The National Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility is an integral part of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Science and Engineering. It includes the University of Western Australia, the University of Newcastle, the University of Wollongong, the University of Queensland, Monash University and the University of Adelaide. The NGCF is hosted at the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems at the University of Western Australia.

The NGCF aims at developing state-of-the-art solutions, based on centrifuge modelling, for challenges associated with offshore and onshore geotechnical engineering.

Our Mission

The mission of the NGCF is to:

  • serve the academic and industry geotechnical engineering communities nationally and worldwide,
  • support research and advance knowledge in soil behaviour and foundation engineering,
  • develop and provide solutions for geotechnical design,
  • assist in training the next generation of geotechnical engineers.

Over the last three years, the centrifuge facilities at UWA have been helping more than 80 academics and PhD students in Australia and worldwide in geotechnical research covering a wide range of soil-structure interaction and soil behaviour issues. The NGCF has been established to continue this success story, and to create a foothold for centrifuge modelling in addressing the next generation of challenges facing onshore and offshore geotechnical engineering.

Our Facilities

The NGCF hosts two geotechnical centrifuges, a 3.6 m diameter beam centrifuge and a 1.2 m drum centrifuge. Our experimental capabilities were greatly enhanced in 2016 by the addition of a new 10 m diameter beam centrifuge and a new 650 m2 laboratory located in the world-class Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre. This $5.5M investment was supported by the Australian Research Council and partner Universities.

The centrifuges are supported by a team of 8 mechanical, electronic and software engineers and operate 24/7, 275 days a year. More than 50 research and industry projects are undertaken every year.

Follow these and other exciting developments at the NGCF on our news feed and on twitter.

Consulting

The NGCF provides 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. These services range from generating performance data to inform the design of geotechnical structures, to investigating fundamental research problems for individual partners, or within Joint Industry Projects.

We also provide 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.

Partners and Funding

The NGCF was created thanks to the financial support of the Australian Research Council, the University of Western Australia, the University of Newcastle, the University of Wollongong, the University of Queensland, Monash University and the University of Adelaide.

NGCF by the numbers…

3
The maximum g-level experienced by NASA astronauts during take-off
6
The number of university partners in the NGCF
8
The number of technicians supporting the centrifuge facility
10
Approximately, the number of overseas visitors using the centrifuges each year
25
Approximately, the number of Australian academics and PhD students using the centrifuges each year
50
Approximately, the number of research and industry projects undertaken by the centrifuge team each year
130
The maximum g-level at which the new beam centrifuge will be able to spin
200
The maximum g-level at which the beam centrifuge can spin
275
The number of days the beam and the drum centrifuge spin each year
350
The maximum g-level at which the drum centrifuge can spin
1989
The year the beam centrifuge was commissioned
1997
The year the first drum centrifuge was commissioned
2016
The year the 10 m diameter beam centrifuge was commissioned
6,500,000
The total investment ($AUD) in the NGCF
10,560,000
The distance in km travelled by the beam centrifuge basket since 1989. That's nearly 14 times the distance to the moon and back!
2.5×108
Revolutions of the drum centrifuge since 1991