Inaugural Lecture: Ground Engineering: Foresights, Insights and Backsights


Professor Jamie Standing

The inaugural lecture of Professor Jamie Standing, Professor of Ground Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering.

Professor Jamie Standing presented his inaugural lecture at the end of February, the recording of which is now available to view here.

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.


Jonathan Turner

Jonathan Turner
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


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