David Hight

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David Hight

Dr David Hight FREng FRS.jpg
David Hight at the Royal Society admissions day in London, July 2016
David William Hight

1943 (age 75–76)[1]
Alma materImperial College London (BSc, MSc, PhD)
AwardsRankine Lecture (1998)
Scientific career
ThesisLaboratory investigations of sea-bed clays (1983)
Academic advisorsAlan W. Bishop
John Burland[3]

David William Hight (born 1943)[1][4] FRS FREng FICE CEng[5] is a Senior Consultant at the Geotechnical Consulting Group,[4] a company providing high-level expertise in the field of geotechnical engineering and well known for bridging the gap between research and engineering practice.[5][6]


Hight was educated at Imperial College London, where he was awarded Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees[4] followed by a PhD in 1983[3] carried out in the soil mechanics section of the civil engineering department, headed by Alan W. Bishop and John Burland.[3]


Hight served as a lecturer at Imperial College between 1975 and 1983, and has been visiting professor at Imperial College (1993–2012), at the National University of Singapore (2000) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1983).[5]

He has synthesised the causes and effects of disturbance to soil samples and introduced methods to minimise sample disturbance and to assess sample quality. This has enabled him to become an expert in characterising the real behaviour of natural soils, including quantifying their scale of anisotropy of strength and stiffness.[5]

Using this expertise Hight has specialised in forensic engineering, investigating geotechnical failures of tunnels, embankments, road pavements, and port constructions; work that has opened up new avenues of research and led to new approaches to design and construction, including participating in the introduction of compensation grouting.[5] He has carried out technical audits on the foundations of numerous engineering projects including Hong Kong International Airport, the Rio–Antirrio bridge in Greece[4] and Heathrow Terminal 5.[7]

Awards and honours[edit]

Hight was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2001[5] and a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2016.


  1. ^ a b c Anon (2017). Hight, David William. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U287291. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Baldi G, Hight DW, Thomas GE (1988). "State-of-the-Art Paper: A Reevaluation of Conventional Triaxial Test Methods". In Donaghe RT, Chaney RC, Silver ML (eds.). Advanced Triaxial Testing of Soil and Rock. pp. 219–45. doi:10.1520/STP29080S. ISBN 978-0-8031-0983-4.
  3. ^ a b c Hight, David William (1983). Laboratory investigations of sea-bed clays. imperial.ac.uk (PhD thesis). Imperial College London (University of London). hdl:10044/1/7370. OCLC 557389112. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.308735. Free to read
  4. ^ a b c d Anon (2016). "David William Hight CV" (PDF). London: gcg.co.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-05-01.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Anon (2016). "Dr David Hight FREng FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2016-04-29. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the royalsociety.org website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-09.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

  6. ^ David Hight publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Hight, D. W.; Gasparre, A.; Nishimura, S.; Minh, N. A.; Jardine, R. J.; Coop, M. R. (2007). "Characteristics of the London Clay from the Terminal 5 site at Heathrow Airport". Géotechnique. 57 (1): 3–18. doi:10.1680/geot.2007.57.1.3.

 This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license.