Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence Geotechnical Science and Engineering

Mr Jingbin Zheng


  • Assistant Professor Shazzad Hossain
  • Assistant Professor Dong Wang
  • Professor Mark Randolp

Research Interests

  • Large deformation finite element methods
  • Numerical modelling of soft soil behaviours
  • Offshore spudcan installation
  • Cone penetration test

Research Topic

Numerical Modelling of Spudcan and Cone Penetration in Multilayer Soils

Research Abstract

Nowadays, a jack-up unit typically consists of three independent truss work legs; each of them is attached to a large 10-20m (even larger) diameter inverted conical footing. These are colloquially called spudcans. With these foundations, jack-up units have the self-installation capacity. However, highly stratified soil conditions with an interbedded strong layer overlying a weak layer always cause significant problems during the installation process.

The proposed study will produce a practical predictive procedure for spudcan penetration into multilayer soils through numerical analyses of spudcan and cone penetration test encompassing soil profiles from the field case histories and physical modelling, and will finally extend these to cover the full range of conditions relevant for practice. Outcomes of the research will not only complement the developments in the design approach for spudcan penetration, but also help enhance the numerical capacities for large deformation finite element analyses.

Why my research is important

Due to the flexibility, mobility and cost-effectiveness, nowadays self-elevating jack-up rigs are being used in most offshore drilling. However, unpredictable jack-up foundation performance during installation regular leads rig damage, lost production time and project delay with severe cost implications, and at worst can endanger personnel. The proposed study will provide a direct link between spudcan penetration performance and field penetrometer data to quantify the risk of punch-through and thus reduce the time scale and costs of current engineering calculations.


  • Scholarship for International Research Fees (SIRF)
  • University International Scholarship (UIS)
  • UIS Safety Net Top Up
  • Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd