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National Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility

What we do

The NGCF conducts research associated with centrifuge modelling of offshore and onshore geotechnical structures and the characterisation of soils. It services the needs of industry and academic partners across the globe.


The NGCF has modelling capabilities to investigate issues associated with soil-structure interaction, foundation engineering, soil characterisation and geohazards both offshore and onshore. Some examples of recent research include:

  • development and performance of novel anchoring systems, including dynamically installed anchors, suction embedded plate anchors, suction caissons and helical anchors
  • stability and performance of shallow and hybrid foundations under combined vertical, horizontal and moment loading
  • development of soil characterisation tools and validation of interpretation methods
  • impact of submarine landslide on subsea structures • spudcan penetration and extraction, including punch- through issues and jetted extraction.

The NGCF provides a wide range of research services to assist academics and students with their research projects. These include experimental design, tailoring motion control and data acquisition systems, designing modelling programs to achieve research goals, the establishment of performance data for model calibration and the validation of innovative foundation concepts.

Research activities at the NGCF are supported by the full team of academics, engineers and technicians, who can provide expert advice, develop innovative solutions and collect high-quality data for a wide range of geotechnical problems.


The NGCF has a long history of servicing local and international industry. We provide consulting services associated with centrifuge modelling to industry clients worldwide, including Fugro-Advanced Geomechanics, Woodside, ExxonMobil, BP, Total, Keppel Marine and Offshore Technology Centre, Delmar and many others.

The NGCF provides a wide range of services to industry including:

  • determining geotechnical properties by performing reduced scale in-situ soil characterisation tests on intact or reconstituted soil samples • establishing performance data for model calibration
  • validating technical solutions or new foundation concepts
  • validating geotechnical designs
  • observation of geotechnical behaviour, deformations and failure modes.

The NGCF has modelling capabilities that permit the investigation of design and performance issues associated with shallow and deep foundations, anchors and caissons, pipe-soil interaction, slope stability, retaining structures and embankments.

Service activities at the NGCF are supported by the full team of engineers, research officers and technicians. Projects for industry are managed by senior academics with extensive consulting and modelling experience.

Equipment sales and support

The NGCF provides technical support to other centrifuge facilities worldwide through the development and implementation of data acquisition and motion control systems, soil characterisation tools and image analysis techniques.


Past work

  • Determination of friction factors to assist in the design of offshore trunklines and flowlines for oil and gas applications

    Problem modelled

    Centrifuge model

    A model pipe, modelling a section of a real pipeline, is lowered to the seabed at an on-bottom pressure replicating the self-weight of the pipeline and is subjected to horizontal motions that replicate those experienced by the real pipeline during cycles of operation due to thermal buckling. Modelling of these pipes has been performed to assist in the design of pipeline projects in the North West Shelf, in West Africa and in the Caspian Sea.

  • Validation of anchor design for permanent mooring applications

    Prototype anchor

    Model anchor

    An offshore anchor installed by a suction caisson to a target depth in the seabed is subject to monotonic, sustained and cyclic loading, simulating the whole life cycle of the anchor. The trajectory during initial proof loading and subsequent capacity under storm loading is measured to establish recommendations for use as permanent moorings.





Have a question?
Get in touch with us

(+61 8) 6488 1142
8.30am–5.00pm (AWST), Monday to Friday


Ocean Marine Research Centre,
Building 453 (Corner of Fairway and
Fairway Entrance 4)

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