On geotechnical design: “Engineering involves action based on decision despite uncertainty. Prediction is one necessary vehicle for adequate decision, but most often an engineer’s capacity at predicting is disparately poor regarding what will happen, and quite competent, in comparison, at predicting what will not happen; in other words, we inherently know that there will be upper and lower bounds, and that we may place ourselves beyond such bounds.
As civil engineers, and especially as geotechnical engineers, we cannot presume to simplify our problem, but must needs simplify the solution; which frequently comprises resorting to upper and lower bounds, even if parameters are only roughly estimated”
– V.B.F. de Mello (1977) 17th Rakine Lecture. Géotechnique, 27(3):281-354
Using the foregoing quote as inspiration, in our workflows we look to combine expertise & creativity to provide value & certainty for our customers. This is not a trivial statement of buzzwords and marketing doublespeak. It is the essence of our mission – to provide value & certainty by what we do as a business and as a consulting practice.
As geotechnical designers, our areas of expertise include:
Geotechnical engineering is one of the most technically difficult, and most innovative, sub-disciplines of civil engineering and the scope for creativity is vast. Geotechnical design, being the ability to observe a ground profile and see a means to viably improve the ground or design a method to maintain stability or suppress excessive settlements, takes a special species of creative mind – it is a strange mix of the analytical and the imaginative. Our projects span the full gamut of geotechnical design: soil modification / stabilisation, engineered fills, deep soil mixing, deep excavations, piling, shallow foundation design, temporary works foundations such as thrust blocks, retaining walls, tunnelling & underground space and soil structure interaction assessments. Because of this, our staff are able to approach problems from a conceptual level and with broad latitude of thinking & smart, rigorous rationale. Moreover, the ability to monitor throughout construction and provide verification at the back-end of the project is fundamental to our normal project role.
Not afraid to put our money where our mouth is, we appropriate profits into staff, training, software and equipment to allow us to provide advanced geotechnical design, research and investigative services. The company operates with a very flat management structure meaning that there is always personal accountability when dealing with customers in the spirit of providing a great geotechnical design service – this is a facet of the business that we are constantly striving to improve.
Invariably, solutions require a mix of creativity & specialist skills, not to mention a sound knowledge of construction methods & temporary works and an appreciation of commercial aspects of construction. We thrive on the challenge of finding solutions to even the most difficult design problems with a cogent understanding of the regulatory environment and to the highest safety standards. Our global outlook allows us to choose the right solutions efficiently. In addition, we have the focus to deliver quality solutions to programme & budget. We advocate a collaborative approach and welcome early involvement, be it on traditional or D&B frameworks. We believe that good communication and a best-for-project ethos, coupled with the desire to do things better than they’ve always been done, gives our customers a great service. We believe strongly that the combination of our investigative, laboratory, geotechnical design and temporary works design capabilities allows us to offer a form of practical consulting that the construction industry and civil engineering needs. The ability to pull together the threads of investigation, interpretation, analysis and design on a project-specific basis is very powerful.
Get some further insight on our projects here.
Just came across this amazing simulation of the last British and Irish ice sheet by @NiallGandy & @BRITICECHRONO - lots of detail in there, which can be helpful in explaining why the glacial sediments are so wonderfully complicated! Open access here: doi.org/10.1016/j.quas… pic.twitter.com/dhhJJdAWch