Structures in the ocean environment are founded in the seabed, whereas dredging systems aim at the excavation and transportation of bottom sediments. Both require a thorough understanding of the mechanical properties of the subsoil. In addition, offshore and dredging systems interact dynamically with waves, and, in certain cases, earthquakes, floating ice or currents, resulting in vortex-induced vibrations.
For the design of these systems, which very often include mechanical components and mechatronics, the behaviour of the different construction materials needs to be understood – to assess structural stability and fatigue. Hence, offshore & dredging engineers require an excellent knowledge of three fundamental pillars:
- soil-mechanics, and
- structural mechanics.