Shaking the Foundations of Geo-engineering Education, July 4-6, 2012
Keynote Lecturers

There will be five eminent keynote speakers at SFGE 2012, representing experiences from industry and academia, and covering both geo-engineering education and engineering education in general. In addition, there will be a Special Invited Lecture by Prof. John Burland to honour him for his significant contribution to mankind through his teaching and inspiration of so many young men and women throughout the world.


 Prof. John Atkinson
John Atkinson has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Civil Engineering and in Soil Mechanics from Imperial College. He was a Research Assistant in the Cambridge University Engineering Department and Senior Lecturer at University College Cardiff before coming to City University as Reader in 1980. He was promoted to the Chair in Soil Mechanics in 1985.

John Atkinson is author of several text-books on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering and is well known as a lecturer in UK and abroad and has made fundamental contributions to geo-engineering practice worldwide. He is currently Visiting Senior Principal with Coffey Geotechnics and provides technical leadership, consulting services and professional development training to Coffey Geotechnics staff in Australia and to EDGE Consultants in UK.

Prof. John Burland (Special Invited Lecture)
This committee would like to honour Prof. Burland’s significant contribution to mankind through his teaching and inspiration of so many young women and men throughout the world. John Burland is an exemplar for all teachers and a yardstick against which we can
measure our own performance. His contribution to society goes far beyond the world of soil mechanics and for this we are all enriched.
Peter Drucker once remarked “Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an
average person capable of competence and performance. In teaching we rely on the “naturals,” the ones who somehow know how to teach.” We have in John Burland a “natural” and his invited address is sure to inspire and delight a privileged audience. 


Prof. Rich Felder
Rich Felder is the Hoechst Celanese Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. He is coauthor of Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, an introductory chemical engineering text now in its third edition. He has contributed over 200 publications to the fields of science and engineering education and chemical process engineering, and writes “Random Thoughts,” a column on educational methods and issues for the quarterly journal Chemical Engineering Education. With his wife and colleague, Dr. Rebecca Brent, he codirects the National Effective Teaching Institute (NETI) and regularly offers teaching effectiveness workshops on campuses and at conferences around the world.


Prof. Paul Mayne
Paul Mayne is Professor of Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech, having previously served in geotechnical consulting practice in the Washington DC-Virginia-Maryland area. Since joining academia, he has sought to bridge the ties between theory and practice, using case studies in his teachings and research activities as well as pragmatic approaches to engineering solutions. In recent years, Dr. Mayne has given invited lectures internationally, provided CPT workshops to professional societies and private firms, as well as authored numerous  publications and technical papers. He is the chair of ISSMGE TC 16 on In-Situ Testing.



Prof. Stephen Ressler
Stephen Ressler is Professor of Civil Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Professor Ressler’s papers on engineering education have won seven Best Paper awards from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He has also won numerous awards from the ASCE, including the President’s Medal and the 2011 Outstanding Projects and Leaders Award—the organization’s highest award. His other accolades include the Bliss Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Engineering Education from the Society of American Military Engineers and the Norm Augustine Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Communications from the American Association of Engineering Societies. A colonel in the Army Corps of Engineers, Professor Ressler has served on military engineering assignments around the world. He is also a developer and principal instructor for the Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Teaching Workshop, which has trained more than 500 civil engineering faculty members from more than 200 colleges and universities.


Dr. Brian Simpson
Brian Simpson OBE is a director of Ove Arup & Partners Ltd and a principal of Arup Geotechnics. He is a Visiting Professor at City University and Special Professor at the University of Nottingham. Brian has a particular interest in the decision-making process
of design, and has been involved in the development of Eurocode 7 (Geotechnical Design), having been a member of its drafting panels and vice-chairman of the CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) committee on Eurocode 7. He was lead author of a Commentary on Eurocode 7 published by EMAP, and has recently published papers on European comparisons of retaining wall designs. He is the current chairman of the BSI committee on geotechnical codes, B/526, in which the topic of pile design is much under debate for the National Annex of Eurocode 7.