John B. Burland FEng, FICE, MIStructE, DSc(Eng)
The author studied civil engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and gained his early practical experience with Ove Arup and Partners in London. He obtained the PhD degree from Cambridge University and then joined the Building Research Establishment where he became head of he Geotechnics Division and later Assistant Director in charge of the Materials and Structures Division. In 1980 he was appointed to the Chair of Soil Mechanics at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
Professor John Burland, DSc(Eng), FREng, FRS was educated in South Africa and studied Civil Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. He returned to England in 1961 and worked with Ove Arup and Partners for a few years in London.
After studying for his PhD at Cambridge University, Professor Burland joined the Building Research Station in 1966, became Head of the Geotechnics Division in 1972 and Assistant Director in 1979. In 1980 he was appointed to the Chair of Soil Mechanics at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. He is now Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College.
In addition to being very active in teaching (which he loves) and research, John Burland has been responsible for the design of many large ground engineering projects such as the underground car park at the Palace of Westminster and the foundations of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. He specialises in problems relating to the interaction between the ground and masonry buildings. He was London Underground's expert witness for the Parliamentary Select Committees on the Jubilee Line Extension and has advised on many geotechnical aspects of that project, including ensuring the stability of the Big Ben Clock Tower. He was a member of the international board of consultants advising on the stabilisation of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City and was a member of the Italian Prime Minister's Commission for stabilising the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
He has received many awards and medals including the Kelvin Gold Medal for Outstanding contributions to Engineering, the Harry Seed Memorial Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers for distinguished contributions as an engineer, scientist and teacher in soil mechanics and the Gold Medals of the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. He has been awarded four Honorary Doctorates and he is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. In 2002 he was President of the Engineering Section of the British Association and he is Vice President (Engineering) of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London.
Professor John Burland