Imperial College London

Dr James Lawrence

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Senior Lecturer in Geotechnics



+44 (0)20 7594 0700j.lawrence Website




Ms Sue Feller +44 (0)20 7594 6077




528ASkempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr James Lawrence is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering Geology/Geotechnics. After graduating from Cardiff University with a MSc. in Mineral Resources he worked as a geologist in the petroleum industry before joining the University of Brighton. James worked at the University of Brighton for eight years as a researcher and lecturer, whilst working towards his PhD. His research focused on better understanding the engineering properties of the chalk with a particular focus on coastal environments and processes. This research gave James the opportunity to work on several major pan-European research and industrial projects.

In 2008 James accepted a lectureship in Engineering and Petroleum Geology at the University of Leeds. With his team of research students James worked throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. James was Director of Masters Education and Deputy Director of the Earth Surface Science Institute research group.

In 2013 James left the University of Leeds to work in the Siting Team at Radioactive Waste Management as the Geological Investigations Manager, the focus of this project was to develop a new programme for the treatment and disposal of the UK’s radioactive waste in an underground Geological Disposal Facility.

James was appointed a Senior Lecturer within the Geotechnics Group at Imperial College in 2016. James is currently undertaking research focused on Upper Cretaceous Carbonates (Chalk) driven by the needs of the geotechnical and petroleum industry. He is also working with stakeholders on a number of projects focused on the safe disposal of radioactive waste.

Teaching responsibilities including Rock Engineering, Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. He is also the 1st year course co-ordinator for the Civil Engineering (MEng) Course. 

James is an member of the executive committee of the British Geotechnical Association (BGA) and organising secretary for the Engineering in Chalk 2018 Conference.

Areas of expertise:

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.



Aliyu MM, Shang J, Murphy W, et al., 2019, Assessing the uniaxial compressive strength of extremely hard cryptocrystalline flint, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, Vol:113, ISSN:1365-1609, Pages:310-321

Lawrence JA, Spence R, Mortimore RN, et al., 2018, Coastal cliff rock mass weakening of chalk and the impact of salt water, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Geotechnical Engineering, Vol:171, ISSN:1353-2618, Pages:545-555

Lawrence J, hussein D, Rashid F, et al., Developing pore size distribution models in heterogeneous carbonates using especially nuclear magnetic resonance, Engineering in Chalk

Lawrence J, mortimore R, Thrower A, Macro and micro fabrics in chalk identified using the Bushinsky Oil Technique: an updated method and new applications for an old experimental technique, Engineering in Chalk


Lawrence JA, Preene M, Lawrence U, et al., 2018, Engineering in Chalk, ICE Publishing, ISBN:978-07277-6407-2

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