photo of Michael Davies

Prof Michael Davies

Post:Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) (Vice-Chancellor's Office)
Location:SUSSEX HOUSE SH-319/20

Telephone numbers
Internal:8253 or 6614
UK:01273 678253 or 01273 876614
International:+44 1273 678253 or +44 1273 876614

Research expertise:
download vCarddownload vCard to your mobile


Professor Michael C.R. Davies

BSc(Eng)(Lond), AKC, MPhil, PhD(Cantab), CEng, FICE, FGS, FEngNZ, FRSE

Professor Michael Davies is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Sussex.  From 2013 to 2015 he also served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Prior to being appointed to his present post in January 2013 he was the Dean of Engineering at the University of Auckland, New Zealand (from 2007) where he was also Pro-Vice-Chancellor of The University of Auckland Tamaki Innovation Campus. From 1997 to 2007 he was the Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Dundee in Scotland, where he was also Deputy Principal and Dean of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Professor Davies was previously a lecturer in the School of Engineering at Cardiff University. He obtained his first degree from King's College, University of London and his Masters and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge. Following this he was a NATO/SERC Research Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently an Honorary Professor at City, University of London. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand.

Professor Davies' research interests range from land reclamation techniques to soil reinforcement, slope stability, earthquake engineering and mathematical modelling of soils. In addition to his research in mainstream geotechnical engineering, he has worked in collaboration with engineers and scientists at the interface between geotechnical engineering and engineering geology and other disciplines, such as climatology and biology. Interdisciplinary research projects have included the effects of global warming on alpine slope stability and the use of vegetation to stabilise slopes. This research has been funded by the UK Research Councils (EPSRC, NERC, MRC, BBSRC), the European Commission, current and former UK government research agencies (TRL, BRE, DERA, AWE) and industry. In 2010 he was appointed a member of the Management Group of the New Zealand Ministry of Science and Innovation Natural Hazards Research Platform. At both Cardiff and Dundee Professor Davies established Geotechnical centrifuge facilities. In recognition of the novel research he initiated at the interface between plant biology and geotechnical engineering Professor Davies was appointed as an Honorary Professorial Fellow of the Scottish Crop Research Institute in 2001. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (Scotland's National Academy of Science & Letters).

Professor Davies has been a member of two technical committees of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) and was also invited to be a member (and later chair) of Technical Committee TC288/WG9 of the Comité Européen de Normalisation (CEN) to write the European Standard for the execution of Soil Nailing construction. He is currently a member of the committee that is revising the British Standard for reinforced soil (BS8006). He has been a member of the Editorial Advisory Panel for the leading international journal Géotechnique and the Canadian Geotechnical Journal and is currently a member of the Editorial Boards for IES Journal Part A: Civil and Structural Engineering, Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ISSMGE International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics and Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Environmental Geotechnics. From 2007 to 2012 he was the Editor of The Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Ground Improvement. In addition, he has served on the Scientific Committee for a number of major international conferences, including those held under the auspices of the ISSMGE. Professor Davies has received invitations to present lectures and keynote papers in Europe, Scandinavia, North and South America, Asia and Australasia.

Throughout his career Professor Davies has been involved in consultancy related to his research interests, together with active participation in learned society and other professional activities. He has been Chairman of the Institution of Civil Engineers Wales - Ground Engineering Group (of which he was a founding member), Chairman of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Scottish Geotechnical Group and from 2005 to 2007 Chairman of the British Geotechnical Association. In 2008 he was elected as a member of the Management Committee of the New Zealand Geotechnical Society. Most notably from 2009-2013 Professor Davies was the Vice-President for Australasia of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering and also was appointed as First Vice-President of the ISSMGE. Until his return to the UK at the start of 2013 he was a member of the Boards of Directors for both Auckland UniServices Limited and the New Zealand Centre for Advanced Engineering (CAENZ). He is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Sussex Innovation Centre and a member of the Greater Brighton Economic Board.