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Professor Robert Mair

Professor Robert Mair

Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor of Geotechnical Engineering


Biography:

Robert Mair was appointed Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at Cambridge University in 1998. He is Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering and was Master of Jesus College 2001-2011. He was a Fellow of St John's College from 1998 to 2001. He is also one of the founding Directors of the Geotechnical Consulting Group (GCG), an international consulting company based in London, started in 1983. He was appointed Chief Engineering Adviser to the Laing O’Rourke Group in 2011.

After graduating in 1971 from Cambridge University, where he read Engineering at Clare College, he worked continuously in industry until 1998, except for a three year period in the late 1970’s when he returned to Cambridge to work for his PhD on tunnelling in soft ground. His early involvement with tunnels began at that time, when he undertook research for the UK Transport Research Laboratory on the subject of centrifuge modelling of tunnel construction in soft ground. He was awarded a PhD for this work in 1979.

Throughout his career he has specialised principally in underground construction, providing advice on numerous projects world-wide involving soft ground tunnelling, retaining structures, deep excavations and foundations. Recent international projects have included railway tunnels in the cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Singpapore and Warsaw, and motorway tunnels in Turkey. In the UK he has been closely involved with the design and construction of the Jubilee Line Extension for London Underground, and with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (now HS1) and Crossrail projects. He was responsible for the introduction of compensation grouting in the UK as a novel technique for controlling settlement of structures during tunnel construction - on the Waterloo Escalator Tunnel Project. The technique was widely used on the Jubilee Line Extension Project for the protection of many historic buildings, including the Big Ben Clock Tower at the Palace of Westminster.

Research themes

Nuclear Energy:

Underground Construction, Urban Infrastructure Renewal and Innovative Sensor Technologies for Infrastructure Monitoring

Hydrocarbon Recovery:

Underground Construction, Urban Infrastructure Renewal and Innovative Sensor Technologies for Infrastructure Monitoring

Carbon Capture, Storage & Use:

Underground Construction, Urban Infrastructure Renewal and Innovative Sensor Technologies for Infrastructure Monitoring

Buildings and Cities:

Underground Construction, Urban Infrastructure Renewal and Innovative Sensor Technologies for Infrastructure Monitoring.

Energy Efficiency:

Departments and Institutes

Department of Engineering: