Meet our researchers – Xiuzhe


Xiuzhe, a PhD student from Delft University of Technology, sheds light on his research into the cyclic response of offshore pile foundations. With a background in soil consolidation and spatial variability, Xiuzhe discusses his motivation for joining FRONTIErS DN, emphasising its high-quality training and collaborative philosophy. He sees collaboration as key to deepening research on offshore pile foundations, ensuring it aligns closely with real-world scenarios. Xiuzhe shares personal experiences that drew him to the project and outlines his transition from a learner to an explorer within FRONTIErS DN. He highlights the transformative impact of the MSCA fellowship on his career aspirations, considering it a gateway to expanded horizons.

Can you provide a brief introduction of yourself and your project within the FRONTIErS DN?

I am a PhD student of Prof. Ken Gavin. My previous research interests were to study the effects of soil consolidation and spatial variability on the elastic behaviour of spudcans foundations. His main research project in FRONTIErS project is the cyclic response of offshore pile foundations.

What motivated you to apply to FRONTIErS DN?

After learning more about it, I found that the FRONTIErS is very high quality for the training and education of doctoral candidates, and it was the best choice for me to join this project. At the same time, I like to communicate and collaborate, which aligns with the philosophy of the FRONTIErS DN.

What drives your passion for the work you have done so far and the work you will do within FRONTIErS?

The FRONIErS project on offshore wind power is a frontier issue of offshore geotechnical engineering, in which I have a keen research interest and some research base or experience. The spatial variability and soil consolidation involved in the FRONIErS project are closely related to my research experience, and cyclic loading is also the research topic I am most interested in.

I will study the effect of cyclic tension loading on the mechanical behaviour of offshore pile foundations in the FRONTIErS project.

How do you believe collaboration enhances the effectiveness of FRONTIErS DN?

The FRONTIErS DN covers all aspects of offshore pile foundations, from soil properties and behaviour to pile mechanical properties. Each of the 11 participants in the FRONTIErS DN will study one aspect of the project, and I believe that the cooperation between them can make the research on offshore pile foundation more in-depth, and closer to the real situation. For example, soil consolidation behaviour can be combined with the cyclic response of pile foundations to promote the whole-life design of offshore pile foundations.

Can you share any personal stories or experiences that have shaped your decision to apply?

My previous research experience is the effect of soil spatial variability and soil consolidation on the elastic behavior of offshore spudcan foundations. This is highly relevant for FRONTIErS DN. When I first learned about this project, I was very interested in this project, and this project also fits well with my personal research experience. I think this is the key to deciding to apply and successfully apply to the FRONTIErS DN.

What are your future goals and aspirations as a member of the FRONTIErS DN?

I hope to make good use of the platform and opportunity provided by FRONTIErS DN to continuously explore the frontier and unknown knowledge gaps of offshore engineering, and promote the safe design of offshore pile foundations.

How do you envision your role evolving and contributing to the FRONTIErS DN success?

I hope that after participating in FRONTIErS DN, I can gradually change from a learner to an explorer, just as FRONTIErS means to explore the unknown and explore the frontier.

How do you anticipate your MSCA fellowship will impact your broader career aspirations?

I think the MSCA fellowship will give me the opportunity to meet more excellent people and expand my horizons, MSCA fellowship is not only an honour for me but also a key to a higher and farther world.

What message or key takeaway would you like to convey to the public about FRONTIErS?

I want to convey to the public the importance of FRONTIErS for the safe and reliable design/operation of offshore pile foundations. This is a significant project.

Can you provide insights or advice for individuals interested in pursuing similar programs and fellowships?

Follow your ideas and interests, strive to improve your abilities, and there will always be programs and fellowships for you.

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