Soil Engineering continue to drive Geotechnical progress

In late March 2018 our Technical Director, Matthew Baldwin, participated in the meeting of international standards committee ISO/TC 182 and the European standards committee CEN/TC 341. Over a three day period these committees met to discuss work on various standards that are relevant to and used by the geotechnical community across the world. Some twenty two members attended the ISO meeting with representatives from Australia, Japan and Russia being present. Fifteen members stayed on to attend the CEN meeting, with most of the major European countries being represented.

The standards discussed included those for soil and rock description (now published as revisions within the last three weeks), in situ testing (various), laboratory testing and various standards covering structural integrity testing (piles etc).

Over the next two to three years, the UK will see the publication of another fifteen of these standards (some of which will be updates to current versions).

A huge amount of work goes into the writing of these standards and the various working groups responsible for the preparation of the standards and that report to the ISO and CEN committees, are made up of members from various countries. Whilst reaching consensus is not always easy, the finished standards are of a high standard and will be used to great benefit across the Geotechnical Sector.

During the visit, the committee members were shown the impressive rail track testing facilities at CEDEX (our Spanish host in Madrid). The facility which is set ten metres below ground level is able to simulate the effects of high speed (250 miles per hour) trains, on both ballast and slab track designs. The loading apparatus is capable of simulating the effect of a whole year of train movements within one week.

Track-testing-facility
Track testing facility

Explanation-of-theory
Explanation of theory to committee members

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