Imperial College London

Dr James Lawrence

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Senior Lecturer in Geotechnics



+44 (0)20 7594 0700j.lawrence Website




Ms Sue Feller +44 (0)20 7594 6077




528ASkempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr James Lawrence is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering Geology/Geotechnics. After graduating from Cardiff University with a MSc. in Mineral Resources he worked as a geologist in the petroleum industry before joining the University of Brighton. James worked at the University of Brighton for eight years as a researcher and lecturer, whilst working towards his PhD. His research focused on better understanding the engineering properties of the chalk with a particular focus on coastal environments and processes. This research gave James the opportunity to work on several major pan-European research and industrial projects.

In 2008 James accepted a lectureship in Engineering and Petroleum Geology at the University of Leeds. With his team of research students James worked throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. James was Director of Masters Education and Deputy Director of the Earth Surface Science Institute research group.

In 2013 James left the University of Leeds to work in the Siting Team at Radioactive Waste Management as the Geological Investigations Manager, the focus of this project was to develop a new programme for the treatment and disposal of the UK’s radioactive waste in an underground Geological Disposal Facility.

James was appointed a Senior Lecturer within the Geotechnics Group at Imperial College in 2016. James is currently undertaking research focused on Upper Cretaceous Carbonates (Chalk) driven by the needs of the geotechnical and petroleum industry. He is also working with stakeholders on a number of projects focused on the safe disposal of radioactive waste.

Teaching responsibilities including Rock Engineering, Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. He is also the 1st year course co-ordinator for the Civil Engineering (MEng) Course. 

James is an member of the executive committee of the British Geotechnical Association (BGA) and organising secretary for the Engineering in Chalk 2018 Conference.

Areas of expertise:

Upper Cretaceous carbonates (Chalk), geological disposal of radioactive waste, geomechanics, structural geology, petroleum reservoir characterisation, modelling slope instability, coastal recession related to the impact of climate change and weathering of rock.



Lawrence JA, Soil and Rock Description in Engineering Practice, D. Norbury: Book review, International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences, Pages:1381-1381

Lawrence JA, Informing chalk cliff recession management decisions, Civil Engineering Year Book 2010, Pages:17-18

Rashid F, Glover PWJ, Lorinczi P, et al., 2017, Microstructural controls on reservoir quality in tight oil carbonate reservoir rocks, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Vol:156, ISSN:0920-4105, Pages:814-826


Ahmad F, Murphy W, Lawrence JA, et al., Strength Mobilisation of Rock Masses in Relation to Deep Seated Landslide, Geophysical Research Abstracts 17, EGU2015, 8151

Busby JP, Senfaute G, Gourry JC, et al., Developing tools for the prediction of catastrophic coastal cliff collapse, In: Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium – Delivering Sustainable Coasts: Connecting Science and Policy,, Pages:596-601

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