Research Professor

Dr. Li Ya, born in 1974, is a professor at the Frontier and Interdisciplinary Institute of Southern University of Science and Technology. He is the tenth batch of long-term innovation experts in the Central Organization Department, ISO (International Standards Organization) and API (American Petroleum Institute) marine geotechnical engineering. Member of the Technical Committee (2012-present). Professor Li Ya has long been committed to the production and research activities in the frontier of marine geotechnical engineering. He has worked for international famous companies such as Fugro, Arup and Technip, and has presided over the geotechnical planning and design implementation of a series of large-scale marine energy development projects. Or participated in many research and development activities on hotspots and frontier issues of marine geotechnical engineering, and deeply and systematically mastered the key technologies in the field of marine geotechnical engineering and geological disasters. It is an expert in marine geotechnical engineering widely recognized by the international engineering community. Professor Li Ya was the chief expert of marine geotechnical engineering of CNOOC Research Institute from 2012 to 2017. He organized and perfected the survey, testing and analysis technology of CNOOC Deepwater Project. He drafted the Guide for Marine Geotechnical Investigation and Design Analysis. >amp;quot;, and served as a technical consultant for large-scale marine oil and gas projects such as Liuhua, Lingshui, Enping, and Luda, and ensured the smooth implementation of the project in the professional field. Professor Li Ya has published more than 20 academic papers.

Educational Background

B.S., Geotechnics. Tongji University, 1996.
M.S., Geotechnics. Tongji University, 1999.
Ph.D., Geotechnics. Texas A&M University, 2002.

Professional Experience

He has worked for international famous companies such as Fugro, Arup and Technip. Professor Li Ya was the chief expert of marine geotechnical engineering of CNOOC Research Institute from 2012 to 2017.


Geotechnical Advisor, CNOOC, 05/12 to 05/17

Provided direct geotechnical support and guidance to major petro-developments offshore China (LiWan3-1, EnPing, LiuHua, LingShui )

Initiated and lead in implementing two corporate level research projects of CNOOC: 1) Soil depositional and engineering characteristics on the northern slope of South China Sea; 2) Pipeline scour and the induced on-bottom instability and span hazard on the northern shelf of South China Sea, assessed with a dynamic, 3D, and probabilistic approach.

Help COSL (China Oilfield Services Limited, a subsidiary of CNOOC) improve the offshore geotechnical investigation capabilities by synchronizing field and laboratory equipments, and establishing state-of-the-art testing procedures and interpretation method especially within the framework of critical state soil mechanics.

Principal Geotechnical Engineer, Technip USA, Inc., Houston, TX, 01/07 to 05/12

Lead the geotechnical effort in major offshore developments; Provided geotechnical advices and design services for the following representative projects:

BP, Mad Dog Phase II, GoM – Geotechnical support to the overall field development: geohazard consequence assessment, field layout optimization, geotechnical planning, soil-flowline/riser interaction modeling, and foundation concept development. Performed consequence analyses of subsea infrastructures (flowline, trees, PLET, jumpers, wells) with respect to mudslide impact and fault movement. The field is crowded with many active faults, numerous escarpments, slumps and other forms of geohazards.

Chevron, Gehem-Gendalo Development, Offshore Indonesia - Soil parameter interpretation, and soil-riser/pipeline interaction modeling.

Exxon and etc., Marine Well Containment System (MWCS), Gulf of Mexico – Attend bid and provided technical guidance for the FEED and detail design.

Chevron, CRX fixed platform, Offshore West Africa, Driven pile assessment in difficult soils.

Tullow, Jubilee, Offshore Ghana – Soil parameter interpretation, and detail design of suction piles as supporting foundations for manifolds and riser bases, and hold back anchors for riser tethers.

Chevron, Jack& St. Malo, GoM – Soil–SCR interaction modeling; Subsea foundation conceptual design.

Chevron, Big Foot, GoM – Conceptual design of moorings piles for SPAR in the Pre-FEED study.

PetroBras, Cascade & Chinook, GoM – Bid (conceptual design), detailed engineering, fabrication and installation support of suction piles that will be station-keeping the world deepest vertical free-standing hybrid riser (FSHR); Designed PLET mudmats. As for TLP foundations, the FSHR piles are subject to stepped and sustained upwards forces but with no redundancy (reliability critical).

Murthy, Kikeh, South China Sea, Malaysia, – Conceptual design and detailed engineering of the mooring pile replacement system; Conducted drivability and constructability assessment.

Chevron, Tahiti, GoM, – Mooring pile replacement, drivability & constructability assessment.

BHPB, Shenzi, GoM – Designed the initiation suction pile for subsea installation; Designed hold back piles for SCRs; Designed PLET mudmats.

ExxonMobil, Arkutun Dagi, Sakhalin II, Russia – Conceptual design of GBS foundation.

BP, Dorado, GoM – Designed the hold back pile for SCRs

Murphy, Azurite, Offshore West Africa – Conceptual design of suction piles supporting the multi-phase pump skid.

BP, Thunder Horse, GoM – SCT foundation design.

ExxonMobil, Zafiro, Offshore West Africa – UTA foundation design review.

Geotechnical/Lead Geotechnical Engineer, Arup Energy, Houston, TX, 03/06 to 01/07

Responsible for the geotechnical/foundation deliverables in various design stages; Acquired considerable experience on GBS foundation design and seismic design. Representative projects included:

OMV, Maari Wellhead Platform, Offshore New Zealand – Soil parameter interpretation; Detailed engineering of GBS foundations; Scour assessment.

Sempra Energy, Costa Azul Breakwater, Baja California – Owner’s engineer, geotechnical planning and soil parameter interpretation, technical review of the GBS foundation design of the world deepest breakwater; Oversaw the construction and installation;

ConocoPhillips, Compass Port, Gulf of Mexico – FEED design of the gravity based foundation for the first offshore LNG receiving terminal in the world.

Brass, Brass LNG, Offshore Nigeria – Conceptual and FEED design of the breakwater foundation.

Apache, Van Gogh Field, Offshore West Australia – Project manager of offshore geotechnical site investigation.

Geotechnical Engineer in Special Projects Group, Fugro-McClelland Marine Geosciences, Inc., Houston, TX, 01/03 to 03/06

Performed a wide spectrum of offshore foundation design and analyses; Played a key role in supporting the in-house R&D projects on suction pile, tension pile, torpedo pile, slope stability, and gas-hydrate; Developed numerous tools that are used routinely in the company

Exxon, Kizomba and Xikomba, Offshore West Africa –Suction pile design and installation analysis.

BP, Thunder Horse, GoM – Mooring pile (suction pile) design and installation analysis.

BP, Holstein, GoM – Mooring pile (suction pile) design and installation analysis.

Kerr-McGee, Constitution, GoM – Tension pile design & drivability assessment.

Numerous projects on driven pile design for conventional fixed platforms.

Numerous offshore geotechnical site investigation projects – geotechnical data acquisition and interpretation through conventional and advanced laboratory tests, and in-situ tests.

Taylor Energy, Mississippi Canyon Block 20, GoM – Seafloor instability study and post failure analyses after Hurricane Ivan.

Shell, Gumusut, South China Sea, Malaysia – Geohazard study on gas-hydrate.

Unocal, Gendalo, South China Sea, Indonesia – Geohazard study on gas-hydrate.

Unocal, Ranggas, South China Sea, Indonesia – Geohazard study on gas-hydrate, and foundation conceptual design for TLP. This is the first comprehensive geo-hazard study on gas-hydrate of deepwater in the industry, and the project served as the “go-by” for following gas-hydrate studies.

Doctoral Research Assistant, Texas Transportation Institute (Texas A&M University), College Station, TX, 09/99 to 12/02

Investigated the onset and subsequent development of bridge scour; Developed a systematic approach to predict bridge pier scour and contraction scour (NCHRP Report 24-15).

Helped organize the First International Conference of Scour of Foundations (ICSF-1) and presided the prediction event technical session.

Geotechnical Design Engineer, Shanghai Metro Corporation, China, 07/97 to 07/99

Participated the design and construction of two underground subway stations in congested urban areas of Shanghai.

Master Research Assistant, Shanghai Soft Soil Research Center, Tongji University, Shanghai, China, 07/96 to 07/97

Developed a new method to model the ground movement around deep excavations in soft clay and realized it using programming language.


Dr. Li has authored and co-authored over 20 publications, and numerous technical reports. Selected publications are shown below:

Engineering Characterizations of Cohesive Soils in the Northern Region of South China Sea, ASCE Special Publication, 2017.

Large deformation analysis and flow mechanism study of the soil during pile penetration, Engineering Mechanics of China, 2016

Experimental Study of the Cyclic Behaviors of Clay in Northern Region of South China Sea, Rock and Soil Mechanics of China, 2016

Numerical Study of Spudcan Penetration Induced Loading on an Adjacent Jacket Pile in Soft Clays,ISOPE-2015。

On the Relocation Distance of Suction Piles, ISOPE 2012

Is Scour Important for Pile Foundation in Deepwater? OTC, May 2009, Houston TX

Validation of the Use of Beam-Column Method for Suction Caisson Design, International Symposium on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics (ISFOG), Sep.19 –21, 2005, Perth, Australia.

The SRICOS-EFA Method for Contraction Scour in Fine Grained Soils, Journal of Geotechnical and Geo-Environmental Engineering, Vol 131, Number 10, October 2005, ASCE, USA

The SRICOS-EFA Method for Complex Piers in Fine Grained Soils, Journal of Geotechnical and Geo-Environmental Engineering, Vol 130, Number 11, November 2004, ASCE, USA.

Shear Stress Approach to Pier Scour Predictions, First International Conference on Scour of Foundations, Nov. 17-20, 2002, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA, P 156-161.

Bed Shear Stress around Rectangular Pier: Numerical Approach, First International Conference on Scour of Foundations, Nov. 17-20, 2002, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA, P242-256.

An New Algorithm to Evaluate Slope Stabilities and Its Application in Practice, Journal of Architecture Technology, V31, No 2, 2000, ISSN 1000-4726, China.

Improvements to the Soil Compensation Theory in Deep Excavations, Journal of Underground Engineering and Tunnel, V01, 2000, ISSN 1008-0910, China.