British Geotechnical Association

The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) specialises in how soil mechanics, rock mechanics and geology are applied to engineering.

The BGA is a member of Ground Forum. It's also the UK representative of the International Society for Rock Mechanics and the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE).

The BGA organises regular technical discussions on a wide range of topics related to ground engineering, including:

  • The principles of soil mechanics and rock mechanics to investigate subsurface conditions and materials
  • Slope stability
  • Risk assessment of site conditions
  • Earthworks and foundation construction

Meet the panel

The Ground Engineering panel is made up of a variety of industry experts. Find out more about our panel chair and details of the panel's members.

  • Panel chair: Prof Kelvin Higgins

    British Geotechnical Association

    Kelvin graduated from the University of Birmingham and joined Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners (now part of Jacobs). He worked for Gibb in the UK and overseas (Oman & Falkland Islands) and completed a MSc at Imperial College. He then joined the Geotechnical Consulting Group where he became a Senior Partner specialising in the application of numerical methods to geotechnical problems and the control of construction to limit the impact of construction on infrastructure. He is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College.


Other panel members

Panel member name Role Employer
Kelvin Higgins Chair Geotechnical Consulting Group
David Toll Vice Chair University of Durham
Nick Armstrong Honorary Secretary Fugro
Yvonne Ainsworth Honorary Treasurer JRL Civil Engineering
Martin Preene Honorary Communications Officer Preene Groundwater Consulting
Shelagh Fleming ICE Secretariat Institution of Civil Engineers
Tarryn Chalmers Elected member Tony Gee and Partners
Yu Sheng Hsu Elected member Mott MacDonald
Emilio Linde-Arias Elected member Arcadis
Hugo Wood Elected member COWI
David Waring Elected member BP Exploration
Matthew Coop Elected member University College London
Vincent Nyambayo Elected member Atkins
Susan Pollard Elected member Atkins
David Toll Elected member/Vice Chair University of Durham
Paul Perry BTS representative Hewson Consulting Engineers
Tracey Radford Geological Society Representative Atkins
Martin S Griffin IOM3 representative Land Science
John Coggan ISRM representative University of Exeter
Francesca Waldron Co-opted member – Early Career Group Mott MacDonald
Tony Bowerman Co-opted member – Early Career Group Atkins
Peter Reading Co-opted member – Technicians Peter Reading Geotechnical Consulting Ltd
James Lawrence Co-opted member – Rankine Imperial College London
Neil Smith Co-opted member - UK RoGEP, ISSMGE Gavin & Doherty
Sergio Solera Co-opted member - Cooling Prize Mott MacDonald
Graham Taylor Continuing member – BSI Mott MacDonald
Andrew Ridley Guest - FMGM Geotechnical Observations
Andrew Belton Guest - IGS Wardell Armstrong
Adam Latimer Guest - AGS Ian Farmer Ltd
Claire Smith Guest - Ground Engineering Magazine Ground Engineering
Neil Taylor Honorary Member – ISSMGE City University
Robert Mair Extraordinary Honorary Member University of Cambridge

What are we working on?

The BGA celebrated its 70th Anniversary with an outstandingly successful Annual Conference, exhibition and AGM in June 2019 at One Great George Street, focusing on digital progress in the geotechnical world. Young people are key to the future of the industry and were encouraged to meet more experienced engineers.

The Cooling Prize and Young Geotechnical Engineers Symposium Winners presented their papers to the membership and last year’s innovative Poster Competition once again provoked displays of some interesting projects.

Following the success of the Chalk 2018 Conference held in September 2018, the Association is developing a regular pattern of specialist conferences every two years, and are busy planning the Piling 2020 Conference to be held at the University of Durham.

The Early Career Group continues to go from strength to strength and their events now feature regularly alongside those organised by the main Committee, which is itself expanding the schedule to provide additional knowledge exchange and networking opportunities for its members as well as stimulating competitions.

The schedule for 2019-2020 is already shaping up to be varied and interesting and, with geotechnics being fundamental to infrastructure and development, will appeal to a wide audience.

Topics to be explored over the next few months include:

  • Suction bucket foundations for offshore wind turbines: geotechnical observations during installation and operation
  • A new Climate for Geocomposite Drainage
  • Earthworks Standards Update

The BGA and its members regularly contribute to a number of ICE publications. You can find out more about these by visiting the links below:

The BGA holds annual joint lectures and works closely with other engineering groups like the Geological Society and the International Geosynthetics Society. They also organise collaborative events with the British Tunnelling Society and the Offshore Engineering Society.