World Wide Web of Gotechnical Engineers - Hall of Fame

Alec Westley Skempton


A.W. Skempton was a well-respected and accomplished professor at Imperial College in the University of London, which is also where he started his education. Dr. Skempton was born in Northampton, England, in 1914 and was educated at Northampton school. He also obtained a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1935 and a Master of Science in 1936 and received first-class honors for his undergraduate education. Later, in 1949, Dr. Skempton earned a D.Sc. also from Imperial College.


Professor Skempton first established the soil mechanics program at Imperial College in 1946. He has also held the position of President of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering from 1957 to 1961. In addition, in 1961, Dr. Skempton was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and he has been a Rankine lecturer.


In addition to receiving many honors, Dr. Skempton has had many accomplishments to add to his record. His interests during his career included soil mechanics problems, rock mechanics, geology, and the history of civil engineering. Professor Skempton has also made many contributions to the civil engineering field, including in the areas of fundamentals of effective stress, pore pressures in clays, bearing capacity, and slope stability. Dr. Skempton has also made succeeded by explaining engineering concepts with great discernment and communicating problems well.


Dr. A.W. Skempton has authored and co-authored many works. Following are a few of his most well-known articles:

Prepared by Andrea Hyatt, Dec. 1997

Addendum: Skempton left us on 9 August 2001 in London.