The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) is the principal
association for geotechnical engineers in the United Kingdom.

Dr Barnali Ghosh receives the John Mitchell Award

The BGA is pleased to announce that Dr Barnali Ghosh has received the 2023 John Mitchell Award.

Dr Barnali Ghosh receives the John Mitchell Award

The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) is pleased to announce that Dr Barnali Ghosh of Mott MacDonald has received the 2023 John Mitchell Award. She received the Award at an Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Awards Ceremony in October 2023 and will give the BGA John Mitchell Lecture in January 2024.

The John Mitchell Award is presented annually by the ICE, based on a nomination from the BGA, for significant contributions in the field of geotechnical engineering. The award was instituted in 2008 in memory of the prominent geotechnical engineer John Mitchell of Arup, who was killed while observing piling works at a central London site in 1990.

The award criteria considered by the BGA include the following:

  • In reflection of John Mitchell’s career, selection will favour practical applications of up to date geotechnical concepts or models (rather than advanced theoretical academic practice).
  • The BGA will consider individuals, like John, who in the course of their careers via incremental works have made significant contribution to geotechnical practice.
  • Notwithstanding the above, the BGA will in addition consider any contemporary practitioner who has instigated a major advance in the geotechnical field, thus opening the award up to the innovative, regardless of age or incremental contribution count.

Dr Ghosh has made major contributions to the practical aspects of geotechnical engineering at both national and international levels.

Dr Barnali Ghosh receives the John Mitchell Medal from ICE President Keith Howells

Dr Ghosh is a recognised expert in geotechnical offshore and earthquake engineering. She is currently a Technical Director within Mott MacDonald, where she leads a team of specialist geo seismic engineers. She has carried out both regional and site specific geotechnical and seismic hazard assessments for a range of structures in the energy, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors, and has acted as lead Geo Seismic Specialist in several prestigious projects across the world. She is often tasked with producing basis of design documents for different near shore and offshore projects.

After graduating from Jadavpur University in India with a master’s degree in Geotechnical Engineering (1997), and working at a research centre also in India, she undertook research on geotechnical earthquake engineering for her PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge University (2003), followed by a post doc at Cambridge (2003–2005) before joining Arup in their London office (2006). Dr Ghosh joined Mott MacDonald in 2012, becoming Technical Principal in 2017.

Dr Ghosh is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at Cambridge University for Geo Seismic Engineering. She has also worked part time as an adviser for the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) UK, after being awarded a fellowship by the Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 1851. She has been extensively published in international journals, is an invited speaker in many seismic conferences, and has recently contributed chapters to the book ‘Design of Foundations in Seismic Areas – Principles and Applications’ published by NISEE. She was part of the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) following the Nepal earthquake in 2015 and is part of several committees related to seismic engineering.

Barnali was the winner of the prestigious 2017 Shamsher Prakash Award for Excellence in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and a winner in the Top 50 Women in Engineering Award in UK (2020). She is also part of the network for inclusion of diversity and women in Mott MacDonald, and a role model and mentor for women engineers within the company and panel member for ICE diversity committee (Southeast).

Dr Ghosh is a worthy winner of the John Mitchell Award.

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