Event archive

Event Organiser: The British Geotechnical Association

A new climate for geocomposite drainage, London

  • London
  • 16 October 2019
  • 18:00 - 19:45
A new climate for geocomposite drainage, London

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Karl Terzaghi said "In engineering practices, difficulties through soils are almost exclusively not due to soils themselves but to water contained in their voids. On a planet without any water there would have been no need for Soil Mechanics."

The need to control water via suitable drainage is a fundamental in soil mechanics and engineers have largely achieved this giving soil improved soil strength. Solutions utilising crushed stone exist such as French drains, stone columns and drainage layers under embankments. Geocomposite drainage has been developed that performs to a higher level whilst also producing other benefits such as reduced carbon. Meanwhile surface water has been dealt with by pipes, gullies and channels.

Over the last decade, storm events have increased and population expansion has put extra stress on drainage systems, leading to instability and flooding. Increasing environmental awareness and these real events have brought into sharp focus the need to find innovative ways to attenuate and drain water from our built environment.

The buzz word is SuDS by which water us treated at source. Now geocomposite drainage is not only utilised for improving soil strength but also essential for surface water control. Alan will outline the development of these cost effective and efficient systems along with some key geotechnical and hydraulic design considerations for all engineers dealing with water.

Please note that advance booking is not required, and the event is free of charge to attend.

Please join us after the talk for drinks at the ICE bar, kindly sponsored by Tensar International.


Alan Bamforth

Alan Bamforth

Alan is a Chartered Civil Engineer whose career started in the pioneering West Yorkshire Metropolitan Council as a highways engineer at a time where geosynthetics were relatively new. Inspired by this experience, Alan realised that geosynthetics were the future but that civil engineers needed persuasion away from traditional methods by demonstrating and design.

Frustrated at the slow evolution of geosynthetic products, Alan founded the UK Company dedicated to the development and manufacture of geocomposite drainage. Geocomposites moved from single highway drains into a multitude of applications internationally. As an IGS member, Alan has authored technical papers, helped develop test methods and is regarded as an authority in geocomposite drainage.

Event venue

Institution of Civil Engineers
One Great George Street
London SW1P 3AA
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Shelly-Ann Russell

e: [email protected]