Professor Susan Gourvenec PhD FIEAust FICE

I applied to become a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers because is an honour in the profession that I am proud to be a part of. The Fellowship provides the opportunity to be part of a community of similarly passionate and committed professionals, and provides a platform and chances of giving back to the profession.

Professor Susan Gourvenec
Professor Susan Gourvenec

Currently, I work for the University of Southampton as Professor of Offshore Geotechnical Engineering and Deputy Director of the Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute. I relocated back to the UK a couple of years ago having spent 17 years at the University of Western Australia.

My role at the University of Southampton is varied – I develop and deliver undergraduate and post-graduate teaching, supervise student research projects, lead programmes of research to advance engineering design and work on industry projects to apply research outcomes in practice. My leadership role of the Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute provides the opportunity to bring together more than 400 academics across all disciplines of the university and our large network of industry, government and community partners to provide multi-disciplinary solutions to marine and maritime challenges. I also chair the School of Engineering Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, coordinate the University’s corporate civil engineering scholarship scheme that matches undergraduates with industry sponsors for summer work placement and I represent the University of Southampton in the Worldwide University Network on the responding to climate change global challenge steering group.

Beyond my university role, I have been involved in international standards development for several years and was recently elected as Convenor of the ISO working group responsible for the development of international standards for offshore foundations and site investigation.

Over the course of my career, I have worked on projects that range from investigation of the performance of the Victorian tunnels in London to developing enabling technologies for construction in the deep ocean. Having the opportunity to work on projects that span the frontiers of engineering design of 150 years ago to the frontiers of today is fantastic. Although, irrespective of the scale, history or novelty of a project, it is the people that you work with that make a job interesting and rewarding.

My proudest achievement in civil engineering is training – and hopefully inspiring – students for a career in civil engineering. It is also always fantastic to see research outcomes being adopted in a commercial environment. I am also immensely proud of being elected a Fellow of the ICE.

Applying for Fellowship was a straightforward process. The team at ICE were very responsive if ever I had a question and three fellow engineers who I have known for most of my career generously sponsored my application with letters of support.

I was delighted when I opened the letter announcing that I had been elected as a Fellow of the ICE and excited by the prospect of what experiences it might lead to. Perhaps similar feelings to prospective university students opening their A-level results and finding what they hoped for.

I certainly never expected to be a Fellow of the ICE when I opened my A-level results, or indeed when I graduated and began my career. It has been a remarkable journey so far and I am looking forward to the road ahead.

Interested in becoming a Fellow of ICE?

The Fellowship guidance document provides full details on the process and the attributes you will need to demonstrate. Please read this document so that you are fully aware of what you need to provide with your application.

We also offer the option to assess your suitability for Fellowship before applying formally. If you would like this, please contact your Regional Support Team or the Fellowship Executive at [email protected] for advice. To obtain a preliminary assessment, you will need to send us an up-to-date CV (4 sheets of A4 maximum) setting out your personal achievements.

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