Friday, 20 January 2017

15th Jennings Memorial Lecture

Date: 28 March 2017 (17:00 - 17:30) - Venue: Engineering 3, Lecture Room 1, University of Pretoria

Date: 29 March 2017 (17:00 - 17:30) - Venue: Discipline of Civil Engineering Centenary Building, Room G124, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Date: 30 March 2017 (17:00 - 17:30) - Venue: Chemical Engineering Building, Seminar Room, University of Cape Town



You are invited to attend the 15th Jennings memorial lecture presented by

Professor Kenichi Soga

University of California, Berkeley

Sensing the performance of geotechnical structures

Active monitoring of the construction and operational processes of geotechnical structures is essential. This implies that the structures are instrumented to assess their performance against engineering design parameters or predictive models. Emphasis on monitoring is not new in geotechnical engineering. Monitoring has been extensively used for decades ever since the use of the observational method where feedbacks from monitoring systems are used to inform and potentially modify the design and construction.

On the other hand, the civil engineering sector is often a late adopter of new sensing systems for several reasons, including fragmented supply chains, reliance on past experience and practice, concerns about safety and robustness, etc. In recent years, sensor and communications research has been undergoing a revolution. Sensing is rapidly becoming part of everyday life for health, environment, security and living. There are possibilities to use emerging sensor technologies (distributed fiber optics sensing, wireless sensor network, low power miniature sensors, energy harvesting for continuous monitoring, robotic inspections, satellite images, crowd source data, etc.) to address the needs to look after our geotechnical structures.

The lecture will introduce several new emerging sensor technologies that can be adopted widely in geotechnical engineering. Results from recent field deployments at tunneling, excavation and piling sites in London (e.g. Crossrail, London Underground station upgrades) will be presented. The focus of the lecture will be demonstrating the uniqueness of the data sets that we have not had before and presenting methods to interpret such datasets in order to make engineering decisions during and after construction. Some technologies have long-life attribute, which creates demand for life-cycle monitoring. Adoption of such technologies can be a catalyst for the industry to move from supply of an ‘infrastructure’ to supply of ‘whole-life support’, leading to true realization of performance based design and maintenance.


Kenichi Soga is Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained his BEng and MEng from Kyoto University in Japan and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He was Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Cambridge before joining UC Berkeley in 2016. He has published more than 350 journal and conference papers and is co-author of "Fundamentals of Soil Behavior, 3rd edition" with Professor James K Mitchell. His current research activities are Infrastructure sensing, Performance based design and maintenance of underground structures, Energy geotechnics, and Geotechnics from micro to macro. He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He is recipient of awards including George Stephenson Medal and Telford Gold Medal from the Institution of Civil Engineers and Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers.


28 March 2017

17:00 for 17:30

University of Pretoria

Contact person:

Sw Jacobsz



29 March 2017



Contact person:

Garth James


Cape Town

30 March 2017

17:00 for 17:30

University of Cape Town

Contact person:

Denis Kalumba

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