SEEKING THE CODE OF THE GROUND
This paper explores three topics that constantly challenge geotechnical engineers: deformation, water and safety.More speciically, these topics involve understanding and predicting deformation, designing safely when water pressure is dominant, and, more generally, trying to manage the many uncertainties we face in a rational manner that can be agreed and communicated to others. Evolving understanding of the secrets coded in the ground have led to developments in computercodes for ground deformation and codes of practice for geotechnical design.Using the author’s own career as a background, the paper considers the development of ideas related to these topics over thepast forty years. This is not a monotonic process: ideas and understand from one project may lie dormant for some years andthen be developed when a fresh need arises at a later stage. Equally important are the colleagues and mentors with whom problems can be addressed and ideas discussed; some outstanding individuals will be acknowledged.