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Mr Geoff Watson BSc

Research Fellow

Mr Geoff Watson's photo

Geoff Watson is a Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, UK. He specialises in laboratory testing of soils and landfill wastes and field research into the performance of railway track systems and landfill engineering. He has also contributed to the work on the UK's infrastructure as an author on the UK's second Climate Change Risk Assessment and as a reviewer on the first National Infrastructure Assessment completed by the UK's National Infrastructure Commission. Over the past 18 years he has worked on research projects funded by the UK's EPSRC, Network Rail, the European Union, Defra and industry in the UK and overseas. He has authored over 30 publications.

Geoff has been running the laboratory and field work components of the geology for engineers first year course for many years and has also become the infrastructure group's unofficial photographer.

Research interests

Geomechanics, Geotechnical engineering, Waste management, Ballast, Geotechnical engineering, Infrastructure, Railway infrastructure, Retaining Structures, Slopes, Soil mechanics, DIC, waste mechanics, climate change risk assessment, national infrastructure, solid waste.

Principal activities

Design, implementation and analysis of results from bespoke field monitoring systems for the evaluation of track performance, e.g. using pressure cells, geophones, high speed filming with digital image correlation (DIC), extensometers, accelerometers (MEMs) and total station surveying.

Named Researcher, researcher or project manager for:

  • EPSRC funded:
  • Track to the Future
  • Track 21
  • Track 400
  • ITRC

Other rail projects have been funded directly by Network Rail, RSSB, the EU (Shift2Rail, In2Rail, In2Track, In2Track2) include:

  • performance of under sleeper pads at switches and crossings
  • behaviour of under track crossings
  • monitoring of integral bridges
  • pre- & post-renewal behaviour of a flat crossing
  • efficacy of mud pumping remediation
  • developing strategies for targeted maintenance
  • lateral earth pressures generated during high-output train ballast excavation and renewal
  • ballast contact testing
  • cyclic triaxial testing of Victorian clay embankment fill

Research group

Infrastructure Group

Affiliate research group

Waste Management

Research project(s)

Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC)

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Book Chapters

  • Tran, M., Hall, J., Nicholls, R., Hickford, A. J., Chaudry, M., & Watson, G. (2018). Sustainable Infrastructure. In T. Dixon, J. Connaughton, & S. Green (Eds.), Sustainable Futures in the Built Environment to 2050: A Foresight Approach to Construction and Development (pp. 117-136). Wiley.
  • Watson, G. V. R., Powrie, W., & Blades, A. P. (2006). Particle-scale classification and identification of the structure of processed municipal solid waste by CT scanning. In M. Hyodo, H. Murata, & Y. Nakata (Eds.), Geomechanics and Geotechnics of Particulate Media (pp. 149-154). (Proceedings of the International Symposium on Geomechanics and Geotechnics of Particulate Media). Ube, JP: Routledge - Taylor & Francis.



Code Title Role
CENV1027 Civil Engineering Fundamentals Geology for engineers unit - Lecturer; lab and field trip coordinator


Mr Geoff Watson
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number: 178/3021/B1

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