Imperial College London

Professor David Potts

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering








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.



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

Carter JP, Potts DM, Gens A, 2022, Scott William Sloan 1954-2019, Historical Records of Australian Science, Vol:33, ISSN:0727-3061, Pages:64-71

Ruiz Lopez A, Tsiampousi A, Standing J, et al., 2022, Numerical investigation of a segmental grey cast iron tunnel ring: validation with laboratory data and application to field conditions, Computers and Geotechnics, Vol:141, ISSN:0266-352X, Pages:1-19

Cui W, Potts DM, Pedro AMG, et al., 2021, Numerical assessment of the effects of end-restraints and a pre-existing fissure on the interpretation of triaxial tests on stiff clays, Geotechnique: International Journal of Soil Mechanics, Vol:71, ISSN:0016-8505, Pages:765-780

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

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