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. The driving force behind the NGCF is Christophe Gaudin whose vision and energy have contributed greatly to making the NGCF what it is today.
The mission of the NGCF is to:
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.
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.
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.
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…