COFS was established in 1997 to better understand Australian subsea oils and develop adequate foundation solutions. Today it provides pioneering solutions and technical expertise to oil and gas companies around the world.
Led by Winthrop Professor Mark Cassidy, the Centre manages highly sophisticated modelling, experimental facilities and the services of one of the largest teams of internationally recognised researchers and consulting engineers in offshore geomechanics world-wide.
COFS works closely with industry, in particular through UWA's Energy and Minerals Institute, focusing increasingly on deep-water developments and geohazards. In October 2014 COFS close ties with industry led to the establishment of a new industry-funded Chair at COFS in October 2014, i.e. The Fugro Chair in Geotechnics
COFS is engaged in research on the mechanics of seabed sediments, offshore foundations systems and pipeline engineering. Through its wide spectrum of expertise and activities COFS provides pivotal support to the engineering community and has developped commercially successful processes and equipment, such as a new anchor system, sold under license to industry.
Unique facilities enable COFS to conduct a wide range of laboratory tests for industry, academic partners and clients. COFS is the only centre of its kind in Australia and the only testing and modelling facility in the southern hemisphere to have both a beam and drum centrifuge:
The UWA O-Tube simulator is the only facility of its kind in the world. It is a key tool for improving engineering designs, promoting safety, reducing human and environmental risks and optimizing infrastructure investment. Together, the large and mini O-Tube are revolutionizing research on pipeline stability design and sediment transport.
Their Centrifuge facilities, with a 3.6 m diameter fixed beam centrifuge and a second 1.2m drum centrifuge is used extensively for both industry and academic testing and research. A third 10 m diameter centrifuge is housed in the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, which will make COFS the only geotechnical modelling facility in the world with three centrifuges.
Additionally their Geotechnical Testing Laboratory hosts an extensive library of offshore soils collected for our industrial testing and fundamental research programs.