Shaking the Foundations of Geo-engineering Education Conference at NUI Galway

Jun 06 2012 Posted: 09:54 IST

The first international conference in NUI Galway’s new Engineering Building, entitled Shaking the Foundations of Geo-engineering Education (SFGE 2012), will take place from 4-6 July. SFGE 2012 is Ireland’s first major geo-engineering conference since the European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering held in Dublin in 1987.

Geo-engineering (or geotechnical engineering) is the branch of civil engineering associated with the engineering behaviour of soil and rock and encompasses the design of building foundations, retaining walls, slopes, embankments, excavations and tunnels. The conference title is a pun on the fact that foundation design is a key part of the work of a geotechnical engineer.

Dr Bryan McCabe, Lecturer in Civil Engineering and SFGE 2012 Chair, said: “This conference will explore key challenges, both technical and pedagogical, faced in the education and training of students of geotechnical engineering and related engineering disciplines. This will be achieved through a series of presentations and facilitated discussion workshops. Active engagement with the significant body of teaching and learning research, accumulated over many years, is what will set SFGE 2012 apart from previous international conferences of this type.”

Renowned international keynote speakers include: Professor Paul Mayne, Georgia Tech; Professor Steve Ressler, US Military Academy at Westpoint; Professor John Atkinson, City University, London and Coffey Geotechnics; Dr Brian Simpson, Arup Geotechnics, London; and Professor Rich Felder, North Carolina State University. During the three day event, Professor John Burland, Imperial College London, will also be honoured with an award for his lifelong contribution to education in geo-engineering and will deliver a special invited lecture. Professor Burland is renowned for his role in stabilising the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

SFGE 2012 will also incorporate a workshop of the popular ASCE Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) programme which will have an appeal beyond geo-engineering to academics and practitioners in science and engineering.

Those interested in attending can register online at For further details on SFGE 2012 contact Dr Bryan McCabe at 091 492021 or


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