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Fellows Directory

John Burland

Professor John Burland CBE FREng FRS


Elected: 1997


John Burland has made wide-ranging contributions to the principles and the application of soil mechanics, first at Cambridge, then as Head of the Geotechnics Division of the Building Research Establishment, and subsequently as leader of the soil mechanics group at Imperial College. His research work includes the development of critical state theory, field measurements of the deformation of geological strata, precision methods of measuring small strains in laboratory tests, and a synthesis of the mechanical properties of sedimentary deposits. His knowledge and expertise is widely recognised, and he has been involved in many important engineering projects at home and abroad since the early 1970s, including the stabilisation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Professional positions

Emeritus Professor of Soil Mechanics, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Civil engineering, soil mechanics, Structural engineering