Clark Lecture 2017: Affordable Railway Infrastructure for the 21st Century

The Department of Civil Engineering is delighted to invite students, staff and members of the public to the annual Clark Lecture.

This year, the high-profile lecture is being delivered by Professor William Powrie , a Professor of Geotechnical Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton.  Drawing on his impressive portfolio of research into the geotechnical aspects of transport infrastructure, and more broadly railway track and railway systems, he will speak on the topical subject of Affordable Railway Infrastructure for the 21st Century


 Location G31 Civil and Mechanical Engineering Building
(Y3 on Edgbaston Campus map)
 Date Thursday 25 May 2017 (17:15 - 19:00)
Contact Ms Lily Saunders, (+44) (0)121 414 5137,  CookseyL@adf.bham.ac.uk 
Registration Via the form below

There will be an opportunity to find out more about the work within the department and to meet staff from 16:00. Following Professor Powrie’s presentation there will be a buffet and drinks reception. Complementary alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will be served at the event. Alcoholic drinks will be served only to those who are aged 18 or over.

Registration for this event is free, but space is limited. Please secure your place by registering below. Please register no later than 19 May 2016, 17:00. 

  • Registration
  • Name

Professor William Powrie

powrie-williamDean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment
University of Southampton

William Powrie is Professor of Geotechnical Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton.  His main technical areas of expertise are in geotechnical aspects of transport infrastructure, and sustainable waste and resource management. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in recognition of his work in these areas in 2009.

William’s work on geotechnical aspects of transport infrastructure encompasses groundwater control, in-ground construction to reduce environmental impacts in urban and other sensitive areas, understanding and mitigating vegetation and climate change effects, and fundamental soil behaviour.  

Major projects on which he has worked include the A55 Conwy Crossing, the Jubilee Line extension stations at Canary Wharf and Canada Water and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (now HS1). He is co-author of Construction Industry Research and Information (CIRIA) reports C515 Groundwater control – design and practice (2000) and C580 Embedded retaining walls – guidance for economic design (2003). Both of these, together with report C517 Temporary propping of deep excavations – guidance on design (1999), incorporate results of his research in these areas.

He was Principal Investigator for Rail Research UK (2003-2010), a Universities-based centre for Rail Systems Research, and now leads a prestigious EPSRC Programme Grant aiming to provide the science needed to underpin a radical overhaul in techniques for railway track design, construction and maintenance. He also leads the University's Strategic Research Partnership with Network Rail in Future Infrastructure Systems.

He is a former Associate Editor of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal, a former Honorary Editor of the Institution of Civil Engineers journal Geotechnical Engineering, and has been Geotechnical Consultant to WJ Groundwater Ltd since 1987.

William’s work in waste and resource management focuses on landfill engineering, and on the development of a sound scientific basis for policy and practice. He led a major EPSRC-funded programme of fundamental research, Science and Strategies for the Management of Residual Wastes, with the aim of enabling and encouraging landfill operation so as to accelerate biodegradation and stabilisation of the waste. He was a co-author of the Institute of Wastes Management report on The role and operation of the flushing bioreactor.

He worked on the design and engineering risk assessment of the low level radioactive waste repositories at Drigg; and was founding Honorary Editor of the ICE journal Waste and Resource Management; a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Waste Working Group; and chair of the Technologies Advisory Committee for Defra’s £30m programme of research and demonstrator projects for new technologies for the treatment of biodegradable waste. He is the author of the widely respected and best-selling textbook, Soil mechanics – concepts and applications.