Good practice for young geo-engineers: Boots, computers and engineering judgement
The first BGA Early Career Members event of 2014 following on from the success of the event held at Arup on Collapses and Failures last October and building on this experience set the bar even higher. More than 160 participants (mainly young geotechnical engineers) gathered to recognise Professor Johns Burland’s commitment to transferring the soil mechanics knowledge and good geotechnical engineering practice to many generations of engineers.
The evening was kicked off by Henry Tayler from BGA, who welcomed the participants and expressed his thanks to the event’s generous sponsor, Atkins and to Imperial College London for hosting the event. The sponsors’ role is vital in providing these free BGA ECM events. The chair and event organiser, Georgios Katsigiannis, announced and presented Professor John Burland highlighting the key points of John Burland’s long and successful career in both industry and academia.
The speaker described in his lecture some of the challenges he has had to face as a practising geotechnical engineer and explored the key elements of geotechnical engineering practice. The ground offers a continuing and ever varying challenge which demands a wide range of skills and experience. These are some of the questions the speaker addressed: How important is geology? When is it necessary to carry out sophisticated testing? What reliance can we place on modern methods of numerical analysis? What role does this so called “judgement” play? How should geotechnical and structural engineers interact?
Henry and Georgios expressed again their thanks to John Burland for kindly accepting the offer to give this amazing talk and make this event happen acknowledging the fact that Professor Burland has always been keen on interacting and supporting the younger members of the geotechnical engineering community.
The BGA Early Career Members Group
The BGA Early Members Group is a new BGA initiative aiming at organising events that will be a new opportunity for training, debate and networking amongst graduates and recently professionally qualified members. The group managed to deliver two very successful and of high quality events within only a few months attracting many early career engineers and aiming to build a strong network between the young professionals of the geotechnical engineering community.
1st meeting of the EC7 WG1 in Vienna, 17-18 Oct 2013
The Austrian Standards Institute hosted the 1st meeting of the Eurocode 7 Working Group 1 in Vienna this October. Continuing the success of the EC7 Evolution Group meetings, more than 60 delegates from all the EU Member States had the chance to participate in parallel sessions and contribute to the development of the Eurocode 7 working towards the next generation of the geotechnical engineering code. Andrew Bond (UK), the SC7 convenor, welcoming the participants had the chance to give an overview of the EC7 development plans.
Collapses and Failures: do geotechnical engineers have the tools to predict the next collapse?
Arup are hosting the first in a series of talks held by the BGA aimed at early career members, which will take place on the evening of Wednesday 16th October in the Nr. 8 Basement. This series of events is aimed at ‘younger members’, but all levels of experience are welcome.The first event is on the topic of ‘Collapses and Failures: do geotechnical engineers have the tools to predict the next collapse’. It will feature our own Alison Norrish, who will give her insight on the Nicol Highway collapse in Singapore, and Peter Rutty of Mott MacDonald, who will talk about the unexpected failure of the failure and remedial works for a Network Rail bridge near Feltham. Following an opportunity for debate and discussion, there will be drinks and nibbles.
ISSMGE Technical Committee 205 on Safety and Serviceability in Geotechnical Engineering
Joint Workshop organised by TC205 and ETC10-Sunday 13 September 2015
The European conference of ISSMGE to be held in Edinburgh, 13-17 September 2015, will include a workshop planned by TC205 (Safety and serviceability in geotechnical engineering) and ETC10 (Evaluation of Eurocode 7). We anticipate that this will be held on Sunday 13 September, running sequentially with a workshop of ETC7 (Numerical analysis), and it is planned to address two questions:
Ground anchors and foundations – do they need two different safety philosophies?
Georgios katsigiannis named postgraduate of the year
Congratulations to Georgios Katsigiannis, EngD candidate at the UCL USAR Centre, who has been named "Postgraduate Student of the Year" by Ground Engineering Magazine at their Next Generation Awards 2014, celebrating talented young engineers in the geotechnics business.
The awards were held on Thursday 13th November in the 5-star Grange St. Paul’s Hotel Sky Bar, recognising the talented young professionals that have started to impact on the industry and will play a key role in shaping the future of the ground engineering market.
"It was certainly a great honour to be named Postgraduate of the Year by the Ground Engineering, our industry’s leading magazine", said Georgios.
"It feels great when you see that your hard work and efforts are valued. Standing in front of the industry and academia leaders was one of these moments that you take a step back to reflect on your achievements and note that in geotechnical engineering your mission to formulate paths forward is driven by the depth of impact. Our profession can unlock insight and potential by investing in its younger members. I totally recommend young engineers apply next year."
8th European Conference on Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering
The TU Delft hosted the prestigious 8th European Conference on NUMGE last June. The conference was a huge success with many participants from all over the world and once again there was a debate over the EC7 issues with numerical analysis. The first day was kicked off by Prof David Potts from Imperial College London who gave his keynote lecture on 'Issues related to the use of numerical analysis for ultimate limit state design'.
Georgios Katsigiannis from Arup & UCL presented his paper titled 'Ultimate Limit State design of retaining walls with numerical methods'. This paper presents a comparison between the results obtained from simple empirical approaches, and full Finite Element methods using Eurocode 7 (EC7) for the design of supported excavations. It shows the influence of the current different EC7 implementation strategies for the use of partial factors when using Design Approach 1, both for Combination 1, where the action effects are factored at the end of the calculations, and also for Combination 2, where the soil strength parameters need to be factored and procedures are less clear. The influence of different factors in the results is highlighted for structural forces supported walls with increasing excavation depth and number of props. It shows the differences in prop loads obtained from FEM and empirical approaches and illustrates the challenges that designers face when using EC7.