Imperial College London

Professor David Potts

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering




+44 (0)20 7594 6084d.potts




505Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





GCG Professor of Geotechnical Engineering

After graduation from Kings College, London, Professor Potts undertook research at Cambridge University into the collapse of shallow tunnels which involved extensive experimental and analytical studies. From Cambridge he went to the Shell Research Laboratories, Rijswijk, Holland where he worked on experimental and theoretical problems involved in the cyclic loading of clay, on the development of numerical methods for analysing the foundation behaviour of marine gravity structures, on the stresses in oil well casings, and on the stability of offshore pipelines.

Since 1979 Professor Potts has been a member of the academic staff at Imperial College, responsible for teaching the use of analytical methods in geomechanics and the design of slopes, foundations and earth retaining structures, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He currently holds the position of Head of Geotechnics. Professor Potts has worked extensively on the development of computer methods of analysis and, more particularly, on the application of elasto-plastic finite element programs to the design of real geotechnical structures.

Professor Potts has been author and co-author of more than 280 technical publications.

Areas of Expertise:

Geotechnical numerical analysis, constitutive modelling, soil-structure interaction.



Sailer E, Taborda D, Zdravkovic L, et al., 2019, Fundamentals of the coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of thermo-active retaining walls, Computers and Geotechnics, Vol:109, ISSN:0266-352X, Pages:189-203

Tsaparli V, Kontoe S, Taborda D, et al., 2019, A case study of liquefaction: demonstrating the application of an advanced model and understanding the pitfalls of the simplified procedure, Géotechnique, ISSN:0016-8505

Taborda D, Zdravkovic L, Potts DM, et al., Finite element modelling of laterally loaded piles in a dense marine sand at Dunkirk, Géotechnique, ISSN:0016-8505


Ghiadistri G, Zdravković L, Potts DM, et al., 2019, Calibration of a double structure constitutive model for unsaturated compacted soils, ISSN:2555-0403

Sailer E, Taborda DMG, Zdravkovic L, et al., 2019, Assessing the impact of vertical heat exchangers on the response of a retaining wall, 7th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials (IS-Glasgow 2019), EDP Sciences, ISSN:2267-1242

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