January 4, 2018, by Shirlene Campbell Ritchie
The standard setter
Dr Brian Simpson, Honorary Professor with the Department of Civil Engineering, has been awarded the British Standards Institution (BSI) Wolfe Barry Medal for his contribution to standards-making.
To say that Dr Simpson has had a long and distinguished 46-year career would be a bit of an understatement.
In 1971, Dr Simpson joined Arup, the well known independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists, where he was responsible for consultancy on a wide variety of geotechnical problems across the world.
These include the design of redevelopment for the foundations, retaining structures and tunnels of King Cross and St Pancras, serving as an expert witness on the collapse of Nicoll Highway in Singapore, supervising the numerical analysis for the design of Fulton Street subway in New York, as well as providing advice on the redesign of tunnels for the M6 motorway in Hungary, among a host of other major projects.
The expert in geotechnical design, especially numerical analysis and code/safety based thinking, has had a glittering career filled with awards and citations, and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2003.
At present, he is an Arup Fellow and an honorary professor with Civil Engineering, where he regularly meets with the University’s geotechnical research group to discuss their projects and give lectures. He is also a member of the Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Board on teaching.
Recently, Dr Simpson was awarded the British Standards Institution’s (BSI) Wolfe Barry Medal. This is the most prestigious of the BSI Standards Awards, which recognises his contributions over the past 37 years to standards making in geotechnical engineering, which have had a significant impact on industry, the economy and public good. Dr Simpson has played a key role in helping to develop Eurocodes, which have had a major impact on structural engineering design across Europe and beyond. He has been the BSI’s Vice Chair, Chair and leader of the UK Delegation in this area of standards development and he is an innovator who has developed new geotechnical design practices within the standards. In addition, he is also a mentor who has lent his support to BSI committee members to help them further develop their understanding and skills.
Our heartiest congratulations go out to Dr Simpson and we wish him the very best.