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13 December 2006
Dr Kenichi Soga
The new insitu permeability measurement
Dr Kenichi Soga, Dr Sang Ratnam (a former PhD student of the Department, currently working for Total) and Robert Whittle of Cambridge Insitu Ltd. were awarded this year's George Stephenson Medal, from the Institution of Civil Engineers, for their paper entitled "A field permeability measurement technique using a conventional self-boring pressuremeter" published in Geotechnique in September 2005.
Long-term assessment of underground infrastructure requires not only the mechanical properties of the surrounding ground but also its groundwater flow properties. The prize winning paper describes the development of a new insitu permeability measurement instrument. This instrument utilises a self-boring mechanism, which allows minimum disturbance to the ground during installation. A more accurate estimation of its insitu value, both vertically and horizontally, can be made.
The instrument was developed in collaboration with Cambridge Insitu Ltd, the world leading company in self-boring pressuremeters. The new instrument was tested at various sites in the UK including London and Scotland and is now a commercial tool used by Cambridge Insitu Ltd. The technical innovation of the work is that the instrument measures the scale dependency of insitu permeability and the paper describes comparisons between the measured scale effect and the theoretical values.
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