Gavin, K.G.G.


Ken graduated in Civil Engineering from Queens University Belfast in 1994, he obtained a PhD from Trinity College Dublin in 1998. He worked as a senior geotechnical engineer for Arup for 3 years before joining University College Dublin (UCD) in September 2001. At UCD he was Director of the Centre for Critical Infrastructure Research. He Joined TU Delft in April 2016 as Professor of Subsurface Engineering. He is a visiting Professor at University College Dublin. Throughout his academic career he has applied his research into practice. He was co-founder and director of the international consultancy GDG from 2011 to 2018. He founded the geotechnical consultancy company InGEO in 2018.

Research interests

  • Offshore Foundations
  • The effect of climate change on critical infrastructure
  • Soil-Structure Interaction
  • Risk in geotechnical engineering

Ken has researched new foundation concepts and improving design codes. As an example in the PISA project (with the University of Oxford and Imperial College) a new design method for Offshore Monopiles was developed that is now used in most Offshore Wind Projects across the globe. In addition he has coordinated a number of European Union collaborative projects investigating the effect of climate change on transport infrastructure.

Educational activities

Ken teaches foundation design on the 1st and 2nd year Bachelor courses Design of Structures and Foundations I and II. In addition he teaches an elective Master-level course Soil-Structure Interaction.

Key publications

  • A Field Investigation into the Mechanisms of Pile Ageing in Sand, Kenneth Gavin and David Igoe, Geotechnique, Volume 71, Issue 2, February 2021, pp 120-131.
  • Igoe, D., & Gavin, K. (2021). Investigation of Cyclic Loading of Aged Piles in Sand. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 147(4), [02451].
  • Assessment of long-term deformation of a tunnel in soft rock by utilizing particle swarm optimized neural network, Kovacevic, Meho Sasa; Bacic, Mario; Stipanovic, Irina; Gavin, Kenneth (2021) Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 110.
  • Application of Neural Networks for the Reliability Design of a Tunnel in Karst Rock Mass (2021) Kovacevic, Meho Sasa; Bacic, Mario; Gavin, Kenneth, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 58, No. 4, pp 455-467.
  • A review of CPT based axial pile design in the Netherlands, (2021) Gavin, K.G., Kovacevic M.S. and Igoe, D. Underground Space, Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp 85-99.
  • PISA design model for monopiles for offshore wind turbines: (2020) Byrne, B. W., Houlsby, G. T., Burd, H. J., Gavin, K. G., Igoe, D. J. P., Jardine, R. J., Martin, C. M., McAdam, R. A., Potts, D. M. et al. Geotechnique, 70(11), 1030-1047.
  • Burd, H. J., Taborda, D. M. G., Zdravkovic, L., Abadie, C. N., Byrne, B. W., Houlsby, G. T., Gavin, K. G., Igoe, D. J. P., Jardine, R. J., et al. (2020). PISA design model for monopiles for offshore wind turbines: Application to a marine sand. Geotechnique, 70(11), 1048-1066.
  • Experimental application of FRF-based model updating approach to estimate soil mass and stiffness mobilised under pile impact tests, Prendergast, L. J., Wu, W. H., & Gavin, K. (2019). Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 123, 1-15.




  • BLUE Piling project 2 – Developing low-noise hammers for the installation of large diameter offshore monopoles. In collaboration with IHC IQIP (TKI-Wind-op-Zee).
  • Monopile Improved Design through Advanced cyclic Soil modelling Funded by TKI Improved Axial Capacity of Piles in Sand (TKI Delta Technology) – with Deltares, Port of Rotterdam, Rijkswaterstaat and the Dutch piling industry we aim to develop improved national pile design codes.
  • H2020 SAFE-10-T project developed a means of virtually eradicating sudden failures by implementing remote sensing techniques and wireless sensor networks. Thus allowing for bridges, tunnels and earthworks to become smart, intelligent (self-learning) objects that are able to communicate their own current condition.
  • NWA Living on Soft Soils (LOSS) Project. Ongoing subsidence is a complex problem in the Dutch lowlands for cities and polder land. As subsidence proceeds, old strategies for coping with it reach bottom limits as they do not fix or remove the roots of the problem. The research programme NWA-LOSS (Living on Soft Soils, funded from the National Science Agenda) is ran by a broad consortium of research institutes and societal partners in the Netherlands.


Other activities

  • Member of ISSMGE Technical committee TC 209 on Offshore Geotechnics
  • Member of ISSMGE Technical committee TC212 on Deep Foundations
  • Member of the European Technical Committee on Pile Foundation ETC3
  • Director of academic organisation International Press in Association
  • Director InGEO Consulting
  • Member of the iCRAG Scientific Advisory Committee
  • Editorial Board Member Journal Geotechnics




  • ICE Themes Wind Turbine Foundations, Kenneth Gavin and William Craig (editors), ICE Publishing 2018, London. ISBN: 978-0-7277-6396-9
  • ICE Themes Geothermal Energy, Heat Exchange Systems and Energy Piles, William Craig and Kenneth Gavin (editors), ICE Publishing 2018, London. ISBN: 978-0-7277-6398-3


Ken Gavin

Professor of Subsurface Engineering

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