Uncertainty and Ground Conditions: A Risk Management Approach

1st Edition

Authors: Martin Th. van Staveren
Paperback ISBN: 9780750669580
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 10th July 2006
Page Count: 332


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All civil engineering and construction projects require some sort of solid foundation, but ground conditions bring some degree of uncertainty to every project. Dealing properly with uncertainty over ground conditions can make the difference between the commercial success and failure of a project.

With margins in the construction industry at historic lows, and with costs of failing to accurately predict ground conditions becoming increasingly high, the importance of proper management of the variety of ground-related risk is paramount.

Risk management has demonstrated its value in many industries, but the full lessons of that experience has not yet fully reached all aspects of civil engineering. In particular the importance of individuals and their own awareness of risks and how to manage them has often been overlooked.

Martin van Staveren has written a new kind of book on ground risk management. Based on many years of professional experience and proven risk management techniques, Uncertainty and Ground Conditions demonstrates how to ensure the construction and civil engineering projects succeed in delivering on time and on budget.

Key Features

  • Manage ground risk to ensure projects remain profitable
  • Explains the importance of individual and team awareness in successful risk management
  • Based on extensive real-world applications of the GeoQ risk management system


The main target readership is civil engineering professionals who deal with subsoil, such as construction managers, project planners, project designers, geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists. A secondary target group is graduate students studying subsoil construction topics.

Table of Contents

Introduction The Construction Industry – Challenges and opportunities From Uncertainty, Risk and Ground to GeoQ Individuals and Risk Teams and Risk Clients, Society and Risk The GeoQ Ground Risk Management Process GeoQ in the feasibility phase GeoQ in the pre-design phase GeoQ in the design phase GeoQ in the contracting phase GeoQ in the construction phase GeoQ in the maintenance phase To end with a new start References


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About the Author

Martin Th. van Staveren

Martin van Staveren works for 15 years at GeoDelft, since 2001 as director of the GeoLab department. GeoDelft is the National Institute for Geo-Engineering in The Netherlands and combines applied research and development with specialist consultancy in the field of ground engineering. Founded in 1934, GeoDelft is one of the world’s oldest geotechnical institutes. GeoDelft is initiator of the Delft Cluster Research Partnership, with the Delft University of Technology as a prominent member. Martin van Staveren graduated in 1987 in engineering geology at the Delft University of Technology. He has a large experience in geotechnical engineering, including a lot of assignments in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East for a variety of clients. He is particularly interested in the application of risk management in geotechnical engineering, in order to save costs and time as well as to optimise safety and quality. He wrote some 30 publications on geotechnical site investigations and risk management, as well as chapters for the books The Westerschelde Tunnel – Approaching Limits (2004) and Subsoil – Guideline to Ground Investigations (2006, in Dutch). In 2001, Martin van Staveren obtained an MBA degree from the University of Bradford, UK. Together with his management position at GeoDelft, this raised his interest in innovation and change management in today’s globalizing construction industry. His essay Willingness to see, be and change was nominated for the Dutch Management Essay of the Year 2005 and published in the book Change Management- Current Visions on Management (2005, in Dutch). Worldwide, Martin van Staveren provides lectures, courses, seminars and presentations about the combination of ground-related risk management, geotechnique and site investigations. For instance, at the Delft University of Technology, the Amsterdam University and the Delft GeoAcademy in The Netherlands, GeoHohai and Tsinghua University in China, the CPT Research Society in Japan a

Affiliations and Expertise

Director at GeoDelft, Lecturer at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands Email: M.Th.vanStaveren@GeoDelft.nl