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Mr Giuliano Pretti

Research Associate

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Research Associate in the Department of EngineeringE247 (Higginson) 


Giuliano Pretti is a PhD student in the Department of Engineering at Durham University, with a concentration in computational mechanics. Before coming to Durham, he received an MS (cum laude) in Civil Engineering at the University of Brescia in 2018. As part of his Master's thesis, he developed theoretical studies for non-linear constitutive relationships. His current research focuses on the use of the Material Point Method for modelling drag anchors for cable risks assessment. This project falls within the EPSRC funded Prosperity Partnership, in collaboration with Ørsted.

Research Project

The continuous expansion of the offshore renewables industry as part of the de-carbonisation process leads to a number of new engineering challenges, one of which is the maintenance and management of offshore infrastructure. Among these, cables laid from the position of the wind turbine generators to the mainland constitute exposed facilities, due to their long route and external menaces. The most onerous among these threats is considered to be strike from anchors deployed by vessels in the proximity of the cable. As the position of such anchoring cannot be known a priori, the protection of the cables can be guaranteed only by a proper burial depth. Giuliano’s research aims at determining this depth depending on soil conditions via numerical analyses modelling of the anchor installation process. The Material Point Method (MPM) has proved to be a reliable tool for other problems when dealing with very large deformations (like those in the anchor problem) and therefore the numerical analyses describing the anchor behaviour in this project are based on this method.