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Professor Lord Robert Mair CBE FREng FRS

Professor Lord Robert Mair, CBE FREng FRS

Director of Research,

Department of Civil Engineering,

University of Cambridge


Biography:

Robert Mair was appointed Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at Cambridge University in 1998. He was the Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering 2011-2017, and was Master of Jesus College 2001-2011. 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 and has since been adopted on many international tunnelling projects.

He is Chairman of the Singapore Government’s International Advisory Board on design and construction aspects of all their underground metro and road tunnels. He gave evidence to the House of Commons and House of Lords Select Committees on the Crossrail project in London and is a member of Crossrail’s Engineering Expert Panel.

He was Chairman of the Royal Society/Royal Academy of Engineering Report on Review of Shale Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing for the Government, published in 2012.

He was a member of the UK Government’s Construction Industrial Strategy Advisory Council, whose report was published in 2013.

Welcome to the Centre for Digital Built Britain.  

The Centre for Digital Built Britain is a partnership between the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge to understand how the construction and infrastructure sectors could use a digital approach to better design, build, operate, and integrate the built environment.