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Conference preview: Edinburgh shows engineering examples

In the final instalment of this preview series, GE looks at what delegates can expect from the last day of the 16th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ECSMGE). 

The 16th ECSMGE event will be held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre from 13-17 September. The conference will provide a key opportunity to gain technical insight from a broad range of speakers, network with delegates and participate in an engaging programme of social events, including a visit to the Queensferry Crossing bridge construction works.

On the last day of the event, the technical sessions will commence with the sixth and final plenary session, which will focus on development – one of the main conference themes. The session will be introduced by Andreas Pfaffhuber of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Norway. Mike Long of University College, Dublin, Ireland will then present an invited lecture entitled Developments in the use of geophysics in geotechnical engineering in soft ground.

Queensferry Crossing

Source: Copyright TRL. All rights reserved.

One of the technical tours on offer is a boat trip to view the construction works for the Queensferry Crossing bridge and the existing cantilever rail and suspension road bridges

Long’s lecture will be followed by four oral presentations. Faridah Chebet of the University of Cape Town, South Africa will talk on Large direct shear testing of sand reinforced with polyethylene (plastic) shopping bag waste material and Göran Holm of the Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Sweden will present Stabilised sediments in port constructions – Important considerations and key experiences. Michael Dobie of Tensar International, Indonesia will talk on Reinforced soil design using a two-part wedge mechanism: justification and evidence and Benjamin Aulbach of ZAI Ziegler und Aulbach Ingenieurgesellschaft, Germany will deliver a presentation on Design formula for the safety against hydraulic heave.

During the refreshment break, delegates will have the last opportunity to view the exhibition and poster displays. Following this, the technical programme will resume with the seventh and final set of parallel discussion sessions. There will be a single period of five sessions, comprising non-linear infrastructure; earthworks, dams and dykes; sustainability, climate change, waste and energy; classification and laboratory testing; and modelling.

After the discussion sessions, the closing ceremony will commence with feature presentations from Antonio Gens, ISSMGE vice-president for Europe, as well as from the organisers of future ISSMGE, ECSMGE and European conferences. Chris Menkiti, chairman of the British Geotechnical Association, will present thanks on behalf of the host society and then Mike Winter, chairman of the conference organising committee, will formally close the event.

For those not leaving early, a packed lunch will be provided so that delegates can depart for the various technical tours.* These currently include a boat trip on the Maid of the Forth to view the construction works for the Queensferry Crossing bridge and the existing cantilever rail and suspension road bridges. This will be followed by a visit to the Education and Contact Centre where the investigation and construction of the project will be explained.

Alternatively, delegates can visit Antonine Wall, part of the World Heritage “Roman Frontiers” site; or the Falkirk Wheel, including a boat trip on the lift that links the Union and Forth-Clyde canals. Delegates also have the option to tour the Railway Research Centre at Heriot-Watt University, where investigations are carried out into the main issues for modern rail networks; or the Haymarket rail tunnel upgrade, a key part of the Edinburgh rail infrastructure.

There is also the opportunity to attend a walking tour of Edinburgh’s early, and now redundant, railway tunnels and earthworks; or delegates can attend a series of walking tours of Edinburgh’s geology, based around Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Park, George Square Buildings, Carlton Hill building stone and the geology of Queensferry Oil Shales.

*The programme of technical tours may be modified depending on interest from delegates.

More information

With just one month to go, a record number of delegates are expected to attend the conference so don’t miss out on your chance to attend. For more information about the event, or to register, please visit www.xvi-ecsmge-2015.org.uk 

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