Rankine Lecture

The Rankine Lecture is widely viewed as the most prestigious of the invited lectures in geotechnics. It commemorates WJM Rankine, Professor of Civil Engineering at Glasgow University, who was one of the first engineers in the UK to make a significant contribution to soil mechanics. He is best known for his theory for the earth pressure on retaining walls.

The Rankine Lecture is held in March each year. In even-numbered years, the lecturer is from the UK. In odd-numbered years, the lecturer is from outside the UK. Each lecture is usually published in Géotechnique. A list of all the lecturers and links to their published papers are given below:

2017 – Prof. Eduardo Alonso

2016 – Prof. R. J. Jardine: Geotechnics and Energy

2015 – Dr. Suzanne Lacasse: Hazard, Risk and Reliability in Geotechnical Practice

2014 – Prof Guy Houlsby: Interactions in Offshore Foundation Design

2013 – Prof. M. Jamiolkowski: Soil Mechanics and the observational method: Challenges at the Zelazny Most copper tailings disposal facility

2012 – Prof M. D. Bolton: Performance-based design in geotechnical engineering

2011 – Prof. S. W. Sloan: Geotechnical stability analysis

2010 – Prof. C. R. I. Clayton: Stiffness at small strain. – research and practice

2009 – Prof. T. O’Rourke: Geohazards & Large Geographically Distributed Systems

2008 – Dr A. Charles: The engineering behaviour of fill – the use, misuse and disuse of case histories

2007 – Prof. A. Gens: Soil-environment interactions in geotechnical engineering

2006 – Prof. R. J. Mair: Tunnelling and geotechnics – new horizons

2005 – Prof. R. K. Rowe: Long term performance of contaminant barrier systems

2004 – Prof. N. N. Ambraseys: Engineering, seismology and soil mechanics

2003 – Prof. M. F. Randolph: Science and empiricism in pile foundation design

2002 – Prof. D. M. Potts: Numerical analysis: a virtual dream or practical reality?

2001 – Prof. H. Brandl: Energy foundations and other thermo-active ground structures

2000 – Prof. J. H. Atkinson: Non-linear soil stiffness in routine design

1999 – Prof. S. Leroueil: Natural slopes and cuts: movement and failure mechanisms

1998 – Dr D.W. Hight: Soil characterisation: the importance of structure and anisotropy

1997 – Prof. G.E. Blight: Interactions between the atmosphere and the Earth

1996 – Prof. S.F. Brown: Soil mechanics in pavement engineering

1995 – Prof. R.E. Goodman: Block theory and its application

1994 – Prof. P.R. Vaughan: Assumption, prediction and reality in geotechnical engineering

1993 – Prof. K. Ishihara: Liquefaction and flow failure during earthquakes

1992 – Dr B. Simpson: Retaining structures: displacement and design

1991 – Prof. J.K Mitchell: Conduction phenomena: from theory to geotechnical practice

1990 – Prof. J.B. Burland: On the compressibility and shear strength of natural clays

1989 – Prof. H.G. Poulos: Pile behaviour – theory and application

1988 – Prof. H.B. Sutherland: Uplift resistance in soils

1987 – Prof. R.F. Scott: Failure

1986 – Dr A.D.M. Penman: On the embankment dam

1985 – Prof. N. Janbu: Soil models in offshore engineering

1984 – Prof. C.P. Wroth: The interpretation of in situ soil tests

1983 – E. Hoek: Strength of jointed rock masses

1982 – Dr D.J. Henkel: Geology, geomorphology and geotechnics

1981 – Prof. N.R. Morgenstern: Geotechnical engineering and frontier resource development

1980 – Prof. A.N. Schofield: Cambridge geotechnical centrifuge operations

1979 – Prof. H. Bolton Seed: Considerations in the earthquake-resistant design of earth and rockfill dams

1978 – Dr W.H. Ward: Ground supports for tunnels in weak rocks

1977 – V.F.B. de Mello: Reflections on design decisions of practical significance to embankment dams

1976 – Dr A.C. Meigh: The Triassic rocks, with particular reference to predicted and observed performance of some major foundations

1975 – Prof. J. Kerisel: Old structures in relation to soil conditions

1974 – Prof. R.E. Gibson: The analytical method in soil mechanics

1973 – Prof. T.W. Lambe: Predictions in soil engineering

1972 – Prof. P.W. Rowe: The relevance of soil fabric to site investigation practice

1971 – Prof. J.C. Jaeger: Friction of rocks and stability of rock slopes

1970 – Prof. K.H. Roscoe: The influence of strains in soil mechanics

1969 – Prof. R.B. Peck: Advantages and limitations of the observational method in applied soil mechanics

1968 – R. Glossop: The rise of geotechnology and its influence on engineering pracice

1967 – Dr L. Bjerrum: Engineering geology of Norwegian normally-consolidated marine clays as related to settlements of buildings

1966 – Prof. A.W. Bishop: The strength of soils as engineering materials

1965 – Prof. N.M. Newmark: Effects of earthquakes on dams and embankments

1964 – Prof. A.W. Skempton: Long-term stability of clay slopes

1963 – A. Mayer: Recent work in rock mechanics

1962 – Dr L.F. Cooling: Field measurements in soil mechanics

1961 – Prof. A. Casagrande: Control of seepage through foundations and abutments of dams

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