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A structure, its foundations and the surrounding ground interact with each other. Ground-structure interaction must usually be taken into account in design and this involves important interactions between specialist structural and geotechnical engineers.
During his career the speaker has encountered profound philosophical differences in approach between structural and geotechnical engineers often leading to a lack of understanding and difficulties in communication. Using case histories, this talk explores these differences in approach and the reasons for them.
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John is an Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Investigator at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Imperial College London. His areas of expertise include deep excavations and tunnels, soil-structure interaction, the influence of foundation movements on building performance and foundations on difficult ground including shrinking and swelling clays.
In addition to being very active in teaching and research, he has been responsible for the design of many large ground engineering projects such as the underground car park at the Palace of Westminster and the foundations of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. He was also London Underground's expert witness for the Parliamentary Select Committees on the Jubilee Line Extension and advised on many geotechnical aspects of that project, including ensuring that the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben were unharmed by the extension of the line. He is perhaps best known as the engineer who prevented the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling, for which he was awarded the Knight Commander of the Royal Order of Francis 1 by the Duke of Castro.