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.



Zdravković L, Potts DM, Taborda DMG, 2021, Integrating laboratory and field testing into advanced geotechnical design, Geomechanics for Energy and the Environment, Vol:27, ISSN:2352-3808, Pages:1-21

Sailer E, Taborda DMG, Zdravkovic L, et al., 2021, Thermo-hydro-mechanical interactions in porous media: implications on thermo-active retaining walls, Computers and Geotechnics, Vol:135, ISSN:0266-352X, Pages:1-16

Wan MSP, Standing JR, Potts DM, et al., 2021, Discussion of pore water pressure and total horizontal stress response to EPBM tunnelling in London Clay, Geotechnique: International Journal of Soil Mechanics, Vol:71, ISSN:0016-8505, Pages:368-372

Carter JP, Gens A, Potts DM, 2020, Scott William Sloan OBITUARY, Geotechnique: International Journal of Soil Mechanics, Vol:70, ISSN:0016-8505, Pages:1174-1175


Tsaparli V, Kontoe S, Taborda D, et al., 2020, Resonance as the source of high vertical accelerations: field demonstration and impact on offshore wind turbines, 4th International Symposium on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics

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