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Principles and practicalities of earthworks

Event organised by ICE

26 June 2024
12:30 - 13:00 BST (GMT+1)

This event has now ended


From the construction of embankments to heavy lifting operations, earthworks and geotechnics are a common discipline that often form the starting point for successful projects. This presentation will peel back the layers that encapsulate the world of earthworks design and earthworks construction – allowing good decisions to be made on site that reflect best practice and a quality product. Topics of discussion are as follows:

  1. Purpose
  2. History
  3. The compaction process
  4. Earthworks Specification
  5. Fill Design & Specification Limits
  6. Analysis & Factors of Safety
  7. Modes of Failure
  8. Management of Existing Assets


George Norcott

George Norcott


design engineer

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George Norcott

George started as a site engineer with no qualification, just an ambition to become an architect. After securing a position on the construction of a multistorey carpark in Rochester which involved ground works, piling, reinforced concrete in-situ and precast then M&E and snagging works, he knew that civil engineering provided the diversity of work and stimulation to keep him interested; and architecture could be left to the artists and academics.

George delivered 4 major projects as assistant/ engineer on civil/ rail sites while studying to gain his HNC and BEng (Hons) and then went into the world of heavy civils, marine and reinforced concrete of Hinckley Point (at Avonmouth) – during this time he relocated to the southwest and commuted to Bristol from Cornwall for a short while.

George relocated to a new company on a highways project where the diversity of work caught his attention again, the site was outside of St Austell and the geology of the area provided some stimulating challenges regarding earth works – this required a lot of study to get up to speed, and is what the presentation is based on – he now works as a designer with WSP on multidisciplinary projects across the UK.