Professor Jardine delivers 56th Rankine Lecture on 'Geotechnics and Energy'

On Wednesday 16th March, Professor Richard Jardine delivered the 56th Annual Rankine Lecture, focusing on 'Geotechnics and Energy'.

Placing tripod foundations on the Borkum West II project in the German North Sea - Courtesy Trianel
Placing tripod foundations on the Borkum West II project in the German North Sea - Courtesy Trianel

Geotechnical Engineering has matured sufficiently to contribute to some of society’s grand challenges. Prof Jardine’s 56th Rankine Lecture considered the pressing problem of ensuring vital energy supplies in the light of fossil fuel consumption’s impact on climate change and how geotechnical research and engineering can support renewable energy installations offshore.

It was a busy day for the British Geotechnical Association, starting with a half-day seminar at Imperial College, London, on “Research on Offshore Foundations”, with Prof David Potts, of Imperial College, and Prof Guy Houlsby, University of Oxford, both former Rankine Lecturers, chairing a panel of international experts.

For the main event, the 56th Rankine Lecture, Prof Richard Jardine faced a packed Great Hall with the overflow facility in the Clore Theatre bursting at the seams as well. He was introduced by Prof David Hight, who emphasised Prof Jardine’s passion for the subject, both from a technical point of view and its impact on the global society.

Prof Jardine’s Lecture considered geotechnical engineering’s contribution to ensuring vital energy supplies while recognising, mitigating and dealing with the climate consequences of fossil fuel consumption. He explained how current geotechnical research can help progress the use of renewable energy sources, particularly offshore turbines. Throughout the Lecture he paid tribute to colleagues with whom he had worked over the years and it was clear he can’t wait to continue experiments either in the laboratory or in the field. Prof Antonio Gens of Universidad Politecnica Catalunya, Barcelona, gave the vote of thanks.

The evening concluded with a dinner in honour of Prof Jardine at Imperial College when the BGA was delighted to announce that Prof Eduardo Alonso had accepted their invitation to deliver the 57th Rankine Lecture in 2017.