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Engaging with Eurocode 7

As the next generation of geotechnical engineers is the one that has to face the challenges of building resilient and sustainable structures without compromising safety, our geotechnical community has a responsibility here.

More actions and events aimed at the early career members of our profession are needed to encourage engineers to engage with the new European safety codes and design methodologies, particularly now that the official “Systematic Review” of Eurocode 7 is about to get underway (from April to September 2014) and designers will be able to influence the development of the next generation of Eurocodes.

In this context, the establishment of an annual and free event such as the workshop on Eurocode 7 and New Design Challenges represents an important step in the right direction. In March, Arup hosted the 2nd Workshop on Eurocode 7 and New Design Challenges, in collaboration with University College London, the evening before the BGA Rankine lecture.

The workshop, building on the success of the first one held at UCL last year, set the bar even higher. More than 100 participants – mainly young geotechnical engineers – gathered to learn from EC7 experts from the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, France and Singapore.

The event provided a forum for discussion about the challenges associated with safety and serviceability in geotechnical engineering and particularly the importance of soil characterisation and groundwater. Exchanges between EC7 experts, designers, young engineers and students added an appealing note to the event while all participants agreed that the workshop on EC7 and New Design Challenges has already been established as one of the most important annual events bringing together an impressive range of speakers from both industry and academia and attracting delegates from many European countries.

More important, the workshop, combining different sources of knowledge and well established practices from different countries, can contribute towards a better understanding of how our profession has to continuously adapt to change and keep satisfying efficiently the society’s needs by shaping a better world. 

Georgios Katsigiannis, researcher at Arup and UCL, georgios.katsigiannis@arup.com, www.workshopec7.com 

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