Update on Chalk 2018 Conference

Preparations are well advanced for the Chalk 2018 conference to be held in London in a years’ time. Organised by the British Geotechnical Association (BGA), with support from the Engineering Group of the Geological Society (EGGS) this major international conference on Engineering in Chalk will be held at Imperial College in London on 17 and 18 September 2018.

Chalk underlies large parts of the UK and north-western Europe, and presents a diverse range of geotechnical challenges, that can affect building foundations, road and rail infrastructure, tunnels and other engineering projects. Over the past decades there has been considerable interest in characterising and understanding the engineering properties and behaviour of chalk. The last major conference on chalk was held almost 30 years ago in 1989 in Brighton. The 2018 conference will bring together the knowledge and experience gained in the last three decades, including case histories and up to date research perspectives on engineering in chalk.

The conference venue will be Imperial College, with the main presentations in The Great Hall, with parallel sessions in other rooms. There will also be a Technical Exhibition in the Queen’s Tower Rooms and garden.

The call for abstracts closed in May 2017, and there has been a great response, with more than 150 abstracts received. The corresponding authors of each abstract were notified of acceptance/rejection during July 2017. Papers and posters will be submitted via the conference website, with a deadline of December 2017, following which the draft papers will be peer reviewed.

Two keynote speakers for Chalk 2018 have been announced so far:

Professor Rory Mortimore will deliver a Keynote entitled Chalk: A Never-ending Story and will discuss the development of knowledge and understanding of the properties of chalk, including weathering, porosity, density and ultra-structure of the Chalk.

Professor Mortimore is probably the UK’s leading expert in the engineering geology of the Chalk, and is at the forefront of developing and disseminating practical knowledge about the properties of chalk. He is widely published, with around 80 papers on the Chalk, and delivered the 11th Glossop Lecture of the Geological Society on Making Sense of the Chalk: A Total-Rock Approach to Engineering Geology.

Professor Richard Jardine of Imperial College London will deliver a Keynote
entitled Researching the Behaviour of Piles Driven in Chalk and will address some aspects of the geotechnical design issues, associated with northern European offshore wind-farms being developed at locations underlain by chalk.

Richard Jardine is Professor of Geomechanics and Deputy Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College, London. Professor Jardine is a Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow and gave the British Geotechnical Association’s 56th Rankine Lecture in 2016.

Further details on the conference, including sponsorship opportunities details for potential technical exhibitors can be found on the conference website www.chalk2018.org