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A tale of two 50ths

On 5 - 8 July a conference took place in Portsmouth, celebrating two significant landmarks in applied geology, writes Steve Branch

j;klPicture: The first cohort of Portsmouth Engineering & Geotechnics students, visiting Wales in 1970.

Fifty years ago, the undergraduate Engineering Geology and Geotechnics programme at the University of Portsmouth admitted its first students. Introduced in 1967 soon after the establishment of the Geology department, the course has aimed to supply industry with highly competent, practical engineering geologists and geotechnical engineers.

Over its 50 years graduates of the course have gone on to make significant contributions to the ground and mining engineering sectors the world over, and the conference offered the opportunity for these alumni to come together and celebrate their achievements.

The second landmark was the 50th anniversary of the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology & Hydrogeology. A series of talks was lined up from notable contributors to the journal, such Eddie Bromhead (current Chief Scientific Editor), Mike Winter, Jim Griffiths, and many others, who explored and reviewed the significant contribution of the journal over the last half century. 

The conference was well attended, with significant support from a wide range of professional organisations and engineering consultants and contractors, such as the British Geotechnical Association, The Geological Society of London, Atkins, BAM Ritchies, GEA, Aecom, WSP-PB, Ramboll, Keller, PBA and many more.