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The British Geotechnical Association's second annual BGA conference in June promises to be a feast for practitioners of all ages and backgrounds, says Peter Jewell.

The BGA's second annual conference will take place on Wednesday 9 June 2004 at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.

The conference's main aims are to showcase some of the best and most interesting practice and research in UK and international geotechnical engineering and to inform members of developments in professional affairs. But most of all it aims to give the whole UK geotechnical fraternity, young and old, an opportunity to get together to share views and experiences.

Last year's inaugural conference was limited to an afternoon, but the 2004 event will take place over a full day. The morning session will comprise a EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council) sponsored seminar featuring presentations on six of the geotechnical research projects which the EPSRC is funding.

These projects are expected to be:

lInteraction between piled foundations and tunnels - Imperial College lEffects of destruction on the small strain stiffnesses of Bothkennar Clay - Bristol University lSoil conditioning in tunnelling, pipejacking and microtunnelling - Cambridge University lNovel foundations for offshore wind farms - Oxford University lLateral stresses on insitu retaining walls in overconsolidated deposits - Southampton University lFull scale rapid pile load testing - Sheffield University Although this is a wide range of fascinating topics, research seminars tend to have difficulty attracting attendance from outside the academic world. Holding this EPSRC seminar at the BGA's annual conference, provides a powerful opportunity for researchers to present their work to key representatives in industry.

The afternoon will see a number of presentations featuring the management of geotechnical risk in practice.This will be followed by reviews of a number of professional issues, including geotechnical specifications in practice, and the BGA's position on registration of geotechnical professionals.

Following the BGA's agm, the day's formal presentations will be completed with two papers from the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI). The first will feature the foundation engineering of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. This will be followed by a talk about the DFI itself and in particular its newly created European branch.

Attendees will be invited to a wine reception sponsored by Soil Mechanics immediately after the formal presentations.This will be followed by a dinner.

And the event itself is not solely about formal presentations. The intention is to have a day on which geotechnical practitioners have the opportunity to display their work.

A large room will be devoted to a poster display which will be open all day to delegates.

Individuals, students, researchers, university departments, companies and specialist agencies are invited to present posters of technical interest. Some geotechnical companies will also have stands.

A highlight of the day will be the award of a prize to the winning individual or team for a pile deflection prediction competition (for details and how to enter see GE March or visit www. britishgeotech. org. uk).

Entries must be received before 31 May, so now is the time to get predicting. Entrants must be BGA members - to apply for membership visit the website.

To register for the conference, return the flyer distributed with this issue of Ground Engineering , or download the flyer from the website.There is a limit to the number of posters which can be accepted, so complete and return the flyer as soon as possible. Conference dinner tickets are limited to about 80 and will also be allocated on a first come-first served basis.

The conference promises to be a very informative, interesting and enjoyable day. The association looks forward to seeing as many as possible of its members at the event.

Peter Jewell is a member of the BGA executive committee and technical director - tunnelling at KBR Infrastructure.

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