The primary focus of the research paper was to identify experimentally the failure mechanism for clay-based soils subjected to a negative total (tensile) stress, but still having a positive effective stress. This combination of stresses is the same as those occurring in a soil during drying when the associated shrinkage is restrained. If the stresses in the soil are significant then cracking will occur.

Research effort around cracking is significant, but the focus is generally on the propagation of cracking. Research into the basic criterion for cracking was…


  • Why are management roles promoted within the engineering industry rather than analytical roles?

Becoming chartered as an engineer to any of the governing engineering councils is no mean trick. Anyone who has done so has earned it, through hard graft and diligence. But the route is fairly clearly defined. Take for example the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) — earn your degree, develop Knowledge, Experience & Ability through a process known as IPD or initial professional development and undertake a professional review wherein a submission is prepared for the interrogation of chartered members of the institution and subject to an…


  • Commending the technical excellence of Chinese researchers

Off the back of reading two fantastic papers in this month’s Geotechnique regarding deep cement-mixed clay (1) and defective jet-grouted cut-off walls (2) both of which were prepared with either lead or secondary authors from Wuhan University, we were discussing the anecdotal increase in Chinese authorship in our journal subscriptions. So we looked at little closer….

Using data from the Scimago Institutions Ranking, we compiled some charts outlining the growing influence of Chinese researchers using research only in the Geotechnical Engineering & Engineering Geology space. The first chart below shows the sheer volume…


  • Two new publications show that the temporary works sector is current, relevant and continuing to innovate

OK this blog post is a little bit premature as we haven’t had the time to review the subject documents in detail. We’re referring to two new high-level temporary works publications, one by CIRIA and one from the Temporary Works Forum. These are:

  1. CIRIA C761 Tower crane foundation and tie design. CIRIA, London, 2018
  2. Precast concrete: Good practice and common issues in temporary works (Temporary Works Forum, February, 2019)

C761 is a long overdue revision of the seminal C654 which has served its purpose…


  • Welcoming the government’s new playbook

The German economy is rightly lauded for its power and sustained levels of stable growth. The manufacturing sector in particular employs over 15% of the workforce. For context, manufacturing in the US accounts for just over 10% of the workforce and, in gross and percentage terms, German manufacturers employ more than their British and French counterparts combined.

You might be forgiven for thinking that large industrial operators like Siemens and Volkwagen are the reason for this but it’s not the case. In fact, the real strength of the sector is in its Hidden Champions —…


We undertook some data collection recently — the charts below are hopefully self-explanatory

A couple of points for context:

  1. These are fine-grained fills modified with either lime or lime/cement combinations
  2. In sum there’s roughly 750 measurements in the dataset
  3. Approximately 1,200 houses have been, or are currently being built, on these fills

(31/12/2018) In these divided times, unity in Katowice

“Our common efforts didn’t consist solely of producing texts or defending national interests. We were conscious of our responsibility to people and commitment for the fate of Earth, which is our home and the home of future generations who will come after us”

An optimistic summing by the President of the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice (COP24) but also a stark one insofar as there’s no hyperbole here. We are indeed considering the fate of the Earth. Three particular initiatives arose from the summit — a statement of solidarity…


(16/08/2018) Tragic Italian bridge collapse points to broader problems in infrastructure asset management.

Italy’s motorway operator, Atlantia, were delayed to the market opening this morning eventually opening over 21% down on yesterday’s share price. Later in the day trading was suspended on the stock. As we write, 39 people have lost their lives and emergency responders continue to sift through the debris with the sickening prospect of encountering more loss of life doubtless weighing heavily upon them.

Large scale structural failures like this always sharpen the focus of civil engineers. Civil society also feels it. Notwithstanding the tragic loss of…

GE Solutions Consulting Ltd

"Let's look at things differently" - GES provides integrated design consulting to specialist ground engineering contractors

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