School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Nianzhong Chen

Senior Lecturer in Ships and Offshore Structures



I received my Bachelor (Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering) and Master (Structural Engineering) degrees  at Wuhan University of Technology, China. I have two PhD degrees. One is received in Engineering Mechanics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China and the other is received in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal. Before I joined Newcastle University in 2014, I worked for marine and offshore oil and gas industry on structural design rule development for marine and offshore structures, advanced R&D, structural integrity management (SIM) of offshore floating structures, practical solutions, incident investigation, etc.

Previous Positions

  • 2007 - 2014 Technical leader, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Houston, TX, USA
  • 2007            Post-doctoral fellow, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
  • 2006 - 2007 Post-doctoral fellow, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong  


  • PhD               Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal
  • PhD               Engineering Mechanics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
  • MEng (Hons)  Structural Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, China
  • BEng (Hons)  Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, China

Editorial Board Member

  • Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering (ASME). Associate Editor


  • Member, The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME)
  • Member, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)




Research Interests

My research is primarily focused on:

  • Merchant ships, offshore floating structures (i.e. FPSO, Semi, TLP), offshore subsea engineering (i.e. Riser, Pipeline), offshore wind turbines, composite structures.
  • Ultimate strength, fatigue, fracture mechanics analysis/engineering critical assessment (ECA) for ship structures, offshore floating structures, risers, and pipelines.
  • Offshore mooring analysis, hydrodynamics analysis, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis
  • Structural reliability assessment, risk-based inspection (RBI), structural integrity management (SIM), life-cycle management.
  • Structural nonlinear FEM development
  • Multi-scale modelling
  • Arctic engineering, numerical simulation of ice - ship collisions.
  • Random field analysis and stochastic FEM development.
  • Wave Scale boundary FEM for wave and hydrodynamics.

Current Research Work

  • Structural condition assessment and risk-based inspection planning (RBI) for ship and offshore structures
  • Engineering critical assessment (ECA) for ship and offshore structures 
  • Structural integrity management (SIM) for subsea pipelines
  • Fatigue assessment for offshore floating wind turbines
  • Mooring analysis for offshore structures
  • Vortex-induced vibration (VIV) induced fatigue assessment for risers and pipelines
  • 3D scaled boundary FEM solution of short-crested wave diffraction
  • Multi-scale spectral stochastic finite element analysis for composite laminates

Esteem Indicators

International Scientific/Technical Committees:

  • Member of Scientific Committee (Structures, Safety and Reliability) OMAE (ASME)
  • Member of ISSC Committee (V.7 - Structural Longevity)

Editorial Board Member of the Following Journals:

  • Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering (ASME). Associate Editor

Technical Reviewer for the Following Journals:

  • International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering (John Wiley & Sons Ltd);
  • Reliability Engineering & System Safety (Elsevier);
  • International Journal of Fatigue (Elsevier);
  • Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics (Elsevier);
  • Engineering Structures (Elsevier);
  • Marine Structures (Elsevier);
  • Ocean Engineering (Elsevier);
  • Journal of Marine Science and Technology (Springer);
  • Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering (ASME);
  • Ships and Offshore Structures (Taylor & Francis)

International Conference Organising Committees:

  • The 6th International Conference on Marine Structures - MARSTRUCT 2017, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal;
  • The International Conference on Maritime Technology and Engineering - MARTECH 2016, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal;
  • The 16th International Congress of the International Maritime Association of the Mediterranean - IMAM 2015, University of Rijeka, Croatia;
  • The International Conference on Maritime Technology and Engineering - MARTECH 2014, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal;
  • The 15th International Congress of the International Maritime Association of the Mediterranean - IMAM 2013, University of A Coruna, Spain

Postgraduate Research Supervision

  • PhD supervisor for Chen Cheng (2017 - ); 
  • PhD supervisor for Ankang Cheng (2015 - );
  • PhD supervisor for Junyi Wu (2015 - );
  • PhD supervisor for Xutian Xue (2015 - );
  • PhD supervisor (with Prof L Tao) for Ayman Badawy  (2014 - );
  • PhD supervisor (with Prof L Tao and Dr Y Pu) for Serena Lim (2011 - 2016); Completed;
  • PhD supervisor (with Prof L Tao and Dr Y Pu) for Dr. Jaime Torres-Lopez (2011 - 2015): Completed;

Research Team in Ship and Offshore Structures Group

  • Prof Yunhua Guo (Wuhan University of Technology, China)
  • Mr Chen Cheng, PhD candidate
  • Mr Ankang Cheng, PhD candidate;
  • Mr Junyi Wu, PhD candidate;
  • Mr Xutian Xue, PhD candidate;
  • Mr Ayman Badawy, PhD candidate


Undergraduate Teaching

  • MAR3034 - Ship Design (module leader)
  • MAR3035 - Offshore Design
  • MAR3041 - Offshore Engineering
  • MAR3044 - Project and Report in Naval Architecture
  • MAR3045 - Project and Report in Offshore Engineering
  • MAR3046 - Project and Report in Small Craft Technology

Postgraduate Teaching

  • MAR8070 - Mooring, Riser and Drilling Systems (module leader)
  • MAR8069 - Advanced Naval Architecture (module leader)