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GSL Public Lecture: ‘Reading the ground’ to reduce hazards and risks in engineering projects

03 December 2020
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Geological Society Events
The Geological Society, Burlington House
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The landscape around us is a product of a long and complex geological and geomorphological history, which is recorded in the soils and rocks beneath our feet as well as by the landforms we see around us. This sometimes-hidden history can be revealed by learning to 'read the ground', and piecing together the clues to unravel that history and what we see before us.

But what is 'reading the ground', and why is it important for engineering projects? Using examples from around the world, Dr Andrew Hart of Atkins will describe how geoscientists use a combination of desk study information, the interpretation of available aerial photography and satellite imagery, and engineering geological and geomorphological field mapping to tease out those clues and 'read the ground' of a project area.

He will explore how learning to 'read the ground' and develop ground models for our project areas can open our eyes to the geological and geomorphological history of an area, and examine how this information can be used for engineering design and risk reduction.


This lecture will be given twice on the day, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. You can book free tickets for your lecture of choice now via Eventbrite:

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Andrew Hart, Atkins’ Ground Engineering practice

Dr Andrew Hart is a Chief Engineering Geologist and Geomorphologist in Atkins’ Ground Engineering practice, based in the UK. Atkins is an international engineering and environmental design and management company.

Andrew has more than 20 years’ experience in assessing the impacts of ground conditions, geohazards and other geo-engineering constraints on a wide variety of infrastructure projects such as mountain roads, pipelines, railways and offshore wind farms, as well as for disaster risk reduction projects. His work has often meant working across large project areas, mostly overseas, while collaborating with other technical specialists, engineering design teams, client organisations and other stakeholders.


Matinee lecture

2.30pm: Tea and coffee served in the Lower Library

3.00pm: Lecture 

3.45pm: Questions and answers

4.00pm: Lecture ends and guests depart

Evening lecture

5.30pm: Tea and coffee served in the Lower Library

6.00pm: Lecture

6.45pm: Questions and answers

7.00pm: Lecture ends and guests depart


The Geological Society
Burlington House

Live streaming

You can watch the lecture live via our streaming service on the day at 3.00pm and 6.00pm.


Please email with any enquiries.

Videos of past lectures can be viewed in our past meeting resources area.

If you wish to join our events mailing list, please email

Book your ticket for the matinee lecture >>

Book your ticket for the evening lecture >>

Geolsoc Contact

Conference Office

The Geological Society
Burlington House