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Explaining Geotechnical Risks

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  • UserTim Chapman (Arup)
  • ClockTuesday 26 April 2016, 19:30-20:30
  • Housetba.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Stefan Ritter.

Summary: Tim will talk about explaining geotechnical risks to clients and other people who don’t always appreciate us. We frequently as a profession complain that our clients don’t understand the value of what we do – or invest in the vital risk mitigation measures that we propose, such as properly funding ground investigations (or geotechnical research!). So it is important we put our risks into a context in which they can understand. In a typical building project, geotechnical engineers are just one of almost 20 technical disciplines vying for the client’s attention (and time and money). Tim will show that the nature of geotechnical risks are different to most others; many non-geotechnical risks are amenable to management by leaving a contingency, they can be ignored and dealt with as they happen. But geotechnical risks can be catastrophic for programme, and so can critically undermine the financial models on which the project depends. They need to be mitigated at source, or risk spiralling out of control. Tim’s talk will encompass Hammurabi, the Titanic, Black Swans and Heathrow Terminal 5 in the journey towards geotechnical risk explanation. The talk will parallel the content in MOGE Chapter 7 ” Geotechnical risks and their context for the whole project”.

Short biography: Tim is an Arup Director leading its London Infrastructure Design group. He has extensive experience in the design of big infrastructure and large buildings including almost 30 years of design of underground London. He has worked on many major London projects including Crossrail, Canary Wharf and the London Olympics. Tim was chair of the CIRIA Ground Engineering Advisory Panel and the ICE Committees on Critical Infrastructure and Carbon reduction in design. He was a main editor and author of the ICE Manual of Geotechnical Engineering (MOGE). He provided the technical justification for planning guidance for basements in London. He has published extensively and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Geotechnical Society Seminar Series series.

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