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ECSMGE preview: Invaluable insight

In the second of our series of previews, GE takes a look at day two of the 16th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, which promises to be a major highlight on the industry calendar. 

Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre (EICC) will be the setting for the 16th ECSMGE event from 13-17 September. Chaired by Antonio Gens, the second day of the conference will commence with the keynote lecture from António Gomes Correia of the University of Minho, Portugal. The lecture will discuss geotechnical engineering for sustainable transportation infrastructure.

The event will continue with the second of the main conference themes – slopes, geohazards and problematic materials – which will be introduced by Federica Cotecchia of the Politecnico di Bari, Italy. Invited lecturer Kyriazis Pitilakis, professor in earthquake geotechnical engineering at the Department of Civil Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece will then deliver a presentation on vulnerability assessment of buildings exposed to co-seismic permanent slope displacements.

This will be followed by four presentations of projects from around Europe. Elisabeth Bowman of Sheffield University will present Visualisation of internal erosion of a granular material via a new transparent soil permeameter, followed by Victor Khomenko of Moscow State University of Civil Engineering who will present The collapse of clays covering a karst cavity: in-situ investigation, conceptual model and prediction. Flow liquefaction of mine dumps during rising of groundwater-table in Eastern Germany – reasons and model-tests will be presented by Wolfram Kudla of Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany, then Ryan Lyle of Cementation, Canada will present Permafrost slopes – an emerging geohazard in a warming climate.

The programme will continue with the third of the main sessions – environment, water and energy – which will be introduced by Cristina Jommi of the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. Invited lecturer Pierre Delage of École des ponts et chaussées, France will then present a session entitled Thermo-hydromechanical issues in claystones: Application to radioactive waste storage at great depth.

There will then be four more project presentations. Matthew Bickley of Tata Steel Projects will present Design and construction experience of deep bunkers for energy from waste projects and Jan Kayser of Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute, Germany will deliver Technical-biological bank protection for waterways. Sanda Manea of Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest, Romania will then present Development of the engineering barrier and closure system at the Romanian LILW Radioactive Waste National Repository, Baita-Bihor County and Almer van der Stoel of CRUX Engineering BV, Netherlands, will present Foundations of the Wind Park Noordoostpolder.

Following lunch, there will two periods of five parallel discussion sessions, giving a choice of 10 sessions during the afternoon. The programme will be organised to minimise clashes between subjects, which will include: linear infrastructure – tunnels; urban development and environment – piles and columns; ground reinforcement and improvement; slope instability; landslides; settlement, swelling and man-made and natural cavities; investigation and in-situ testing; soil-structure interaction; and developments in education and practice.

While the presentations are in progress, there will be a variety of poster presentations within the EICC’s Strathblane Hall. The presentations will be on both conventional poster displays and electronic poster boards.

During the evening, there will be a meeting of the European Member Societies, but delegates will also be allocated some free time to explore all that Edinburgh has to offer.


With just three months to go, a record number of delegates are expected to attend the conference. The early bird registration deadline is now 12 June. For more information about the event, or to register, please visit xvi-ecsmge-2015.org.uk 

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