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Image of Charles AubenyDr. Charles Aubeny, a professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, has produced a new guidebook on groundbreaking geotechnical research titled Geomechanics of Marine Anchors, creating a reference of knowledge based on the construction of offshore anchors for floating structures.

“In the past, these structures have been crucial for installations in the oil and natural gas industry,” Aubeny said. “Now we’re seeing more development in areas like renewable installations for offshore energy.”

According to Aubeny, many disciplines come together to make the construction and implementation of these offshore installations possible. An oil and gas company developing an offshore rig or an entity developing a renewable energy installation may be able to bring on a team to design the installations themselves, but not typically will those individuals know the specifics of designing an offshore anchor. Specific knowledge of these anchors is usually limited to a geotechnical research specialist, and Aubeny saw the need to provide a guidebook on these anchors for both academic and industry use.

“There are a lot of conventional geotechnical books that look at gravity foundations, and there are a lot of research papers out there on anchors, but they are scattered all over the place,” Aubeny said. “I think students and practitioners will see a lot of use out of this because of the literature on the topic. For practitioners, they're knowledgeable about engineering but are not necessarily specialists in geotechnical floating structures, and this can give them information they need.”

These offshore anchors also have applications beyond the energy industry and can be used for harbor security systems or any application where a floating structure is required. Fixed structures, or structures that are built into the seafloor, are limited to a little over 1,000 feet of sea depth. As human offshore expansion continues, demand for offshore structures will increase, and so will the need for students and practitioners to have a quality reference.

“I’m really excited that students and practitioners can use this book as a guidebook for these anchors and give them an authoritative overview of the anchor design information that is out there,” Aubeny said.