Imperial College London

DrMichaelDe Freitas

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Distinguished Research Fellow







c/o General OfficeSkempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Michael has overseen the move of Engineering Geology from the Department of Geology to the Department of Civil Engineering and its integration with the Masters course in Soil Mechanics, so re-establishing the link that existed between the courses in the 1950’s and early 60’s, when both were located in the Goldsmiths Extension of the Royal School of Mines at South Kensington.

He has been responsible for the Masters course in Engineering Geology since 1984 and in that capacity has ensured, by the appointment of Examiners from the continent, that the course is well known in Europe. He is currently External Examiner for the Masters course in Applied Geosciences at the University of Hong Kong and Chairman of the Committee responsible for Teaching and Training for the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment.

Michael has been called on many times to advise on industrial and contractual problems both in the UK and overseas for both the private and public sectors. He has been an active member of the Geological Society of London holding various positions there including those of Vice President, Chairman of the Engineering Group, Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology, Chairman of the Promotions Co-ordinating Committee. He has served on the Research Grants Committee for the Natural Environment Research Council and Chaired the working part report on British Stratigraphical Nomenclature for the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA).

His publications include the authorship of two text books, contributor to three books, editor of six books, author of 45 refereed papers in geotechnical Journals, and of 23 un-refereed publications in conferences.

Areas of Expertise:

The application of geology at far-field and near-field scales to engineering design and construction in soil and rock, at and below ground level, and including the prediction and control of ground water. The study of the geological controls on the geotechnical properties of rocks and soils at field and laboratory scales.



de Freitas MH, 2009, William Robert Dearman OBITUARY, Geotechnique, Vol:59, ISSN:0016-8505, Pages:797-799

de Freitas MH, 2009, Geology; its principles, practice and potential for Geotechnics, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, Vol:42, ISSN:1470-9236, Pages:397-441

de Freitas MH, Rosenbaum MS, 2008, Engineering geology at Imperial College London; 1907-2007, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, Vol:41, ISSN:1470-9236, Pages:223-228

Fookes PG, DE Freitas MH, Culshaw MG, 2005, Discussion of 'The first engineering geological publication in the UK?' by M. G. Culshaw Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology 37, 227-231, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, Vol:38, ISSN:1470-9236, Pages:105-108


De Freitas MH, Mannion WG, 2007, A biostratigraphy for the London Clay in London, Conference on Stiff Sedimentary Clays - Genesis and Engineering Behaviour, ICE PUBLISHING, Pages:91-99, ISSN:0016-8505

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