Ground engineering – technology, common sense and good value

J. G. Murray

In 1985 it took the author a month to run thirty Bishop’s Simplified limit equilibrium slope stability analyses on a personal computer to support the design of remedial works on a medium size embankment dam. Today such an effort would probably be criticised as grossly inadequate (verging on the negligent) since it is not uncommon to execute three hundred, or more, similar calculations using far more sophisticated and accurate algorithms in less than a minute. The paper considers the development and application of technology and advanced analytical tools over the last twenty five years and whether they are being put to good use by adding value to our clients, improving our levels of service or reducing geotechnical risk.