Close

Presenters' Biographies

Ir H. A. Jas, Tensar International Ltd

Ir H. A. Jas, Tensar International Ltd

Hein Jas is Director Application Technology of Tensar International Limited. He is a graduate of the Technical University of Delft (NL) and has been employed by Tensar since 1983. During the years with Tensar he has been involved in the introduction and sales of geogrids in many countries in Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific. He was an active member of many working committees in countries like the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland and still is a member CEN TC 189. At present he is responsible for all application technology aspects of Tensar Geogrids, such as design, (fundamental) research and product development.

Professor J. B. Burland, Imperial College London

Professor J. B. Burland, Imperial College London

Born in the UK, Professor Burland was educated in South Africa and studied Civil Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. He returned to England in 1961 and worked with Ove Arup and Partners for a few years.

After studying for his PhD at Cambridge University, Professor Burland joined the Building Research Station in 1966, became Head of the Geotechnics Division in 1972 and Assistant Director in 1979. In 1980 he was appointed to the Chair of Soil Mechanics at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. He is now Emeritus Professor & Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College.

In addition to being very active in teaching (which he loves) and research, John Burland has been responsible for the design of many large ground engineering projects world-wide including the underground car park at the Palace of Westminster and the foundations of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. He specialises in problems relating to the interaction between the ground and masonry buildings. He was London Underground's expert witness for the Parliamentary Select Committees on the Jubilee Line Extension and has advised on many geotechnical aspects of that project, including ensuring the stability of the Big Ben Clock Tower. He was a member of the international board of consultants advising on the stabilisation of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City and was a member of the Italian Prime Minister’s Commission for stabilising the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

He has received many awards and medals including the Kelvin Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to Engineering and the Gold Medals of the Institution of Structural Engineers and of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Society and was appointed CBE in 2005.

Professor R. M. Koerner, Geosynthetic Institute

Professor R. M. Koerner, Geosynthetic Institute

Dr. Robert M. Koerner’s (Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at Drexel University and Director of the Geosynthetic Institute) interest in geosynthetics spans thirty years of teaching, research, writing and consulting. He holds his Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from Duke University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, an Honorary Member of ASCE, and a member of the U. S. National Academy of Engineering. Professor Koerner has authored and co-authored 600+ papers on geosynthetics and geotechnical topics in journals and at national and international conferences. His most widely used publication is the fifth edition of the textbook entitled "Designing with Geosynthetics".

Mr C. G. Jenner, Tensar International Ltd

Mr C. G. Jenner, Tensar International Ltd

Chris Jenner graduated from The City University with an honours degree in Civil Engineering. He is a Charted Engineer, registered with the Engineering Council, and a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He has previously held the position Chairman of the UK Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society and was a member of the British Standard Committee, which developed the BS8006 Code of Practice for Strengthened/Reinforced Soils and other Fills.

He is technical editor of the CEN committee producing the European Execution Document for reinforced soils. His early career experience was in temporary works design for major contractors both in the UK and overseas.

Chris joined Tensar International (Netlon Ltd.) in 1985 as Senior Design Engineer producing design proposals and delivering design workshops on reinforced soil design. In 1992 he took over responsibility for the management of the Design & Applications Department at Tensar International. He was appointed Chief Civil Engineer in 2002.

Dr. B. Das, California State University

Dr. B. Das, California State University

Braja Das is Dean Emeritus of California State University, Sacramento. He received his Ph.D. in the area of Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After 33 years of university teaching and administration, he retired in 2006 & now lives in the Las Vegas area.

He has authored several geotechnical textbooks and reference books, most of which have been translated into several languages. His research in the area of soil stabilization relates to evaluation of bearing capacity and settlement of shallow foundations on geogrid-reinforced soil.

He is a Fellow and Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a Life Member of the American Society for Engineering Education. From 1995 to 2001, he chaired the Chemical and Mechanical Stabilization Committee of TRB (Transportation Research Board), Washington, D.C. and is now an Emeritus Member of that committee. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering (J. Ross Publishing Company, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) and a member of the Editorial Boards of Geotextiles and Geomembranes (Elsevier) and Geotechnical and Geological Engineering (Springer) journals.

Dr J. P. Giroud, JP Giroud Inc.

Dr J. P. Giroud, JP Giroud Inc

Dr. Giroud, a former professor of geotechnical engineering, is a consulting engineer under JP GIROUD, INC., and Chairman Emeritus and founder of GeoSyntec Consultants. Dr. Giroud is chairman of the editorial board of Geosynthetics International, past president of the International Geosynthetics Society (the IGS) and Member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

He coined the terms "geotextile” and "geomembrane” in 1977 and has authored over 350 publications. He has developed many of the design methods used in geosynthetics engineering (in particular for unpaved roads, filters and liner systems) and has originated a number of geosynthetics applications, in particular for landfills, liquid impoundments, and dams. In 1994, the IGS named its highest award "The Giroud Lecture”, "in recognition of the invaluable contributions of Dr. J.P. Giroud to the technical advancement of the geosynthetics discipline”.

In 2002, Dr. Giroud became Honorary Member of the IGS with the citation "Dr. Giroud is truly the father of the International Geosynthetics Society and the geosynthetics industry”. In 2005, Dr. Giroud has been awarded the status of "hero” of the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and has delivered the prestigious Vienna Terzaghi Lecture in Austria. In 2005-2006 he presented the Mercer Lectures, a prestigious lecture series endorsed jointly by the IGS and the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, and sponsored by Tensar International. In 2007, J.P. Giroud became Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Bucharest (Romania) and in 2008 he delivered the ASCE Terzaghi Lecture, the highest honor bestowed on a geotechnical engineer by the ASCE.

Mr G. R. A. Watts, Transport Research Laboratory

Mr G. R. A. Watts, Transport Research Laboratory

Guy is a senior geotechnical research engineer at the Transport Research Laboratory (UK), where he has specialised in soil structure interaction problems. Particular fields of interest include all aspects of reinforced soil, the durability of materials installed in the ground and the performance of geosynthetics. Other research areas include: soil nailing, the performance of piles, the usage of foamed concrete, highway edge drains and, more recently the use of reinforcements in pavement construction and long-life pavements in Europe.

Guy graduated in Applied Maths & Physics in 1978 from the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth. He then entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, passing out in 1979, and subsequently served as a Troop Commander in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, in Europe and North America.

In 1982 Guy left the army and returned to university to read civil engineering at the University of Surrey. He graduated in 1985 and he obtained a Master Degree in Geotechnical Engineering in 1992. After graduation he worked for Costain for a short time, before joining the Ground Engineering Division of the (then) Transport and Road Research Laboratory in 1986.

He has authored many papers and reports, was a committee member for the CIRIA project on Soil Reinforcement with Geotextiles, represented the Highways Agency and the UK on the European COST Action investigating the usage of reinforcements in road pavements, and is a past-Chairman of the International Geosynthetics Society (UK). Guy continues to work for the Transport Research Laboratory but he is currently on a 12 month secondment to the Highways Agency.

Professor E.Tutumluer, University of Illinois

Professor E.Tutumluer, University of Illinois

Dr. Tutumluer is a transportation/geotechnical engineer and a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Professor Tutumluer has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in transportation soils engineering, subgrade soil and aggregate behavior and stabilization, introduction to transportation engineering, and pavement analysis and design at the University of Illinois since 1996.

Dr. Tutumluer has research interests and expertise in testing and modeling of pavement and railroad track geo-materials, i.e., base/ballast unbound aggregates; recycled aggregates and their unbound applications, shape, texture, angularity characterization of aggregates using video-imaging techniques, use of geosynthetics in pavements/railroad track, modeling of particulate media using discrete and finite element methods, artificial intelligence in the form of neural network modeling, mechanistic based pavement design, and nondestructive pavement evaluation. He has authored and co-authored over 130 technical papers in these areas.

Professor C. Clayton, University of Southampton

Professor C. Clayton, University of Southampton

Chris Clayton is Head of the School of Civil Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton. He was previously Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Surrey, and for the first decade of his career worked as a contractor (amongst other jobs, providing consultancy to Netlon on geogrids). He is a past Chairman of the British Geotechnical Society, and a previous Editor of both the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology and Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Geotechnical Engineering. He is currently the Editor of Geotechnique.

Chris has published extensively, producing over 200 papers, textbooks on ‘Site Investigation’, and on ‘Earth pressure and Earth-retaining Structures’, and CIRIA reports on the procurement of ground investigation, on the SPT and on engineering in the Chalk. In 2010 he will deliver the 50th Rankine Lecture.

Professor S. F. Brown, University of Nottingham

Professor S. F. Brown, University of Nottingham

Professor Stephen Brown is an Emeritus Research Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Nottingham where he has worked for most of his career. He is also a specialist pavement engineering consultant. He had the privilege of working closely with the late Dr Brian Mercer in the early 1980’s as part of the team of researchers who pioneered the introduction of high tensile polymer Geogrids into civil engineering practice. More recently he was awarded the Mercer Senior Award for innovation by the Royal Society to study the reinforcement of railway ballast with Geogrids. During his long career, Professor Brown has been involved in a wide range of pavement engineering and soil mechanics research. He was the 36th Rankine Lecturer of the British Geotechnical Society in 1996 and was awarded the Institution of Civil Engineers’ James Alfred Ewing Medal for his research achievements in 1997 and a Spirit of Telford award in 2007.

Dr N. H. Thom, University of Nottingham

Dr N. H. Thom, University of Nottingham

Dr. Nick Thom was educated at Cambridge University where he graduated in Engineering Sciences in 1977. After a year as a visiting researcher at the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava he joined Scott Wilson, gaining experience in geotechnics, structures and bridge design. Between 1981 and 1984 he worked on the A180 trunk road as an Assistant Resident Engineer.

From 1984 to 1987 he worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Nottingham, and was awarded his PhD on the subject of Road Foundations in 1988.

Returning to Scott Wilson in 1987 he joined the recently-formed Pavement Engineering company, a joint venture with the University of Nottingham, he managed numerous pavement evaluation projects on major highways, airfields, port and industrial pavements, as well as research, specification etc.

In 1991, he joined the academic staff of the Department of Civil Engineering at Nottingham as a part-time lecturer, retaining a role as consultant to Scott Wilson. He continues to be extensively involved in research in both highway and railway engineering as well as leading the railway engineering teaching. In addition to authoring numerous technical papers he has now published a textbook on the subject of pavement engineering.

Dr. ir A. H. de Bondt, Ooms Avenhorn Groep bv

Dr. ir A. H. de Bondt, Ooms Avenhorn Groep bv

Arian de Bondt graduated from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1989. Between 1989 and 1996 he was a researcher at the Road and Railway Research Laboratory of Delft University of Technology. In 1996 he joined Ooms Avenhorn Groep as Manager Research & Development. Ooms Avenhorn Groep is a Dutch contractor active in the Netherlands in road & hydraulic construction as well as in project development & housing. Internationally the main activity is production and sales of polymer modified bitumen. The company is known for its innovations, such as Sealoflex®, Invisible Joint Systems® and Road Energy Systems®.

Arian finished his Ph.D.-thesis entitled "Anti-Reflective Cracking Design of (Reinforced) Asphaltic Overlays” in 1999. Since then he kept on working in the field of asphalt reinforcement. He is for instance chairman of CEN-TC189 Working Group 1a which deals with Geosynthetics in asphalt. He was leader of Working Group 4 of the COST348-action on Design of reinforced pavement structures. Also, he is president of the Dutch Chapter of IGS. Besides this, he is active in more than 10 national and international working groups as well as member of associations in the USA, Germany and Belgium.

At Ooms he is mainly involved in new products & innovative construction techniques, advanced engineering (finite element analyses) of cost-effective solutions for special projects and laboratory work; all in the bituminous road construction sector. He is, so to say, with one foot in science and one foot in practice.

Mr N. Reck, Tensar International Corporation

Mr N. Reck, Tensar International Corporation

Nicholas Reck is a registered Professional Civil Engineer with over 20 years of pavement experience. Nicholas concluded his formal education at Stellenbosch University in South Africa with a Masters degree specializing in Pavement materials and design.

Since graduating Nicholas has lived on three continents and travelled extensively to provide design and installation advice and manage research projects for pavement reinforcement applications. Nicholas has therefore acquired unique worldwide experience with the use of Geosynthetic and Steel reinforcement in Pavements.

His formal learning and implementation of Mechanistic Empirical design tools as a practitioner and the experience he gained with a broad range of Pavement reinforcement research and field studies makes him well qualified to talk on this subject.

Professor B. Clarke, University of Leeds

Professor B. Clarke, University of Leeds

Barry Clarke, Professor of Civil Engineering Geotechnics at the University of Leeds, research expertise includes development of innovative in situ and laboratory testing techniques to determine the stiffness and conductivity of soils; use of waste in construction; development of innovative solutions to a range of geo engineering problems; and the resilience of infrastructure.

He is an Associate Director of the Institute of Resilient Infrastructure in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds with a particular focus on external relationships.

Barry is a Vice President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and President of the Engineering Professors Council. He represents higher education on the Board of CITB ConstructionSkills; is a member of the Strategic Panel of ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry; is Champion of Lifelong Learning for the Construction Industry Council; and sits on the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team for Process, Environment and Sustainability.

Also, Barry Clarke is a former Head of Civil Engineering at Newcastle University and was Chairman of the British Geotechnical Association (2001 - 2003), Chairman of the Ground Forum (2002 - 2004) and Chairman of ICE North (2002 – 2003). Barry has served on the Geotechnique Advisory Panel (1989 – 1992 and 1996 – 1998) and was the founding Chairman of the Northern Geotechnical Group.

Professor A. McGown, University of Strathclyde

Professor A. McGown, University of Strathclyde

Alan McGown began his professional career as a Consulting Engineer on a number of design projects. He was then invited to join the staff of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Strathclyde and since then has been engaged in a wide range of Industrial and Governmental research, development and consultancy projects.

Alan has served on B.S.I., A.S.T.M. and ISSMFE Technical Committees. Also, he is a Past Chairman of the British Geotechnical Society, the ISSMFE Technical Committee on Geotextiles and Geomembranes and the ISSMFE European Technical Committee on Reinforced Soil. During his career, he has been involved in the development of Geotextiles, Geogrids, Geomembranes and Related Polymeric Materials and has pioneered the development of all the major ranges of products manufactured in United Kingdom and been instrumental in the establishment of the technical support for the exporting of these materials. These products are now used world-wide in an extensive range of public works, including road embankments, slopes, drainage systems, sea defences, landfills and waste disposal rehabilitation projects.

Mr S. F. Corbet, AECOM

Mr S. F. Corbet, AECOM

Steve is a Chartered Civil Engineer is responsible for the technical performance of the AECOM Ground Technology Group including the management of projects to ensure that the best possible solutions for geotechnical aspects are delivered.

Steve has 38 years experience in both contracting and consulting, first as a general civil engineer and for the last 29 years as a geotechnical specialist. He specialises in geosynthetics, earthworks, foundation design and ground improvement work.

He is one of the UK’s leading experts in the designing, specifying and standardisation of geosynthetics. He has represented the UK on the European Technical Committee (TC189) for the preparation of geosynthetics application, testing and certification standards. He is Chairman of BSI Committee B526/4 – Reinforced and Strengthened soils (BS 8006), as well as a member of BSI Committee B553 and CEN TC 189 Geosynthetics. Steve was also a past Council member of the International Geosynthetics Society as Chairman of the Technical Committee.

Dr F. Bussert, Tensar International Ltd

Dr F. Bussert, Tensar International Ltd

Florian Bussert has worked at Tensar International since 2007 and is currently the Northern European Business Manager. Prior to Tensar, he has worked in Germany at the geotechnical consultants, Kempfert and Partner GmbH.

A civil engineer, Florian has received scholarship from the European Commission (EC) for a Postgraduate Technological Study Program at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok. His doctoral degree was awarded by Clausthal Technical University in Germany following the employment as research assistant. The thesis focused on "Deformation characteristics of geosynthetic reinforced soil structures – influencing factors to determine serviceability limit state”. This doctoral thesis received a student award from the International Geosynthetic Society in 2006.

Professor M. Bolton, Cambridge University

Professor M. Bolton, Cambridge University

Malcolm Bolton graduated in engineering from Cambridge University in 1967, he also holds an MSc in structural engineering from Manchester University and a PhD in soil mechanics from Cambridge University. He started his academic career as a lecturer at UMIST in 1970 where he took up geotechnical centrifuge model testing. He returned to Cambridge in 1980 where he now holds the post of Professor of Soil Mechanics. In 2001 he became the first Director of the Schofield Centre for Geotechnical Process and Construction Modelling.

He has worked on a wide variety of geotechnical research projects including earth retaining walls, slope stability, reinforced soils, deep excavations, tunnelling, pile driving, and offshore foundations and pipelines. He currently has over 160 research publications.

He has received both the Sir Benjamin Baker Medal and the T K Hsieh Award from the UK Institution of Civil Engineers, and the Oscar Faber Award from the UK Institution of Structural Engineers. He has also been the holder of a Gledden Fellowship from the University of Western Australia and an Erskine Fellowship from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Professor Bolton has been a member of the Hong Kong Slope Stability Technical Review Board, and is active as a consultant in offshore geotechnics related to the petroleum industry. He is Chairman of ISSMGE TC35 Geomechanics of Particulate Materials, and is on the Scientific Committee of the Powders and Grains Conference, reflecting a lifelong interest in the fundamentals of granular materials.

Mr J. Armitt, Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council

Mr J. Armitt, Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council

Mr John Armitt is the Chairman of the EPSRC. He took up the post on 1 April 2007 for a four year period.

John is Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, a position he took up on 1 September 2007. He was the Chief Executive of Network Rail from October 2002 to July 2007, prior to which he was CEO of Railtrack.

John is a civil engineer and joined John Laing in 1966 as a graduate engineer. During the next 27 years he worked on major construction projects in the UK and overseas, spending the last seven as Chairman of Laings International and Civil Engineering Divisions. From 1993-1997 he was Chief Executive of Union Railways, the company responsible for development of the high speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link, due to fully open in November 2007. In 1997 he went back to construction as Chief Executive of Costain, a position he held until 2001 when he joined Railtrack just after it had been put into Administration.

He was awarded the CBE in 1996 for his contribution to the rail industry and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Civil Engineers.

Professor I. Ward, University of Leeds

Professor I. Ward, University of Leeds

Professor Ian Ward, FRS is a Research Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Leeds University. His career includes Head of Basic Physics at ICI Fibres, Senior Lecturer in the Physics of Materials at Bristol University and Chairman of the Physics Department at Leeds University. From 1989-1994 he was the first Director of the UK Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Polymer Science and Technology and has subsequently been concerned with setting up two spin-off companies, Vantage Polymers (for hot compacted composites) and Leeds Lithium Power (for lithium battery technology) His researches have been primarily concerned with the structure and properties of oriented polymers and the invention of novel processes for making very stiff and strong materials, including polymer composites.

In 1983 Professor Ward was elected to the Royal Society. He has been awarded the Griffiths, Swinburne and Netlon Medals of the Institute of Materials and the Charles Vernon Boys and Glazebrook Medals of the Institute of Physics.

He was co-founder and Chairman of the Polymer Physics Group of the Institute of Physics, Chairman of the Macromolecular Physics Section of the European Physical Society and President of the British Society of Rheology.

Professor C J F P Jones, University of Newcastle

Professor C J F P Jones, University of Newcastle

Colin Jones is Emeritus Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at Newcastle University. He is the Immediate Past Chairman of the UK Bridge Design Committee and a Past President of the International Geosynthetics Society.

Before joining the University in 1986 he was in Local Government working primarily on bridge design and maintenance, structural engineering and the development of new construction technologies, including reinforced soil. He designed the first grid reinforced soil structure, was Editor of BS 8006 and is the author of the recent Hong Kong Geoguide 6 covering Reinforced Fill.