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Prof Michael Davies

Post:Emeritus Professor (School of Engineering and Informatics)
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Professor Michael C.R. Davies

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

Professor Michael Davies is Professor Emeritus in Engineering at the University of Sussex having previously served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University.

Prior to his appointment at Sussex in 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 a Deputy Principal and the 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 Visiting Professor at City, University of London. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of Engineering New Zealand. He has also been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Learned Society of Wales, the national academies of science & letters for Scotland and Wales, respectively.

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. 

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 a number of international journals in the field of geotechnical engineering, including the leading international journals Géotechnique and the Canadian Geotechnical Journal. 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). More recently he was the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Sussex Innovation Centre and a member of the Greater Brighton Economic Board.