Ground Engineering: foresights, insights and backsights

Join Professor Jamie Standing, online or in person, for his Imperial Inaugural.

We have limited in-person spaces available so please ensure you register in advance via Eventbrite.

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Ground Engineering is a vital component of Civil Engineering as most structures lie on or within the ground and need to do so safely and without excessive displacements. The ground, unlike many manufactured materials, is a product of nature, greatly increasing the scope for variability and uncertainty. Moreover, its behaviour is complex because it comprises solid, liquid and/or gas phases which interact closely with each other. Understanding how the ground will respond to activities such as loading from foundations and embankments or unloading from tunnelling, excavations and cuttings is therefore challenging. Frequently it is necessary to iterate between laboratory testing, numerical analyses and field observations to predict accurately and control engineering works.

Jamie Standing is Professor of Ground Engineering in the Geotechnics Section, specialising in understanding ground and structural response to underground works such as tunnelling and deep excavations, essential for safeguarding existing structures and infrastructure assets. In his inaugural lecture he will initially describe and investigate some of the characteristics of soils from a fundamental perspective. He will then outline how these characteristics do not always relate to what is encountered in situ and go on to explain the vital role of field characterisation and monitoring in assessing the ground’s response before, during and after engineering activities, drawing on previous examples and highlighting forthcoming challenges.


Jamie Standing is Professor of Ground Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is a chartered Civil Engineer, an Associate of the Geotechnical Consulting Group and a member of British Geotechnical Association and British Tunnelling Society and three Technical Committees of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. Specific areas of interest are ground and structural response to tunnelling and deep excavations and consequent ground-structure interaction. Gaining insight into these responses requires detailed ground characterisation and field monitoring which are also key topics for him. He has led three major tunnelling research projects relating to the Jubilee Line Extension, Channel Tunnel Rail Link and Crossrail. He also researches fundamental soil behaviour from clays to gravels in both saturated and unsaturated states. Within the Department he chairs the Undergraduate Examinations and Progression Awards Board and Panels for Technical and Professional Staff Progression and Promotions.

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