Academic and research staff research interests

Geotechnics Academic and Teaching Staff A-Z

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Richard Jardine

Professor of Geomechanics, FREng, MSc, DIC, PhD, FICE, FCGI
Soil mechanics; Constitutive behaviour; Laboratory and field experiments; Instrumentation; Geotechnical design; Soft Ground engineering; Deep foundations; Offshore geotechnics; Geohazards; Cold region geotechnics.

James Lawrence

Reader in Geological Engineering, PhD
Undergraduate Year 1 Coordinator
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.

Truong Le

Lecturer, PhD
Soil properties, advanced laboratory testing, soil characterisation, soft and stiff clayey soils, geotechnical instrumentation.
Email Truong

Catherine O'Sullivan

Professor of Particulate Soil Mechanics, PhD, MIEI
Head of Geotechnics Section
Discrete element modelling; Particulate soil mechanics; Micro-computed tomography; Internal erosion; Stress wave propagation; Cyclic soil response; Validation of discrete element models (DEM).
Dave Potts

Dave Potts 

GCG Professor of Geotechnical Engineering, PhD, FREng, CEng, FICE
Application of FEM to geotechnical problems; Geotechnical numerical analysis; Constitutive modelling; Soil-structure interaction.

David Solans Roa

Teaching Fellow in Geotechnics, PhD
Numerical modelling of geotechnical infrastructure under static and seismic loading conditions.
Jamie Standing

Jamie Standing

Professor of Ground Engineering, PhD, CEng, MICE
Chair of the Undergraduate Exam Board
Soil-structure interaction; Tunnelling and deep excavations; Field monitoring; Piles; Model testing; Partly saturated soils and residual soils.

David Taborda

Reader in Geomechanical Modelling,  DIC, PhD 
Department ICT Representative
Computational geomechanics; Constitutive modelling of soils; Soil dynamics; Cyclic soil behaviour; Soil-Structure interaction; Geothermal energy systems; Thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of soils; Optimisation algorithms.

Katerina Tsiampousi

Senior Lecturer PhD
Director of the MSc Programme in Civil and Environmental Engineering
THM modelling of geo-materials; Behaviour of partially saturated media in deep nuclear repositories; Reliability and risk of geotechnical structures (excavations, tunnels, slopes, foundations); Behaviour of railway embankments under seasonal changes in suction.

Ken Vinck

Lecturer in Geotechnics, MSc, DIC, PhD
Director of MSc in Soil Mechanics

Advanced laboratory testing and field experiments, Soil and Site characterisation; Offshore geotechnics; Hydraulic fill; Soil improvement; Planetary geotechnics; Carbonate soils.

Lidija Zdravkovic

Professor of Computational Geomechanics, DIC, PhD 
Development and application of FEM in geotechnical engineering; Constitutive modelling; Unsaturated soils; THM modelling of geomaterials; Soil-structure interaction; Laboratory testing of soils.
Geotechnics Academics A-Z
Geotechnics Academics A-Z

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Geotechnics Research Staff A-Z

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Stewart Agar

Research Assistant
Remote sensing and analysis of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR)
Email Stewart

Anthony Carpenter

Research Assistant
Structural Analysis with Radar Remote Sensing (StARRS), including the development of machine learning techniques for a ground-based Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) system. 
Email Anthony

Ritesh Kumar

Marie Curie Research Fellow
Development of design guidelines for Offshore Wind Turbines under extreme operational conditions.
Email Ritesh

Ryan Yin Wai Liu

Research Associate, PhD
Email Ryan

Julia Katharina Möller

Research Associate, PhD
Development of an energy-based constitutive model for sands subjected to cyclic loading
Email Julia

Fernando Patino-Ramirez

Research Associate, PhD
Development of a burrowing robot capable of measuring the mechanical and chemical properties of the surrounding soil
Email Fernando

Agustin Ruiz Lopez

Research Associate, PhD
SIDeTools: surrogate modelling in geotechnical engineering
Email Agustin

Geotechnics Research Staff A-Z
Geotechnics Academics A-Z

An overview of our research outputs and measures of esteem

Award Winning Research Papers and Research Awards

ICE Hislop Award 2021- Buckley, R.M., Jardine, R.J., Kontoe, S., Barbosa, P. and Schroeder, F.C. (2020). Full-scale observations of dynamic and static axial responses of offshore piles driven in chalk and tills. Geotechnique. 70 (8), pp. 657-681.

BGA Prize 2020- Byrne, B.W., Houlsby, G.T., Burd, H.J., Gavin, K.G., Igoe, D.J.P., Jardine, R.J., Martin, C.M., McAdam, R.A., Potts, D.M., Taborda, D.M.G. and Zdravkovic, L. (2020). PISA design model for monopiles for offshore wind turbines: Application to a stiff glacial clay till. Géotechnique, 70 (11), pp 1030-1047.

 2020 Telford Gold Medal + BGA Medal (2020) - Best paper overall: This medal was awarded by the Institution of Civil Engineers for the paper "Pore water pressure and total horizontal stress response to EPBM tunnelling in London Clay" authored by M. S. P. Wan, J. R. Standing, D. M. Potts, J. B. Burland  Géotechnique (2019):

Canadian Geotechnical Journal Quigley (Best Paper) Award 2019- Guo, L., Cai, Y. Q., Jardine, R.J., Yang, Z.X. and Wang, J. (2018) Undrained behaviour of intact soft clay under cyclic paths that match vehicle loading conditions. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 55(1): 90–106

2019 David Hislop Award:   The David Hislop Award (also known as the Offshore award)  for best paper on offshore matters was awareded to Ageing and cyclic behaviour of axially loaded piles driven in chalk; R. M. Buckley, R. J. Jardine, S. Kontoe, D. Parker and F. C. Schroeder:  Géotechnique (2018):

2019 R. M. Quigley Award:  This award  is given to the best paper published in the Canadian Geotechnical Journal in the preceding year.“Undrained behaviour of intact soft clay under cyclic paths that match vehicle loading conditions” (Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 2018, 55(1): 90-106,

2018 Soils and Foundations Best Paper Award:  This was awarded in May 2019 for Experimental and DEM assessment of the stress-dependency of surface roughness effects on shear modulus Otsubo, M. and O'Sullivan, C. Soils and Foundations. Volume 58, Issue 3, June 2018, Pages 602-614 :

2018 Telford Gold Medal: Wan, M.S.P., Standing, J.R., Potts, D.M. and Burland, J.B. (2017). Measured short-term subsurface ground displacements from EPBM tunnelling in London Clay. Géotechnique, Vol. 67, No. 9, pp. 748-779.

2017  Soils and Foundations Best Paper Award:  HF Taylor, C O'Sullivan, WW Sim, SJ Carr (2017) Sub-particle-scale investigation of seepage in sands  Soils and Foundations 57 (3), 439-452

Canadian Geotechnical Journal Editor's Choice recognition: A paper co-authored by Prof. Richard Jardine has been selected as one of the “Editor’s Choice” papers for 2018 by the Canadian Geotechnical Journal  in recognition of its high caliber and topical importance. The paper authored by Cai et al. (2018) is entitled "Undrained behaviour of intact soft clay under cyclic paths that match vehicle loading conditions". doi:10.1139/cgj-2016-0636 (Spiral

2017 BGA Fleming Award

The PISA Project was awarded the BGA Fleming Award in Dec. 2017.

2016 Geotechnical Research Medal

Avgerinos, V.  Potts D. M. & Standing, J. R. (2016) The use of kinematic hardening models for predicting tunnelling-induced ground movements in London Clay  Géotechnique 66(2) 106-120

2013 Outstanding Paper International Journal of Geo-Engineering Case Histories

Burland, J.B., Jamiolkowski, M.B., Viggiani, C. (2012) Leaning Tower of Pisa: Behaviour after Stabilization Operation International Journal of Geoengineering Case Histories Vol. 1, No. 3, Paper # IJGCH_1_3_2

2012 Geotechnical Research Medal

Puzrin, A.M, Burland, J.B., Standing, J. R. (2012)  Simple approach to predicting ground displacements caused by tunnelling in undrained anisotropic elastic soil Géotechnique 62(4), 341 –352

2012 BGA Medal

Potts D. M. & Zdravkovic L. (2012), Accounting for partial material factors in numerical analysis  Geotechnique 62 (12): 1053-1065.

2010 Manby Prize

S. Nishimura, C. J. Martin, R. J. Jardine and C. H. Fenton (2009)  A new approach for assessing geothermal response to climate change in permafrost regions Geotechnique 59(12): 213-227

2010 BGA Medal

Potts, V. J. and  Zdravkovic, L. (2010)  Finite-element study of arching behaviour in reinforced fills Proc. ICE - Ground Improvement 163, Issue GI4, 217–229

2008  BGA medal

Kontoe S, Zdravkovic L, Potts DM, Menkiti C.O. (2008)  Case study on seismic tunnel response, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 2008, Vol:45, Pages:1743-1764.

2008 ICE Geotechnical Research Medal

Hight, D.W., Gasparre, A., Nishimura, S., Anh-Minh, N., Jardine, R.J. & Coop, M.R. (2007) Characteristics of the London clay from the Terminal 5 site at Heathrow Airport. Symposium in Print on Stiff Sedimentary Clays Geotechnique, 57(2), pp 3-18.

2008 ICE Bill Curtin Medal for innovation

Bourne-Webb P.J., Potts D.M. & Rowbottom D.(2007) Plastic bending of steel sheet piles,  Geotechnical Engineering 160, Issue GE3, 2007, 129-140.

2008 IACMAG Outstanding Contributions Award

Awarded to Prof. David Potts for contributions throughout his career by the Int. Assoc. for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics.

Funded Research Projects

EPSRC Grants

(2019-2022) ALPACA Plus, R.J. Jardine (PI), S. Kontoe (Co-I)  - Multiple Industrial Grants plus EPSRC through ORE Supergen

(2019- 2021) ALPHA, S. Kontoe (PI), R.J. Jardine (PI), L. Zdravkovic (Co-I) – EPSRC through ORE Supergen

(2017-2021) Advanced Newton Fellowship, R.J Jardine (PI) – Royal Society

(2021-2024) Sustainable, Flexible and Efficient Ground-source heating and cooling systems (SaFEGround) D. Taborda (PI)

(2017-2021) Climate Adaptation Control Technologies for Urban Spaces (CACTUS)  D. Potts, L.Zdravkovic, K.Tsiampousi

(2017-2019) ALPACA: Axial-Lateral Chalk Analysis for Piles Applying multi-scale field and laboratory testing   R. Jardine (PI) S. Kontoe (CI)

(2017-2020) Particle-scale investigation of seepage induced geotechnical instabilities.  C. O'Sullivan (PI)

(2015-2016) Effect of time on the evolution of soil behaviour: new advanced triaxial creep cell experimentsW.W. Sim (PI)

(2010-2014) Assessing ground interaction effects and potential damage on existing tunnels before and after new excavation works JR Standing (PI), J. Burland (CI), D.M. Potts (CI), R. Vollum (CI) Link to project website.

(2009-2013)  Micromechanics of seismic wave propagation in granular materials C. O'Sullivan (PI), P. Kelly (CI)

(2007-2010)   The Properties and Structure of British Stiff Clays and Mudrocks R. Jardine (PI), C. Fenton (CI), M. Coop

(2006-2011)  Platform Grant for Laboratory Soil Mechanics Research R. Jardine (PI), D.M. Potts (CI), M. Coop

(2006-2009) Using blinding as struts in cut and cover excavations R. Vollum (PI), B. Izzuddin (CI), D.M. Potts (CI)

NERC Grants

(2020-2023)  Rapid deployment of multi-functional modular sensing systems in the soil C. O'Sullivan (PI)

Horizon 2020

(2019-2022) MATHEGRAM Marie Curie ITN (led by the University of Surrey)  C. O'Sullivan, D. Taborda

(2017-2021)  BEACON (Bentonite Mechanical Evolution Prof. Lidija Zdravkovic, Prof. David Potts, Dr. Aikaterini Tsiampousi, Dr. Jamie Standing

Institution of Civil Engineers

2021 Ground and existing tunnel response to building demolition, excavation and new construction. J. Standing (PI)

Leverhulme Trust

2017-2021 Fundamental analysis of the influence of structure on clay behaviour C. O'Sullivan (PI)

Invited Prestige Lectures

2023 International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, McClelland Lecture

Prof. R.J Jardine

2016 Milligan Lecture, Kingston, Canada
Prof. Richard Jardine

2016 ASCE Lovell Lecture, Purdue, USA
Prof. Richard Jardine

2016 Wissa Lecture, Tampa, USA
Prof. Richard Jardine

2016 British Geotechnical Association Rankine Lecture, London

Prof. Richard Jardine

2015 British Geotechnical Association Géotechnique Lecture, London

Dr. Catherine O'Sullivan

2014 17th Sowers Lecture, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Prof. Richard Jardine

2013 British Geotechnical Association Géotechnique Lecture, London

Prof. Lidija Zdravkovic

2013 Bishop Lecture - International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Paris

Prof. Richard Jardine

2012 The Lymon C. Reese Distinguished Lecture at University of Texas, Austin

Prof. John Burland

2012 The Jennings Memorial Lecture tour, South Africa

Prof. John Burland

2012 Zeevarat Lecture, Mexico

Prof. David Potts 2011

28th Manuel Rocha Lecture, Lisbon, 2011

Prof. John Burland

2010 Liddiard Lecture of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining

Prof. John Burland

2009 British Geotechnical Association Géotechnique Lecture, London

Dr. Jamie Standing

2008 7th Lovell Lecture, USA

Prof. David Potts

2008 Sixth Athenian Geotechnical Lecture, Athens

Prof. John Burland

Recorded lectures

Members of staff in the section are often invited to deliver invited lectures, some of which are recorded for subsequent broadcasting.  Links to these lectures are given here:


On March 11 2021 Prof. Catherine O'Sullivan presented a Granular Matter Webinar:  Polydispersity – implications for granular material behaviour and modelling challenges


On Feb 20 2021 Prof. Catherine O'Sullivan presented her inaugural lecture: Engineering sand: From the micro- to the macro-scale


On March 16 2016 Prof. Richard Jardine delivered the BGA Rankine lecture Energy & Geotechnics


On Nov 17 2015 Prof. Catherine O'Sullivan delivered the BGA Géotechnique lecture "A Particulate Perspective on Soil Mechanics"

On June 25 2015 Prof. Lidija Zdravkovic delivered her inaugural lecture "Advanced geomechanics: hot, dehydrated and shaken"


Expedition Workshed have recorded Prof. Burland giving an Introduction to Soil Mechanics.

On 19th February Prof. Burland spoke at a BGA Young Career Group Meeting: The title was "Good practice for young geo-engineers: Boots, computers and engineering judgement." The recording is available here.


On 13th November Prof. Lidija Zdravkovic delivered the BGA  Geotechnique Lecture Dr Lidija Zdravkovic. The title was: Geotechnical numerical analysis: a road map.  The recording is available here.

Professor Sir Alec Skempton’s 80th birthday lecture at the ICE, on his prize winning 1994 Thames Tunnel Geotechnique paper here.

Spin out company

Geotechnical Observations
A company formed by Professor Vaughan and Doctors Dineen and Ridley, previous members of the academic staff here, specialising in the measurement and monitoring of soil suctions using the Imperial College Suction Probe.

Completed PhD Research

Geotechnics Alumni 2020-2023


Name Title and supervisor
Koronides, Marios Numerical and field investigation of dynamic soil-structure interaction at full-scale
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Zdravkovic, L.
Morimoto, Tokio Particle-scale numerical study on thermal behaviour of granular materials
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.
Solans Roa, David Seismic performance of tailings sand dams
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.
Wang, Zixiao An Investigation of ongoing displacements of active faults in the Gobi Desert using persistent scatterer interferometric synthetic aperture radar technique to support the permanent disposal of high-level waste in Beishan, China
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A
Wen, Kai Dynamic and monotonic axial loading responses of piles driven for offshore wind turbines
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Jardine, R.
Xue, Shawn  Ground response to tunnelling with an emphasis on arching mechanisms 
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.
Xue, Shuai Transient ground response during and after tunnelling
Supervised by: Carraro, JAH.


Name Title and supervisor
Adesina, Peter The effects of particle shape and sample grading on the behaviour of granular materials
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.
Bandera, Sara Fundamental analysis of the influence of structure on clay behaviour
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.; Angioletti-Uberti, S.; Tangney, P. 
Chen, Sihua Thermo-hydro-mechanical characterisation of London clay
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Carraro, JAH.
Dominguez Quintans, Camelia Static and cyclic characterisation of sandy and silty soils deposited underwater
Supervised by: Carraro, JAH.Zdravkovic, L.
Edgar, Justyna Addressing infrastructure challenges posed by the Harwich Formation through understanding its geological origins
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A; Ghail, R.C.
Elhusain, Luai Experimental study of collapse mechanisms in gravelly soils
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.
Guo, Benjamin Wei Li Reuse and sustainability of flood defences
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Tsiampousi, A.Onof, C.
Liu, Deyun The influence of particle size distribution on measures of states for granular materials and implications for small strain stiffness
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.Carraro, JAH.
Liu, Ryan Yin Wai Numerical modelling of complex thermo-hydro-mechanical interactions in thermo-active pile foundations
Supervised by: Taborda, D.
Mider, Malgorzata Understanding geological evolution of chalk cliffs and coastal processes using InSAR
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A.; Ghail, R.C.
Moeller, Julia Seismic response of monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines in liquefiable deposits
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Taborda, D.
Quinteros Araujo, Vicente Santiago On the initial fabric and triaxial behaviour of an undisturbed and reconstituted fluvial sand
Supervised by: Carraro, JAHJardine, R.
Ruiz Lopez, Agustin Development of advanced numerical models for grey cast iron tunnel linings
Supervised by: Tsiampousi, A.Standing, J.R.
Zhou, Ding Numerical analysis of Double-O-Tube shield tunnelling
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.


Name Title and supervisor
Kirkham, Andrew  Development of a new temperature-controlled oedometer
Supervised by: Tsiampousi, A.Potts, D.M.
Morgan, Tom Major faulting in London: Relating tectonic-scale processes to site-scale engineering geology
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A.; Ghail, R.C.
Scoular, Jennifer Using InSAR to identify potential geotechnical hazards for Tideway East and other tunnelling projects in London
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A
Vinck, Ken Advanced geotechnical characterisation to support driven pile design at chalk sites
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Jardine, R.


Name Title and supervisor
Ghiadistri, Giulia Marianna  Numerical study of bentonite buffers homogenisation upon re-saturation
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Potts, D.M.Tsiampousi, A.
Nguyen, Hoang Micromechanics of shear wave propagation and non-linear stiffness of granular materials
Supervised by: O’Sullivan C.
Sailer, Eleonora Numerical modelling of thermo-active retaining walls
Supervised by: Taborda, D.Zdravkovic, L.
Salim, Hendarto Assessing local and global displacements from tunnelling and water extraction in Jakarta
Supervised by:  Standing, J.R.

Geotechnics 2008-2009


NameTitle and supervisor
Abela, J Blinding struts in cut & cover excavations
Supervised by: Professor D. Potts/Dr R. Vollum/Professor B. A. Izzuddin
Aldama Bustos, G An exploratory study of parameter sensitivity, representation of results and extensions of PSHA: Case Study - United Arab Emirates
Supervised by: Professor J. Bommer
 Barreto Gonzalez, D Numerical and experimental investigation into the behaviour of granular materials under generalised stress states.
Supervised by: Dr C. O'Sullivan/Dr L. Zdravkovic
Cavarretta, I The Influence of Particle Characteristics on the Engineering Behaviour of Granular Materials
Supervised by: Professor M. Coop; Dr C. O'Sullivan
Zolghadr Zadeh Jahromi, H Nonlinear Soil-Structure Interaction 
Supervised by: Professor B. A. Izzuddin; Dr L. Zdravkovic


NameTitle and supervisor
Bodas Freitas, T M Numerical Modelling of the Time Dependent Behaviour of Clays
Supervised by: Professor D. Potts
Zabidi, H Studies of karst in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Supervised by: Dr M. de Freitas

Pre-2008 Information about completed PhD research prior to 2009 may be available from the section but is only available to registered members of the Department. Please contact Sue Feller.