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Niels Krebs Ovesen: His legacy in Physical Modelling

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Zelda Stuck.

Niels Krebs Ovesen laid the foundations, as it were, for scaling effects in centrifuge modelling by investigating in a characteristic and meticulous fashion, the validity of physical modelling using small scale models under enhanced gravity. Initially, he carried out bearing capacity tests on circular footings on sands, focussing on the influence of gravity level and scale, which he later reported with great clarity in Géotechnique. This paper and his subsequent one to the ECSMFE in Brighton in 1979 are classics.

Further research into uplift resistance to anchors and reinforced embankments on soft clays followed in the new Danish geotechnical centrifuge. As Niels moved over towards turning his concept of a pan-European codification based on partial factors, into reality, he still remembered the importance of having real data from a ‘real’ physical event to be able to assist in design. His legacy to physical modelling is that this has now been written into the Eurocode (and the Swisscode) as a means by which a design may be evaluated and proven.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars series.

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