Imperial College London

Professor David Potts

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Senior Research Investigator







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.



Petalas AL, Tsiampousi A, Zdravkovic L, et al., 2022, Numerical investigation of the performance of engineered barriers in controlling stormwater runoff, Geomechanics for Energy and the Environment, Vol:32, ISSN:2352-3808, Pages:1-15

Sailer E, Taborda D, Zdravkovic L, et al., 2022, A novel method for designing thermo-active retaining walls using two dimensional analyses, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Geotechnical Engineering, Vol:175, ISSN:1353-2618, Pages:289-310

Kontoe S, Summersgill F, Potts D, et al., 2022, On the effectiveness of slope stabilising piles for soils with distinct strain-softening behaviour, Geotechnique, Vol:72, ISSN:1021-8637, Pages:309-321


Koronides M, Kontoe S, Zdravkovic L, et al., Numerical simulation of real-scale vibration experiments of a steel frame structure on a shallow foundation, 4rth International Conference on Performance-based Design in Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering

Koronides M, Kontoe S, Zdravkovic L, et al., 'Numerical simulations of field soil-structure interaction experiments on a shallow founded steel frame structure, 3rd international Conference on Natural Hazards & Infrastucture

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