1st October, Bristol


Explore innovation. Exchange ideas. Expand minds.

A journey of innovation in offshore windfarm foundations

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This agenda is now confirmed but minor changes may made in the lead up to the event.

We’re expecting many of our delegates and presenters to arrive on the Monday, so we’re planning a sponsored drinks, dinner and networking event in central Bristol that evening. There will also be an informal meetup on Tuesday evening after the conference for those still in the city. Details will be shared closer to the conference.


Pre-conference networking dinner and drinks

6:00pm – late – Monday 30th September

Join us on the evening before the conference on Monday 30th September for complementary dinner and drinks. Taking place at Mud Dock in central Bristol, seize the opportunity for candid conversations with other technically specialised attendees.


Registration and Coffee

9:00am – 9:30am


Welcome from Karl Davis of Empire Engineering

9:30am – 9:45am


Innovation in Metocean Data

09:45am – 10:00am

Nick Elderfield, Managing Director at DHI Water Environments UK

Starting an offshore wind project requires a solid foundation in many ways. Reliable and detailed metocean data is key in the early stages of site definition: providing relevant parameters to assess everything from initial boat landing orientations to scour hole development. With a solid foundation in metocean data it is then possible to further optimise the detailed design for aspects such as fatigue loading on the structure itself and ancillary data.

DHI has over 25 years working with the offshore wind industry and more than 50 years of handling and producing metocean data around the world. Recent innovations have included the launching of online tools providing rapid access to high-quality data, incorporating more of the key physics relevant to wind turbine foundation design into numerical models and the development of advanced tools for metocean analysis. All of these aspects have led to an acceleration of the metocean data establishment and analysis tasks for Offshore Wind projects with a reduction in uncertainties and streamlined certification. The talk will provide some more detail on the developments and how they can support the ongoing cost and time reductions needed to make offshore wind the certain choice for future renewable energy.

Whilst the benefits are being felt at the design stages of offshore wind projects, are developers truly getting the best value out of the data in the longer term? Using the early foundations of metocean assessment can also have benefits through the construction and operation stages. Some of the next steps will be highlighted.


Zonal Approach to Ground Modelling

10:00am – 10:15am

Mark Finch, Managing Director & Principal Geotechnical Engineer at Ternan Energy

Project development plans change – constantly. How can site investigations be phased and optimised to address the challenges of numerous changing requirements, investment decisions and the like?

High quality ground information is needed at the right time and at the right price – particularly in the early stages of the project when investment is at risk. A phased zonal approach to site definition is probably the answer. This presentation asks – and tries to answer – the difficult questions around site investigation. What, when, why (and maybe even who)?

Site investigation may not be a significant expense compared to the overall project cost, but it is very easy to not add value if you fail to lock in significant risks at an early stage.

Lots of questions and (hopefully) some practical answers. We need to talk about the soil……


Geotechnical Characterisation for FEA

10:15am – 10:30am

Mike Rattley, Principal Geotechnical Engineer Fugro

Is the industries approach to geotechnical characterisation efficiently addressing the requirements of FEA-based design? What are we really modelling and why? How can we reduce uncertainty and aid optimisation? This presentation will address all of these questions and propose some practical solutions.


The use of Monitoring Data from past projects on Geotechnical Design

10:30am – 10:45am

Annelies Demuynck, Deputy COO at Otary RS nv

A presentation on the use of monitoring data of the Rentel windfarm for optimising the soil profiles in Mermaid and Seastar (SeaMade), looking at the close dialogue between certifier, detailed designer and employer, alongside focus upon the development of those two windfarms.


FATHOM, Empire’s New Foundation Design Tool

10:45am – 11:00am

Nick Howard,  Partner and Principal Engineer at Empire Engineering

FATHOM is a bespoke tool developed and coded by Empire Engineering for Foundations Concept and FEED level design.  Nick will be giving a demonstration of this new and powerful tool which approaches the problem in an innovative way using Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence (and probably a Flux Capacitor).


Coffee and Cake

11:00am – 11:20am

A chance to network and exchange ideas over good coffee and delicious couture cakes.


Parallel Session 1:  
The Modular Suction Bucket – Tales from Successful Sea Trials
11:20am – 12:00pm

Tim Drummen, Business Development / Technical Lead at Universal Foundation A/S

Universal Foundation, together with their partners Siemens Gamesa and Aalborg University, performed 13 successful trial installations with a modular suction bucket in May 2019. Join this breakout session to learn more about the innovative design of this modular suction bucket. Learn how the design consists of several pre-bended coiled steel plates that are connected with bolts. Discuss how this technology is expected to achieve a construction cost reduction of 30% to 40%. Hear how the trial installations proved the robustness and the stability of the concept in difficult soils.



Parallel Session 2:

Lender’s Technical Advisors Views

11:20am – 12:00pm

Colin Morgan, Founding Partner at Everoze
Ioannis Lessis, Wind Team Leader at Mott MacDonald

This breakout session will cover the lender’s expectations on foundation structure design and anticipated risk profiles at financial close. Discussion will focus on common shortfalls from the designer’s side that could affect planned dates of financing (expect a few interesting anecdotes!). Foreseen challenges in relation to floating foundation and commercialistion of the concept will also be covered in this session.


Parallel Session 3:

System Modelling of Soils and Structures 

11:20am – 12:00pm

Paul Doherty, Managing Director of GDGeo
Will Collier, Senior Engineer at DNV-GL

Join this breakout session to discuss in detail MP optimisation and damping analysis, alongside conversation and debate around damping methods of superelement support structures. 


Designing Foundations to be “Born in the USA”

12:15pm – 12:30pm

Danny Bonnett, Associate Director at Wood Thilsted

To design the first utility scale offshore wind project in the USA, Wood Thilsted teamed up with Engineering giant WSP to perform the detailed design.  An odd couple?  Not so.  Danny will explain more, and delve into some of the interesting details around soil-structure interaction, corrosion protection and array cable installation


FE analysis of monopiles – advances modelling of soil structure interaction

12:30pm – 12:45pm

Henrietta Ridgeon, Associate Director for Arup

As the industry continues to drive down costs in the offshore wind industry, structural and geotechnical engineers need to work together to optimise the detailed design of the emerging foundation solutions. Arup is at the forefront of this work and presents three areas where significant progress has been made:

  • Detailed FE analysis of XL monopiles to justify in-service and installation performance.
  • Geotechnical modelling of pore pressure build up around monopiles under cyclic loading.
  • Design considerations for monopiles in seismic regions (where much of the market growth is predicted).


Monopiles configuration development and how design decisions impact assessment 

12:45pm – 1:00pm

Aashraya Shankar, Engineer for Atkins

Atkins assesses the impact of varying different parameters affecting MP foundation design across a windfarm and how this informs decisions to obtain optimised designs and minimise LCOE or costs. 



1:00pm – 2:00pm


Impacts of the changes to DNV-GL-ST-0126

2:00pm – 2:15pm

Dan Butterworth,  Head of Section, Renewables Certification for DNV-GL

Unique insight into recent changes to the governing standards for offshore wind farm foundations (DNV-GL-ST-0126), as well as DNV-GL’s latest views of where further research or joint industry projects would be beneficial to the industry.


Serial Production of Foundations

2:15pm – 2:30pm

Eric Finé, Business Development Manager at Smulders

Smulders present the importance of logistics in foundations serial production.


Grout Free Pin-Pile Connection

2:30pm – 2:45pm

Iain Stevens,  Managing Director for Cedeco

Cedeco will publicly reveal for the first time its grout-free pin-to-pile connector, an innovation which recently won the support of ORE Catapult. Managing Director, Iain Steven, will talk through the technology and how Cedeco, a micro SME, are leading a collaboration between ORE Catapult, ScottishPower Renewables and Atkins Ltd to test the technology’s suitability for market.


Advancement in Monopile Installation

2:45pm – 3:00pm

Alan Macleay, Engineering Director for  Seaway7

Seaway7 will reveal various innovative methods that have been developed for driving MPs from floating installation vessels.


Evolution of the Transition Piece Cover

3:00pm – 3:15pm

Dimitrios Evangelopoulos, Research Manager at Toro Structures 

Drawing on decades of experience and innovation, designing protective shelters for all types of equipment across many industry sectors, Toro has created the ultimate transition piece protection solution.

Dimitrios will be presenting Toro’s exciting new design, including  a full scale TP cover on-site to get up close and personal with.


Coffee and Cake

3:15pm – 3:35pm

A chance to network and exchange ideas over good coffee and delicious couture cakes.


Parallel Sessions 1:

SeaPlanner and Innovations in O&M Practice

3:35pm – 4:15pm

Graham Howe and Amanda Forbes,  SeaRoc

Join SeaRoc at this roundtable discussion regarding the centralisation of operations to give economics of scale. Conversation will include the evolution of project managers entering from other sectors and adapting to offshore wind, alongside innovations in methodology and their potential impacts. They will use real world examples such as robotics (in particular unmanned vessels) and drone blade inspections (featuring the work of Natural Power) to facilitate discussion. 


Parallel Session 2:

Cost Savings by Implementing Advanced Geotechnical Design Approaches at the Seastar OWF, Belgium

3:35pm – 4:15pm

Joe Hilton, General Manager at Sea and Land Project Engineering
Scott Whyte, Offshore Geotechnical Engineer for Fugro

Discussion will focus on detailed structural design using a combination of time domain and spectral dynamic analysis techniques. Recommendations from the Pile Soil Analysis (PISA) joint industry project (Byrne et al., 2017) to develop site-specific soil reaction curves will be considered. Join the discussion to consider how the application of new geotechnical methodologies presents a number of challenges when applied in design projects with respect to the site characterisation for calibration of the numerical model, suitable rigorous approaches to consider cyclic loading and a suitable workflow for application of site-specific reaction curves (e.g. PISA type approach) within detailed structural analysis. Work presented will include a detailed description of the geotechnical and structural design analysis performed for the Seastar and Mermaid offshore substation platform, Belgium Sector North Sea.


Parallel Session 3:

Contracting Strategies

3:35pm – 4:15pm

Lars Kjuul Kristensen, Senior Consultant and Founder at Kjuul Consulting
Alfonso Alvarez, Foundations Package Manager for Empire Engineering 
Karl Davis, Managing Director for Empire Engineering

The use of EPCI contracts versus multi-contracting approaches will be presented, with a focus on why certain approaches are preferred and what the risks and benefits of these strategies are to developers, contractors and investors.


The OEM’s role for foundation design optimization

4:30pm – 4:45pm

Kenji Sato, Head of LAC & Tower Design for MHI Vestas Offshore Wind


How Intergrated Engineering Approaches Enable Support Structure Optimisation

4:45pm – 5:00pm

Sven Voormeeren, Head of Primary Structure Design at Siemens Gamesa

In this talk, it will be addressed how Siemens Gamesa, as a wind turbine supplier, is supporting the optimisation of the support structures for its offshore turbines. The key is in taking an integrated engineering approach, in which the calculation of environmental (waves, sea ice, …) and turbine loads as well as teh design of the tower and foundation structure is combined. The different topics will be illustrated with real life examples.


Closing Remarks

Time: 5:00pm – 5:15pm 



Time: 6:00pm – late

Join us at the Mud Dock, a short walking distance from MShed, to continue discussions over a local Bristol craft beer or glass of vino.