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Glossop 2008

The Glossop Award is an annual award made to an outstanding engineering geologist working in their profession, under the age of 30, writes Chris Martin. 

Geoscientist 18.12 December 2008

The Engineering Group of the Geological Society has awarded the 2008 Glossop Award to Seth Pollak of Arup New York for his presentation ‘Geologic interpretation for design of caverns in an urban setting – A case study of the Seven Line Extension Project, New York.’

The extension of the No. 7 Line subway is the largest underground infrastructure project currently under construction in Manhattan. The project comprises 5km of TBM tunnels, three deep shafts, and a 21m span, 350m long cavern; all situated in a complex setting of faulted metamorphic and igneous rock. Seth was personally responsible for the geological interpretation work required for the design of the initial ground support and for providing geotechnical cross sections along the alignment for the purpose of numerical modelling. Having a background in both engineering geology and numerical modelling allowed Seth to develop a concise methodology which determines the type of model most appropriate to the ground conditions (continuum vs. discontinuurn) along with all the required modelling parameters. This streamlined process resulted in minimising the ‘disconnect’ that often exists between the geologist and the modeller. Seth is currently on site during the ongoing construction work, mapping and evaluating the rock mass in order to verify the interpretation work, refine the conceptual geological model and recommending changes in support when required.

Also shortlisted for the Glossop Award 2008 were:
  • Jonathan Carey of Halcrow on ‘Urban landslide behaviour, prediction and mitigation, Ventnor Undercliff, Isle of Wight;’
  • Karen Mayo of Arup on ‘One New Change; City of London’
  • Scott O’Neill-Gwilliams of Scott Wilson on ‘The reuse of Victorian railway earthworks – an overview of the geo-engineering for the reinstatement of disused railway embankments.’
The Glossop Award presentation by Seth Pollak was given on Thursday 6 November at Imperial College London, prior to the Glossop Lecture Geology: its Principles, Practice and Potential for Geotechnics by Dr Michael de Freitas, Emeritus Reader in Engineering Geology at Imperial College London. See or contact [email protected] for more details.