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It is with great pleasure that the Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics (OSIG) committee welcomes you all to London in this Olympic year, and to the 7th International Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics Conference. This conference is the longest running conference series specialising in offshore survey and geotechnical engineering. The conference has grown progressively and this year we have our highest ever number of papers, covering all aspects of offshore geology and engineering. The range and breadth of subjects reflect the key areas of current developments with a traditional emphasis on the oil and gas sector, but a growing and strong interest in renewable energy developments. The keynote paper by Eric Cauquil emphasises the need for integration and how we can develop confidence in our ground model, and hence reduce project uncertainties and risk. Richard Jardine and coauthors provide an insight into the complex and increasingly relevant issue of the cyclic loading of soils in their keynote paper. These are complemented by a wide range of papers covering all aspects of the development of an offshore project. We have several papers describing geological studies, including case studies for offshore windfarms, reflecting the growing importance of the renewables industry. There are also papers on pile design, cyclic loading and jack-up spudcan engineering, reflecting the strong interest in geotechnical engineering that is a central theme of this conference. We are also honoured to be asked to host the very first Bramlette McClelland Lecture and we extend a very warm welcome to the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. Bram McClelland was a huge inspiration to all practitioners of offshore geotechnical engineering, having a great enthusiasm for our industry and building up a company from a small office in Houston to an international company with offices throughout the world.
Dr James D Murff, or ‘Don’ as he prefers to be called, was born in 1941 in Houston, Texas, and raised in West University Place when it was a small bedroom community on the outskirts of town. In 1963 he obtained a Bachelor of Science and Engineering from the US Military Academy at West Point. He joined the US Army Corps of Engineers and served in Texas, Panama and Vietnam. His meritorious service in South Vietnam earned him the Bronze Star Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. Upon his return to the USA, he attended Texas A&M University from which he obtained MS and PhD degrees in 1970 and 1972. He then joined the offshore division of the Exxon Production Research Company in Houston, Texas. Throughout the years, he advanced through various levels of responsibility in offshore geotechnical and earthquake engineering. In this capacity he was responsible for planning, conducting and implementing geotechnical research; developing geotechnical specifications and design methodology for major Exxon platform installations; and consulting and troubleshooting for Exxon affiliates. He eventually achieved the position of Senior Research Advisor, one of Exxon’s highest technical levels. Until his retirement in 1999, Don was the goto expert and ultimate authority for all geotechnical matters for the largest publicly traded oil and gas company in the world. If Don said, ‘No’, they would not do it; if Don said, ‘Yes’, everybody felt good about doing it. In parallel with his career at Exxon, Don was very active in industry committees, particularly the American Petroleum Institute (API) Geotechnical Resource Group, of which he was a member from 1976 to 2001, and the Chairman from 1978 to 1985. He led the research project on centrifuge research for offshore piling with Prof RF Scott.
Bramlette McClelland started his pioneering journey in 1946 to help develop the technical practice of offshore geotechnical engineering. The offshore industry’s state of knowledge was in its infancy in the areas of offshore engineering geology, site investigation methods, laboratory testing methods appropriate for marine sediments and analytical methods available for foundation design. In the tradition of other early pioneers, he brought to bear ingenuity, leadership skills, a zest for knowledge and determination in the development of simple, logical and innovative solutions for a wide range of extremely complex offshore problems. My admiration for Bram, as he preferred to be called, started the day that I joined McClelland Engineers, Inc. His lack of pretention, devotion to his fellow man and dedication to our profession were his guideposts and a source of inspiration to all. Bram was an excellent speaker, writer, educator, artist, visionary, researcher and, of course, engineer who motivated hundreds of geotechnical engineers to pursue excellence while applying sound, practical approaches to our engineering practice. He possessed an uncanny skill for listening attentively to all people, while motivating them to develop their own solutions to problems that often seemed overwhelming to them. He was a remarkable person with a broad range of interests and hobbies, and was totally devoted to his family, church, community and profession. He and his beloved wife for 60 years, Virginia, had five children – Darcy, Tom, Terry, Jeff, and Martha – as well as seven grandchildren. A founding member of Emerson Unitarian Church in Houston, he served as president of the board of trustees for several years, and was also active as a leader in the Boy Scouts and numerous other civic and community activities. He was a founder and President of McClelland Engineers Inc., a geotechnical engineering company based in Houston, Texas.
Khemakhem, M. (LUNAM Universite, IFSTTAR Nantes, Departement GER) | Chenaf, N. (LUNAM Universite, IFSTTAR Nantes, Departement GER) | Garnier, J (LUNAM Universite, IFSTTAR Nantes, Departement GER) | Favraud, C. (LUNAM Universite, IFSTTAR Nantes, Departement GER) | Gaudicheau, P. (LUNAM Universite, IFSTTAR Nantes, Departement GER)
Puech, Alain (Fugro-France) | Canou, Jean (ENPC-Navier) | Bernardini, Christian (IREX) | Pecker, Alain (Geodynamique et Structure) | Jardine, Richard (Imperial College) | Holeyman, Alain (Universite Catholique de Louvain)