I have over twenty years experience in the field of engineering geology & geotechnical engineering of which twelve years (1993 to 2005) were in Hong Kong. MY broad experience base includes: landslide investigation and remedial works design, site characterisation, the design and construction of natural terrain hazard mitigation measures, geological hazard identification and mapping, applied engineering geophysics, design and construction of large earthworks/site formation contracts, design and construction of piling works and, deep basement design in the urban environment. I have authored and co-authored papers on the subjects of landslide investigation, natural terrain mitigation, geological hazard identification, rock slope stability for landfill engineering and engineering geophysics.

I joined the staff at the University of Portsmouth in September 2005. My wealth of practical experience compliments the applied earth science pathways at the University and I am actively involved in research, consultancy and course development. 

Research interests

My current research interests are:

Hydraulic fracture mechanics: I am investigating the dependence and fracture mechanics behaviour of the fluid driven mechanical fracture process to assess the competition between permeability and overpressure upon the derived fracture pattern. In addition, new data is being generated to test the link between the measured seismicity and the accuracy of the fracture patters with the aim of calculating the permeability of the fracture network remotely.

Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) for Engineering Geology: I am working with colleauges on a number areas to develop NIR as a new tool in Engineering Geology. The areas of interest are: the effects of weathering on the geomechanical properties of the London Clay with particular reference to geochemical effects and the use of spectroscopy as an aide to quick and simple identification; the use of spectroscopy as a general tool in stratigraphic and geotechnical characterisation; development of a non-contact strain gauge for geotechnical and civil engineering structures using NIR.

Charaterisation of Hardended Chalk in the North Sea: This is a reletively new area of research into hard layers within what is normally described as soft Chalk. They are often laterally extensive and fractued and are the cause of problems during oil well drilling due to pressure and fluid loss and well interconnectiveity. I am working with Prof. Gale and Aker BP on trying to understand and constrain these features.

Previous Research interests:

Principal researcher into the use of non-invasive geophysics for the investigation of man-made slopes and masonry retaining walls in Hong Kong. Research budget was £0.5M spent over a two year period. My work has been published as GEO Report No. 71(GEO – Geotechnical Engineering Office of the Hong Kong SAR Government).

Research into the identification of geological hazards affecting slope stability, particularly with respect to clay-rich zones within the rock mass, using the concept of the “integrated approach” through detailed desk study and mapping in Chai Wan, Hong Kong Island. This work has been published as GEO Report No. 60.

Co-investigator for the (€250,000) International NATO-Science for Peace project “Geo-Environmental Security of the Toktogul Hydroelectric Power Station Region, Central Asia”. (Directors: D. Rust, A. Korjenkov; Co-directors: A. Tibaldi, M. Usmanova).

Teaching responsibilities

I currently teach on the B Eng (Hons) Engineering Geology and Geotechnics Degree. I teach on and co-ordinate the following Modules:

Engineering Materials (Level 4); Soil Mechanics (Level 5); Industrial Placement (sandwich); and Geotechnical Engineering (Level 6). I also co-ordinate the sandwich placement activities assciated with the degree pathway. I established and now manage the Industrial Bursary Scheme where industry sponsor a number of students through the Enginneering Geology & Geotechnics Degree. 

I lead the Engineering Geology & Geotechncs eight day field trip to southern France for our Level 5 students where we focus of geological mapping in a complex geological region and rock mass assessment. I also run an optional Study Tour for our Level 6 students to Hong Kong where they are exposed of large scale ground engineering projects in a complex geological and urban environment.

I am tutor and project supervisor to our Egineering Geology & Geotechnics Undergraduate students and our Engineering Geology Masters students.