Imperial College awards honorary degree to ICE President Lord Mair

A tunnelling specialist, Professor Lord Mair also has a PhD from the University of Cambridge. 

Professor Lord Robert Mair (second from right) accepts his honorary degree from Imperial.
Professor Lord Robert Mair (second from right) accepts his honorary degree from Imperial.
ICE President Professor Lord Robert Mair has received an honorary degree from Imperial College London for his outstanding contribution to civil engineering. 

He accepted the degree of ‘Doctor of Science honoris causa’ earlier this month during a ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London, in the 200th anniversary year of ICE. 

Underground construction has been Professor Lord Mair's specialism throughout his whole career, which spans over 40 years.

Tunnelling expert

He has worked on schemes around the world, and in the UK was closely involved with projects including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (now HS1), Crossrail and the London Underground Jubilee Line Extension.  

He also introduced compensation grouting in the UK. This was a new technique for controlling settlement of structures during tunnel construction, and has been used on the Jubilee Line project, as well as the Waterloo Escalator Tunnel Project. 

His education and achievements

In October 2017, Robert Mair became Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of Research at Cambridge University, and a month later took up his position as ICE's 153rd president. 

He was appointed Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at Cambridge in 1998.

He was the Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering 2011-17, Master of Jesus College 2001-11, and a Fellow of St John's College 1998-2001. 

He's also one of the founding directors of the Geotechnical Consulting Group (GCG), an international consulting company based in London, started in 1983.

He was appointed chief engineering adviser to the Laing O'Rourke Group in 2011.

Professor Lord Mair read Engineering at Clare College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1971. 

After working in industry for some years, he returned to Cambridge to do a three-year PhD  on tunnelling in soft ground. He was awarded with a PhD for this work in 1979.