Byron Byrne BE(Hons) BCom MA DPhil

University Lecturer in Engineering Science, Fellow of St Catherine’s College

Contact or other contact details can be found here.

Current Research Interests | Consultancy | Current Teaching | The Oxford Science Park | Background | Publications | Other Links

Current Research Interests

My research is concerned with the mechanics of soil and applications associated with offshore engineering. I am currently working in two main areas:

a) Foundations for offshore structures: I am researching both shallow and deep foundations for offshore structures. I have been mostly interested in novel shallow foundations called suction caissons. Like an upturned bucket they are installed by creating a pressure differential between the inside and outside of the bucket. Using these foundations, in contrast to piling, may result in savings on installation and construction costs. They can be used for a variety of different offshore applications, in deep or shallow water, and for example there is significant potential for use in the offshore wind industry. I have also been interested in pile foundation behaviour, particularly under cyclic loading.

b) Offshore pipelines: The second research theme is associated with developing an understanding of the buckling and unburial behaviour of buried offshore oil and gas pipelines. This work has been funded by EPSRC and Technip UK Ltd.

A list of publications can be found at my publications page (publications). I am currently a member of the Géotechnique Advisory Panel and the Géotechnique Letters Advisory Panel. My research has been sponsored by the EPSRC, the DTI, the Royal Society of London and a variety of industrial sponsors. The Australian Research Council has also sponsored a research exchange program with the University of Western Australia. Further details about our group’s work can be found at the Offshore Structures and Foundations page and our Offshore Research Publications page.

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I am available for a range of consultancy work in civil, geotechnical and offshore engineering through Oxford University Consulting. Previous work has included desk studies through to managing, performing and interpreting complex laboratory, model and field testing programs. Please feel free to contact me at the above email address for further details.

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Current Teaching

I am currently teaching in the following areas:

  • Tutorials at St Catherine’s College on P3 Structures and Mechanics (first year) and A3 Structures, Materials and Dynamics (second year)
  • Lectures on “Introduction to Laboratory Work” to the first year.
  • Lectures on “Technical Writing and Communication Skills” to the second year.
  • Lectures on “Soil Mechanics Applications” to the third year.
  • Lectures on “Slope Stability” to the fourth year.
  • Lectures on “Mechanics of Soils” to the fourth year.
  • Co-ordinating a third year design project on “Design of Marine Renewable Energy Devices”
  • I demonstrate on Civil Engineering Laboratories for the third year and on Surveying for the second year.

I am currently supervising the following doctoral students:

  • Ms Elizabeth Williams (New College): Pipe-soil and pile-soil interaction effects (commenced 2010)
  • Mr Laith Tapper (Worcester College): Geotechnical engineering of foundations for offshore structures (commenced 2009)
  • Mr Deqiong Kong (Lincoln College). Commenced 2011.
  • Mr Yongwei Li (St Hugh’s College). Commenced 2011.
  • Ms Christelle Abadie (St Catherine’s College). Commenced 2011.

I am currently supervising the following fourth year project students:

  • Mr Simon Williamson (Mansfield College): Response of screw piles
  • Mr Sineth Weerasinghe (Mansfield College): Lateral loading of pipelines
  • Mr Tom Payne (Wadham College): Finite element analysis for geotechnical problems

I have supervised the following doctoral students who have now completed successfully:

  • Dr Jens Schupp (Mansfield College): Upheaval buckling and flotation of buried offshore pipelines (completed 2009)
  • Dr Oliver Cotter (Magdalen College): Foundation options for offshore wind turbines (completed 2009)
  • Dr Felipe Villalobos (Keble College): Model testing of foundations for offshore wind turbines (completed 2006)

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The Oxford Science Park

I have been involved with The Oxford Science Park since mid 2002 when I was appointed to the Joint Venture Executive responsible for managing and developing it. The Science Park is being developed by Magdalen College, Oxford and The Prudential with the aim of providing high-quality accommodation in an attractive environment for science and technology based companies of all sizes. More than 550,000 sq ft of office and laboratory space has been completed to date including the newly completed Fletcher House and the Sadler Building. A masterplan for the development can be found here, information about available property can be found here and some photos of the development can be found here.

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I am currently a University Lecturer in Civil Engineering at Oxford and a Tutorial Fellow at St Catherine’s College where I am also the Tutor for Admissions.

Previously I went to school in Esperance (Western Australia) before completing degrees in Engineering and Commerce at the University of Western Australia. I came across to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar to study for a doctorate in Engineering afterwhich I continued as a postdoctoral Research Fellow funded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. During that period I was also a College Lecturer in Engineering Science and ‘Prize Fellow’ at Magdalen College. I then took up a Departmental Lecturership in the Engineering Department and continued as an official Fellow at Magdalen College in a bursarial role (being responsible for the Oxford Science Park). Along the way I have worked in research at UWA and Oxford as well as consulting for Advanced Geomechanics.

Outside of academia I am interested in cricket and played for Oxford whilst a student gaining four Blues (1997 to 2000). I am also a playing member of the MCC. Previously, I played A Grade WACA cricket in Western Australia, as well as a two year stint in the Birmingham League.

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Other Links

There is an extensive set of civil engineering links on the Civil Engineering Home Page

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