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BGA 17th Annual Conference 2020: session 3

Event organised by The British Geotechnical Association

21 July 2020

This event has now ended

You can catch-up on details or any broadcast and downloads here.


Chairman: This Session will be chaired by Prof David Toll, Vice Chairman of the BGA. David is a Professor in the Department of Engineering at Durham University and chairs various UK geotechnical groups as well as several international committees.

Geotechnical challenges of offshore pipelines - Dr Indrasenan Thusyanthan, Atkins

Offshore pipelines are fundamental lifelines for the supply of oil and gas around the world. This talk will present the geotechnical challenges faced during the design, installation and maintenance of offshore pipelines and will cover several aspects of geotechnics linked to offshore pipelines.

The importance of understanding soil classification and its limitations, the fundamentals of pipe-soil interaction and upheaval buckling will be presented. Typical methods of offshore pipeline burial, ploughing and trenching, and the complexities in associated geotechnical assessment will be discussed. Challenges in operation and maintenance of offshore pipelines will be presented.

Lessons for geotechnical engineers from an expert witness - Neil Smith, Geotechnical Consultant

The experience of being drawn into a contractual dispute which may ‘turn legal’ is always a painful process for defendants and is often very lengthy. There are also substantial financial implications even if the major part of the burden is borne by insurers.

Firstly, the positions of the Company will be discussed, this is generally the party named in the dispute and carries Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII), so the Company’s Insurer is also involved and will carry substantial influence in the way the dispute is handled and decided. Secondly, the employee involved will be discussed, who is likely to experience substantial stress and may be subjected to heavy scrutiny and criticism.

Harnessing sustainable energy from the ground: a geotechnical perspectiveb - Dr David Taborda, Imperial College London

The need to meet increasingly stricter sustainability targets in order to reduce carbon emissions has led to the development of technologies that focus on delivering low-carbon heating and cooling to buildings. A possible solution for this decarbonisation challenge is to use the ground as a thermal storage medium, with heat being extracted during the winter and excess heat being stored during the summer.

This talk will focus on the design and performance of thermo-active geo-structures, which combine the traditional role of providing stability to above-ground structures with that of heat exchange eg. thermo-active pile foundations and retaining walls.

For more information please contact:

Shelly-Ann Russell