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.



Kontoe S, Summersgill F, Potts D, et al., On the effectiveness of slope stabilising piles for soils with distinct strain-softening behaviour, Geotechnique, ISSN:1021-8637

Liu R, Sailer E, Taborda D, et al., 2020, A practical method for calculating thermally-induced stresses in pile foundations used as heat exchangers, Computers and Geotechnics, ISSN:0266-352X

Jardine R, Hight D, Potts D, Integrated research into the foundation behaviour of offshore energy production platforms, Geotechnical Engineering Journal of the Seags and Agssea, ISSN:0046-5828

Burd H, Abadie C, Byrne B, et al., Application of the PISA design model to monopiles embedded in layered soils, Geotechnique, ISSN:1021-8637

Tsaparli V, Kontoe S, Taborda D, et al., 2020, A case study of liquefaction: demonstrating the application of an advanced model and understanding the pitfalls of the simplified procedure, Géotechnique, Vol:70, ISSN:0016-8505, Pages:538-558

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