Foundations for offshore wind turbines

Engineering and soil-structure considerations of monopile foundations

The offshore wind sector is skyrocketing worldwide, with a steady trend towards installations in deeper waters and harsher environments. This course addresses one of the main challenges posed by such a trend: the optimisation of foundation systems.

The course covers geotechnical knowledge relevant to the design of wind turbine foundations, with focus on large-diameter monopiles. Core contents include soil behaviour and site characterisation, monopile installation and performance during operations (lateral capacity, stiffness, cyclic response, scour protection).

Geotechnical concepts and design approaches are linked to the engineering of wind turbine structures, with an open window on the latest R&D developments made in Delft (Delft University of Technology and Deltares). Each day includes practical sessions and offers room for lively interaction between lecturers and attendees.

Optimise foundation systems: from design to implementation

By the end of the course, attendees will be able to:

  • recognise pros and cons of different foundation systems for offshore wind turbines;
  • describe site selection drivers and strategies for site/laboratory soil characterisation;
  • identify site conditions (un)favourable to monopile installation (driveability analysis);
  • estimate lateral capacity/stiffness of monopiles;
  • understand the implications of environmental cyclic loading on the operational performance of monopiles;
  • link foundation response to wind turbine performance;
  • describe the mechanisms of seabed scour around monopiles and common countermeasures (scour protection).


Intended for

This course is meant for a wide range of professionals involved in the design, construction and management of offshore wind farms. Participants with a background in engineering – not limited to geotechnical – will make the most of this course in which fundamental understanding and practical application are equally prioritised.

This course is taught entirely in English


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  • Information
    Trainer: Dhr. Dr. F Pisanò (TU Delft Faculteit Civiele Techniek en Geowetenschappen (CiTG))
    Course data: 2 and 3 november 2020
    Day format: course during daytime
    Location: Delft, the Netherlands
    Price: € 1,250.00 ex. vat
    Price includes all course materials
    In cooperation with: DOB-academy
    The program will be taught in English.
  • Program

    Tentative Program

    Day 1

    Introduction F. Pisanò, Delft University of Technology

    Offshore wind industry

    ir. N. Diepeveen, DOB-Academy

    Site characterisation for offshore wind farms (part I)
    Technical considerations for site selection; soil classification; site investigation (geophysical and CPT)

    T. Vermaas MSc, Deltares

    Site characterisation for offshore wind farms (part II)
    Laboratory soil testing (monotonic and cyclic loading)

    dr. A. Askarinejad, Delft University of Technology

    Fundamentals of soil behaviour  
    General features of soil behaviour; response to cyclic loading F. Pisanò, Delft University of Technology

    Structural considerations in OWT design
    Description of OWT structural components; environmental loading; structural design drivers (capacity, natural frequency, fatigue)

    ir. T. Kamphuis, DOB-Academy

    Practical class about support structures

    Foundation systems for OWTs
    OWT foundations: different types and use; monopile foundations; overview of geotechnical issues in monopile design (driveability, ULS/SLS/FLS, influence of soil type)

    prof. dr. K.G. Gavin, Delft University of Technology

    Day 2:

    Monopile installation and capacity
    Installation methods (impact/vibratory driving), drivability analysis and difficult installation scenarios; capacity-based design (failure mechanisms, p-y curves, CPT-based analysis)

    prof. dr. K.G. Gavin, Delft University of Technology

    Soil-monopile interaction under cyclic loading
    Features of cyclic interaction and observations (natural frequency shifts, tilting); methods of analysis (p-y, macroelements, 3D FE) and open questions; links to structural design F. Pisanò, Delft University of Technology

    Seabed scour around monopiles
    Seabed dynamics in wind farms; scour around monopiles (observations/prediction); scour protection

    ir. T. Raaijmakers, Deltares

    Practical class about monopile foundations

    Advanced topics and Delft research
    Physical modelling of soil-monopile interaction + advanced simulation of monopile installation (MPM)

    A. Elkadi PhD CEng, Deltares and Dr. A. Askarinejad, Delft University of Technology

  • Reviews
    This course is assessed with a 7.8
    “Nice course, with good balance of topics and great practical exercises for intuitive feel.”
    Antonios Emmanouil (Deltares)
    “I'm satisfied. I've received many starting points and learned a lot. I enjoyed the lessons and the practical sessions.”
    Participant working for an Italian university
    “Really interesting topic about the soil description and geotechnics. Good to have different profiles of teachers and participants.”
    Timothée Pire (Parkwind)