Geotechnics in the New Millennium:

an Imperial College perspective.


Nineteen ninety-nine is a landmark year for Soil Mechanics at Imperial College (IC), particularly because of the 50th anniversary of the famous DIC/MSc post-graduate course. Staff appointments, and the opening of the new ABishop@ laboratory, prompt us to debate and review our research and teaching objectives for the year two thousand, and beyond.

 A three-day special symposium will be held at the College between 15th and 17th September 1999. The aim is to celebrate the achievements of the past 50 years and review the state-of-the-art in analytical methods, laboratory and field techniques, and postgraduate education. A unique programme is being designed to stimulate lively debate and speculation on the future of geotechnics and the practical impact of research.

The delegate list will range from invited International experts (at least eight former Rankine lecturers), through active mid-career consultants and academics, to recent PhD and MSc graduates (including Cooling Prize winners).

There will be a series of expert keynote addresses and specialist briefings, and three intentionally controversial propositions will be debated.

A predictions competition will also be held, based on a presently confidential project in which advanced laboratory work, field testing and numerical analysis were brought to bear in researching and proving a new geotechnical process.


All who would like to contribute to the scientific debate will be welcome to attend. The event is also intended to be entertaining; alumni and friends of the College will be especially welcome and should enjoy the chance to renew friendships and to meet the current IC geotechnical team. Some delegates may wish to attend only the first day, which will include a general review, poster and reunion sessions, a reception and the symposium dinner.



Please bookmark this page, as we will be updating it throughout the year.

News for February and March 1999

Provisional Programme:






15th September

Past Perspectives. Contributors will include Prof. Burland, Prof. Skempton, Prof. Ambreseys, and Prof. Vaughan.

Postgraduate Eductation.

Current Laboratory Research followed by a tour of the laboratories and presentations by the researchers.

Evening Reception.


16th September

State of the Art I: Analysis.
Session led by Prof. Potts.

Debate I.

State of the Art II: Laboratory.
Session led by Prof. Hight.

Prediction Competition. More details to follow during March.

Symposium Dinner.


17th September

State of the Art III: Geotechnics in the Environment.
Session led by Prof. Jefferis

Debate II.

State of the Art IV: Field.
Session led by Prof. Chandler.

Closing Address.



Speakers and contributors:

Professor John Atkinson
Professor Chris. Clayton
Professor Antonio Gens
Professor David Hight
Professor Michele Jamiolkowski
Professor Steph. Jefferis
Professor Robert Mair
Professor Norbert Morgenstern
Professor Hywel Thomas

Symposium Costs:

The cost per delegate will be around 115 plus 35 for the optional Syposium Dinner. There will be a reduced rate for delegates wishing to attend the first day only and the evening reception.




To register a definite interest in attending this special Symposium:

e-mail Sue Feller on , or write to her at:

Ms. Sue Feller
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine,
Imperial College Road,

Or you can call on ++ 44 (0) 171 594 6077, or send a facsimile on ++ 44 (0) 171 225 2716.

Include your name and address, and if you have an association with the Soil Mechanics Section at Imperial please let us know.  


If you want to find out more, please contact Professor David Potts at:

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine,
Imperial College Road,

Telephone ++ 44 (0) 171 594 6084
Facsimile ++ 44 (0) 171 225 2716