9 February, University of Nottingham This contentious question was first addressed by John Atkinson (right), professor of soil mechanics at City University, London. 'It is said: two thirds of ground engineering is done by non-geotechnical engineers; the largest source of claims and disputes is in the ground; too much of the time of good geotechnical engineers is spent in court and on disputes. If these claims are true then something is the matter, ' he argued.
His opinion has already generated a lively debate within the industry and academic communities, and Atkinson will continue this at the next East Midlands Geotechnical Group meeting.
Atkinson will consider the nature of geotechnical 'failures' in a wide sense, the causes of problems in the ground, the competence of geotechnical engineers and their education and training and some of the drivers and constraints on change.
For more details please contact the EMGG secretary Ed Faragher on 01509 282304 or visit www. lboro. ac. uk/emgg