Innovation, research and development

Fugro is recognised for providing cost saving, out-of-the-box solutions in challenging situations. Our experience means that we can identify and expedite opportunities that arise during development projects and we have been central to numerous significant innovations. Benefiting from strong links with external research groups, we utilise their expertise and/or equipment to enhance our services.

Our expertise is complemented by strong links with academia and other research groups, enabling us to offer a range of services:

  • We prepare specifications of physical testing programmes to investigate the behaviour of a given structure location on or in a soil profile, liaise with the testing facility and interpret the results. This results in more refined estimates of input parameters for analysis (for example friction factors for pipe-soil interaction) which consequently optimises designs and reduces risks and conservatisms in design.
  • Identifying situations where current design methods are not fully applicable for a structure, we define studies to investigate the likely behaviour of the structure (such as a foundation with non-standard geometry or loading). The study results are used to calibrate the available analysis techniques for the structure under consideration (and sometimes for future applications).
  • We develop improvements to foundation configurations; we also develop new foundation types where strict constraints prevent the use of conventional design solutions. This may utilise numerical and/or modelling analyses to prove the effectiveness of a proposed design.
  • Our vast geotechnical and geological expertise enables us to apply state-of-the-art solutions.

Some applications of our innovation:

  • Through strong relationships with external groups, such as research institutions and specialist consultants, we have access to testing facilities including geotechnical centrifuge, o-tube flume and advanced soil testing apparatus. We specify and supervise tests on foundations or pipelines to assess engineering aspects such as scour, soil-structure interaction and foundation response.
  • Amongst our novel subsea structures at the cutting edge of design are in-line structures (such as FLETS). These are designed to compliantly slide around the seabed, absorbing rather than resisting flowline expansion and represent an elegant solution to the familiar challenge of minimising the size and weight of in-line structures.
  • Our understanding of the scour effects around seabed infrastructure, especially pipelines, is unique and has involved extraction of quantitative data concerning the scour-induced embedment of flowlines, which can dominate their performance. These assessments go hand-in-hand with free-field sediment mobility studies. Our sedimentary and metocean specialists work together to anticipate changes in the seabed over time.
  • To address a host of complex geotechnical problems we have developed a range of unique design methods and tools including:
    • Cycle-by-cycle axial and lateral loading response of piles in soil and soft rock
    • Extrusion buckling of piles during installation
    • Monotonic and cyclic response of shallow foundations in soil and soft rock
    • Analysis of drag anchor response
    • Pipe-soil interaction analysis procedures

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