This short piece is to celebrate David Giles’ 17 year association with the Engineering Group of the Geological Society and his drive to educate, train and inform engineering geologists in the UK and overseas.
David, currently Principal Lecturer, School of Earth Sciences, University of Portsmouth, was voted onto the committee in 1995 and has been a very active member ever since. I think David is best known for convening the Groups’ excellent field meetings since 1997. For those who do not know, convening includes finding a suitable place for the meeting, experts who are informative and entertaining, good, inexpensive hotels that accept thirty or more engineering geologists, suitable transport, publicity, ensuring the meeting notes are complete for the delegates and all the finances to ensure a successful meeting. All who have been on any of the field meetings will attest that they are good fun and great for meeting other engineering geologists in a relaxed atmosphere. But, most of all, they are learning opportunities for all ages and all experiences to see engineering geology in context, which is in the field and to discuss engineering geology. As Herbert Harold Read, who was a professor at Imperial College, president of the Geological Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society said, “The best geologist is the one who has seen most rocks”. As you can see from the list of meetings they are varied and not only include England and Wales but a couple of trips to France. The meetings are organized without fuss, which is great news for those on the committee and the participants. Running like clockwork comes to mind.