a Research Associate working on the performance of offshore foundations using the geotechnical centrifuges. After completion of this research project, he pursued a PhD at the University of Western Australia (UWA) investigating the erosion and scour behaviour of marine sediments. Upon award of a doctorate in 2016, Henning joined the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems at UWA a research associate.

Dr John Morton

Dr Morton completed his undergraduate (BA, BAI) in Trinity College Dublin in 2008 and postgraduate (PhD) at the University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2015. Since then he has worked as a Research Associate at the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, UWA. His research focuses on offshore geotechnical engineering, in particular, full-flow and free-falling penetrometers in soft marine soils. He has used both geotechnical centrifuge modelling in combination with extensive offshore field testing in his research.

Dr Conleth O’Loughlin

Dr O’Loughlin is an offshore geotechnical engineer and scientist, with a strong focus on developing analytical tools based on observations from physical modelling and validated through field testing. His research addresses problems facing the offshore energy industry, ranging from the installation of massive offshore anchors used to moor floating structures, to the performance of offshore wind turbines over millions of loading cycles.

Assoc/Prof Julian Partridge

Associate Professor Julian Partridge completed his undergraduate degree in Zoology at the University of Bristol, but maintained a special interest in the marine world, even qualifying as a commercial diver. His PhD studies in sensory ecology focussed on how the light-sensitive retinal cells of fish are tuned to absorb different wavelengths and their implications. He is a Principal Research Fellow at the Oceans Institute at UWA, and Associate Professor in the School of Animal Biology.

Dr Matthew Rayson

Dr Rayson graduated from UWA with a BE and a PhD. He is Research Fellow for the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems. His key research focuses on physical oceanography of estuaries, coral reefs and the continental margins. He also has expertise in the SUNTANS ocean model and conducts research on combining numerical modelling, field observations and data analysis techniques to understand ocean dynamical processes.

Professor David White

Professor White worked with Woodside to conceive the RiverLab project as part of Woodside’s wider engagement with UWA. This engagement includes the ARC Research Hub on Offshore Floating Facilities, which he is the Director of, and the RIGSS Joint Industry Project, which has inspired some of the RiverLab activities. David is a geotechnical engineer with research interests that encompass the themes of soil-structure-fluid interaction and whole life design – ideas that we are enjoying exploring through RiverLab.

Dr Hugh Wolgamot

Dr Wolgamot is a Shell-EMI Research Fellow in Offshore Hydrodynamics. His background is in the hydrodynamics of wave energy devices, an interest that he maintains alongside work on wave-structure interaction for the traditional offshore industry. Since arriving in WA, this has included work relevant to offloading from FLNG vessels, which is very relevant to local projects.

Dr Wenhua Zhao

Dr Zhao is an Assistant Professor at UWA. He was awarded the Academic Scholarship for Excellent Doctoral Candidates from the China Ministry of Education for his PhD thesis on numerical and experimental study on the hydrodynamics of an FLNG system. His key research includes hydrodynamics (offshore structures), wave/structure interactions, numerical and physical modelling of floating structure/riser/mooring line interactions and nonlinear problems in offshore engineering (such as sloshing).