The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) is the principal
association for geotechnical engineers in the United Kingdom.

A New Climate for Geocomposite Drainage

BGA Meeting
  • 16.10.2019
  • 18:00 - 19:30
  • Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA
  • Organiser: British Geotechnical Association
  • Download to Calendar
No description available

A New Climate for Geocomposite Drainage


Alan Bamforth, ABG Geosynthetics

Wednesday 16 October 2019 at 18:00

Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA

BGA joint evening meeting with the International Geosynthetics Society UK Chapter

This event is free to attend, advance booking is not required. Tea & coffee will be available from 17:30.

The event flyer can be downloaded here.

The event will be webcast live - use this link to join the event on line.


Karl Terzaghi said “In engineering practices, difficulties through soils are almost exclusively not due to soils themselves but to water contained in their voids. On a planet without any water there would have been no need for Soil Mechanics“. The need to control water via suitable drainage is a fundamental in soil mechanics and engineers have largely achieved this giving soil improved soil strength. Solutions utilising crushed stone exist such as French drains, stone columns and drainage layers under embankments. Geocomposite drainage has been developed that performs to a higher level whilst also producing other benefits such as reduced carbon. Meanwhile surface water has been dealt with by pipes, gullies and channels. Over the last decade, storm events have increased and population expansion has put extra stress on drainage systems, leading to instability and flooding. Increasing environmental awareness and these real events have brought into sharp focus the need to find innovative ways to attenuate and drain water from our built environment. The buzz word is SuDS by which water us treated at source. Now geocomposite drainage is not only utilised for improving soil strength but also essential for surface water control. Alan will outline the development of these cost effective and efficient systems along with some key geotechnical and hydraulic design considerations for all engineers dealing with water.

Speaker biography

Alan Bamforth is a Chartered Civil Engineer whose career started in the pioneering West Yorkshire Metropolitan Council as a highways engineer at a time where geosynthetics were relatively new. Inspired by this experience, Alan realised that geosynthetics were the future but that civil engineers needed persuasion away from traditional methods by demonstrating and design. Frustrated at the slow evolution of geosynthetic products, Alan founded the UK Company dedicated to the development and manufacture of geocomposite drainage. Geocomposites moved from single highway drains into a multitude of applications internationally. As an IGS member, Alan has authored technical papers, helped develop test methods and is regarded as an authority in geocomposite drainage.

Please join us afterwards in the ICE Café Bar for drinks sponsored by Tensar International.

Become a Member

Join the British Geotechnical Association to keep up to date with the latest BGA news