Date / Time
May 29, 2023 @ 5:30pm - 7:00pm
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Presented by Laurence D Wesley (Laurie)
The leaning tower of Pisa was built between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. Its lean had been developing ever since, in stops and starts, until remedial work put a stop to it. The tower was closed to the public in 1990 – people were no longer allowed to climb up it as they had done for the previous eight centuries. Plans were made with considerable urgency to carry out work which would “stabilise” the tower. This work, which was not without some dramatic moments, was successfully completed in 2001.
Laurie Wesley, a geotechnical engineer, visited Pisa during the work and will give an account of the history of the tower and the work undertaken to stabilise it.
The talk, liberally illustrated with slides, is intended to be of general interest – from geotechnical and structural engineers to those with no technical background. It will cover soil conditions, foundation and structural design of the tower, the development of the lean, and the geotechnical operation that stabilised it; none of this is highly technical and can be readily followed by anyone.
Laurie is a retired geotechnical engineer who spent 8 years working for the Indonesian government, 5 years for the NZ Ministry of Works, about 10 years for Tonkin & Taylor and about 20 years teaching at Auckland University. He has written a number of papers, and written a couple of text books (both published by John Wiley and Sons):
- Fundamentals of Soil Mechanics for Sedimentary and Residual Soils
- Geotechnical Engineering in Residual Soils
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