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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.

Professor Kelvin Higgins

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.

Professor Kelvin Higgins

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 Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions
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
Yuli (Chaido) Doulala-Rigby Elected member Tensar
Chris Barker Elected member Arup
Stephanie Mennecier Elected member Mott MacDonald
Paul Perry BTS representative Hewson Consulting Engineers
Tracey Radford Geological Society Representative Atkins
Kelvin Higgins Chair Geotechnical Consulting Group
Martin S Griffin IOM3 representative Land Science
John Coggan ISRM representative University of Exeter
Francesca Waldron 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 CCo-opted member - Cooling Prize Mott MacDonald
Graham Taylor Continuing member – BSI Mott MacDonald
Andrew Ridley Co-opted member – Rankine Imperial College London
James Lawrence Guest - FMGM Geotechnical Observations
Andrew Belton Guest - IGS Wardell Armstrong
Adam Latimer Guest - AGS Ian Farmer Ltd
Nia Kajastie Guest - Ground Engineering Magazine Ground Engineering
Neil Taylor Honorary Member – ISSMGE City University
Robert Mair Extraordinary Honorary Member University of Cambridge

What have we been doing and where are we going?

The BGA launched 2020 on a high note with the John Mitchell Award Lecture given by Stuart Marchand of Wentworth House Partnership entitled “The Temporary Support of Excavations”. This was followed by Nick Barton from Oslo giving our Annual Joint Lecture with the Engineering Group of the Geological Society on “The many faces of Q” and then early in March Prof Neil Dixon and Dr Alistair Smith from Loughborough University offered an intriguing insight into “Listening to Infrastructure: Acoustic Emission Monitoring of Geotechnical Limit States”.

In March the BGA and ICE rose to the challenge presented by the Coronavirus Pandemic and arranged a series of events delivered digitally to a wide audience of locked-down geotechnical engineers.

Unfortunately, like many events worldwide, the 60th Rankine Lecture and Dinner has been postponed until 2021 when it is hoped that some normality will have been restored. Sadly, our renowned Annual Conference was also a casualty of COVID 19 but, although the networking and exhibition opportunities in 2020 were not available, the knowledge content was broadcast in three consecutive sessions. These included the 2020 Cooling Prize winner and the Masters Competition winner, reinforcing our commitment to geotechnical engineers in the early stages of their career.

The BGA’s Piling 2020 Conference, to be held at the University of Durham, has also been deferred and will now take place at the end of March 2021. A healthy number of abstracts and papers have been reviewed which will ensure an enjoyable and worthwhile event. Competitions and lectures will continue to be organised, albeit in a slightly different format until formal gatherings are once again allowed.

We have nominated three candidates for the Bright Spark Award associated with the 20th ISSMGE Conference, now rescheduled for September 2021. The Early Career Group has formalised its committee structure and established links with the South West region, who too are forging ahead with a varied and interesting digital schedule which will appeal to a wide audience.

TThe 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.