Dr Michael Brown


Civil Engineering, School of Science and Engineering

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+44 (0)1382 384354


Fulton Building


Mike joined the University of Dundee as a Lecturer in 2005, following his PhD research and Research Associate positions at the University of Sheffield.  Prior to returning to academia he worked in industry for four years in railway and underground structures as a main contractor and as a tunnelling consultant.  He is currently a Reader in Civil Engineering.

His expertise includes 1-g physical and centrifuge modelling of soil-structure interaction problems, field and case study investigations and specialist element testing.  His research interests fall into three main areas:

  • Offshore Geotechnical Engineering
  • Foundations and anchoring for offshore renewable energy applications
  • Deep foundations and pile testing

This research has been supported by funding from the UK Research Councils, the European Commission, and industrial organisations to a total value of over £6.5M.

He is the current Convenor of CEN/TC 341/WG 7: Non-static tests on piles which has resulted in the publication of two ISO/EN standards on pile testing. He is a UK representative on the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Technical Committee TC212: Deep Foundations. He is a full member of the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) Offshore Site Investigation Group (OSIG) and a steering group member for the Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) Oil and Gas theme. He currently serves on the Géotechnique journal Advisory Panel and is an international member of the JGS Soils and Foundations Journal.  He is former Chairman of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Scottish Geotechnical Group (2011-2014) and the Proceedings of the ICE: Geotechnical Engineering Journal (2011-2014).

He is also an editor and author of the Institution of Civil Engineers Manual of Geotechnical Engineering.

Academic background

2004    PhD Geotechnical Engineering, University of Sheffield
Thesis title: The Rapid Load Testing of Piles in Fine Grained Soils.

1995    BEng (Hons) Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Bradford 


2016-              Reader in Civil Engineering, University of Dundee

2011-2016       Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, University of Dundee

2005-2011       Lecturer in Civil Engineering, University of Dundee

1999-2005       Research Associate, University of Sheffield

1996-1999       Design Engineer, Donaldson Associates Limited

1995-1996       Site Engineer, Mowlem Civil Engineering

1993-1994       Fugro (McClelland) Engineers BV and Pte

Professional memberships

  • Institution of Civil Engineers (Graduate Member)
  • British Geotechnical Association (Member)
  • International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE; Member)

Professional roles

  • CEN/TC 341/WG 7: Non-static tests on piles – Convenor of technical Committee
  • ISSMGE – National Representative, Technical Committee TC212 (Deep Foundations)
  • Editorial Board, Géotechnique
  • Editorial Board, JGS Soils and Foundations Journal
  • BSi B/526/03 Site investigation & ground testing - Corresponding member
  • Chairman of the Editorial Board, Proceedings of the ICE: Geotechnical Engineering Journal (2011-2014)
  • Chairman of the ICE Scottish Geotechnical Group (ICE SGG) (2011-2014)
  • British Geotechnical Association, Committee Member (2008-2011)


Offshore Geotechnical Engineering:

Mike’s research in this area has in the main been undertaken directly for industry or with strong industrial collaboration looking at improving the understanding the processes of involved with pipeline and cable burial as well as novel offshore foundation systems.  Particular topic areas include:

  • Improved prediction models for pipeline and cable plough performance
  • Pipeline and cable installation subject to geohazards and difficult ground conditions
  • Design of novel high-performance foundation systems for V-H loading

Key projects:

  • Seabed ploughing: modelling for infrastructure installation. EPSRC Research Grant EP/M000362/1.
  • ISGCUBIP: Investigation of the critical SG for cables and umbilicals during various backfilling and installation processes. Energy Technology Partnership (ETP)/Subsea 7 funded project.

Foundations and anchoring for offshore renewable energy applications

Research here is focussed on the development of novel foundation and anchoring systems for marine renewable energy and aquaculture that can lower the cost of renewables and allow exploitation of more challenging development locations.  This includes:

  • Development of novel foundation and anchor concepts with low environmental impact (e.g. screw anchors)
  • The role of anchoring in the holistic design of marine renewable energy systems
  • Development of numerical and analytical tools for simulating foundation and anchor performance

Key projects:

  • SAFS – Development of Screw Anchors for Floating marine renewable energy System arrays incorporating anchor sharing.  EU H2020 Marie SkŁodowska-Curie Actions: Individual Fellowships H2020-MSCA-IF-2016, Grant no. 753156.
  • EPSRC Supergen Windhub: Grand Challenge project: Screw piles for wind energy foundation systems. EPSRC Research Grant EP/N006054/1.
  • Scottish Marine Renewables Test Centre for Materials & Foundations (SMART) ERD Programme 2007-2013 (Priority 1) (LUPS/ERDF/2013/10/1/0075).

GeoWAVE: Geotechnical and mooring design solutions for the offshore renewable wave energy industry.  EU FP7, Grant no. 287056: Research for the benefit of SME’s.

View full research profile and publications