|Born||4 March 1936|
|Alma mater||Witwatersrand University
University of Cambridge
|Thesis||Deformation of soft clay (1967)|
|Doctoral advisor||Kenneth H. Roscoe|
John Boscawen Burland CBE FREng FRS (born 4 March 1936) is an Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Investigator at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Imperial College London.
John Burland attended Parktown Boys' High School and then received a First Class Honours BSc degree in Civil Engineering from Witwatersrand University in 1959. Then he moved to the University of Cambridge where he carried out research in Soil Mechanics under the supervision of Professor Kenneth H. Roscoe which led to the award of a PhD degree in 1967. His thesis title was Deformation of soft clay. He then moved to Imperial College London where he served as Professor of Soil Mechanics for over 20 years and Head of the Geotechnics Section.
Burland is best known as the engineer who prevented the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over, for which he was awarded the Knight Commander of the Royal Order of Francis I by the Duke of Castro. He was also involved in ensuring that the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben were unharmed by the extension of the London Underground Jubilee line.
Burland worked also on the construction of a large underground park at the Palace of Westminster and the stabilising of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City. His team was also involved in the extension of the Jubilee line and he has advised on many geotechnical aspects of that project, including ensuring the stability of the Big Ben Clock Tower.
His contribution to Soil Mechanics has been greatly acknowledged and he was invited to deliver the 30th Rankine Lecture of the British Geotechnical Association titled On the compressibility and shear strength of natural clays. Moreover, he was awarded the Institution of Structural Engineers Gold Medal in 1997. In 2002 he presented the Higginson Lecture and the Victor de Mello Lecture.
- Burland, John B.; Mair, Robert James (2013). "Sir Alan Marshall Muir Wood FREng FICE. 8 August 1921 -- 1 February 2009". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2013.0011.
- Burland, J. B.; Jamiolkowski, M.; Viggiani, C. (1998). "Stabilising the leaning tower of Pisa". Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment 57: 91. doi:10.1007/s100640050025.
- Graham, J.; Tanaka, N.; Crilly, T.; Alfaro, M. (2001). "Modified Cam-Clay modelling of temperature effects in clays". Canadian Geotechnical Journal 38 (3): 608. doi:10.1139/cgj-38-3-608.
- Burland, J. B. (1990). "On the compressibility and shear strength of natural clays". Géotechnique 40 (3): 329. doi:10.1680/geot.1918.104.22.1689.
- "School of Engineering and Computing Sciences (ECS) : Speakers abridgment - Durham University". Dur.ac.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
- "1a Palestra Victor de Mello (in Portuguese)". Retrieved 2013-01-21.