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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.

David Geoffrey Toll BSc, PhD, DIC, CEng, Eur. Ing., FICE, FLSW

David Toll is Professor of Engineering and Co-Director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience at Durham University. He was Chair of the ISSMGE’s Technical Committee TC106 on Unsaturated Soil and the inaugural Chair of Joint Technical Committee JTC2 of FedIGS on Geo-Engineering Data. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, has been Chair of both ICE North East and the Northern Geotechnical Group as well as being a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

He has been carrying out research into climate resilience of infrastructure and information technology applied to civil engineering for over 30 years and has published over 200 papers and 12 books. He has held Visiting Professor & Research Fellow posts at Tongji University, China, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia and University of Newcastle, Australia.

He was the founding editor of the journal, Geotechnical & Geological Engineering and has been a member of the Editorial Boards for Géotechnique and Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology.

David Toll

Panel member name Role Employer
David Toll Chair University of Durham
Andrew Ridley Vice Chair Geotechnical Observations Ltd
Nick Armstrong Honorary Secretary Fugro
Yvonne Ainsworth Honorary Treasurer Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions
Martin Preene Honorary Communications Officer Preene Groundwater Consulting
Kelvin Higgins Immediate Past Chair Geotechnical Consulting Group
Shelagh Fleming ICE Secretariat Institution of Civil Engineers
Yuli (Chaido) Doulala-Rigby Elected member Tensar
Chris Barker Elected member Arup
Stephanie Markvukaj Elected member Mott MacDonald
Stephen Thomas Elected member OGI Groundwater Specialists Ltd
Dimitrios Daskalopoulos Elected member AECOM
Georgios Katsigiannis Elected member Ferrovial Construction UK
Kevin Briggs Elected member University of Bath
Katerina Tsiampousi Elected member Imperial College
Giulia Viggiani Elected member University of Cambridge
James Lawrence Elected member Imperial College
Emilio Linde-Arias Representative of IoM3 Arcadis
Paul Perry BTS representative Hewson Consulting Engineers
Ursula Lawrence (retiring as EGGS Chairman soon) Geological Society Representative Capita
Emily Riley Co-opted member Card Geotechnics Ltd
Gary Evans Co-opted member Plowman Craven
Peter Reading Co-opted member Peter Reading Geotechnical Consulting Ltd
Neil Smith Co-opted member Gavin & Doherty
Tony Bowerman Co-opted member Mott MacDonald
Graham Taylor Continuing member – BSI Mott MacDonald
Sergio Solera Guest member Mott MacDonald
Andrew Ridley Vice Chair Geotechnical Observations Ltd
Patricia Guerra-Escobar Guest member Geosynthetics Ltd
Adam Latimer Guest member Ian Farmer Ltd
Nia Kajastie Guest member Ground Engineering
Neil Taylor Honorary Member City University
Robert Mair Extraordinary Honorary Member University of Cambridge

What have we been doing and where are we going?

The 2022 Annual Conference and AGM was finally back in its rightful place in the BGA Calendar in June, having been offered digitally in summer 2020 and moved to September 2021 when Covid at last allowed us the opportunity to meet our friends and colleagues in person at One Great George Street.

Like all societies we have had to be extremely flexible over the last two years but our members have appreciated the online delivery of our evening meetings and Prestige Lectures when necessary and hopefully we will have gained a new audience as well as retaining our existing one.

Unfortunately, like many events worldwide, the 60th Rankine Lecture and Dinner was postponed yet again but we eventually returned to Imperial College on 18 March 2022 for Prof Stephan Jefferis’ long-awaited Lecture. Prof John Carter of the University of Newcastle in Australia has accepted our invitation to deliver the 61st Lecture on 15 March 2023.

Throughout the year the Early Career Group have also held their events online, including their popular Professional Development Event, but their October networking event was able to be held in person at One Great George Street.

The Scottish Ground Engineering Group kindly hosted the Cooling Prize 2022 online and the BGA organised the Masters Prize and the Annual Conference Poster Competition to encourage young engineers in the development of their careers, as well as the annual BGA Medal competition

An exciting programme of stimulating evening lectures is being arranged for the 2022/23 season and, following the success of the Chalk 2018 conference at Imperial College and then Piling 2020 (finally held online in March 2021), the BGA is busy preparing for its next biennial conference on GeoResilience in March 2023 in Cardiff.

While online lectures can draw a wider audience, it is generally accepted that the opportunity to network is a casualty, so the BGA is launching an inaugural “members’ dinner” in October, at which the ICE President, Ed McCann, has agreed to speak at One Great George Street.

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.