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Geotechnical and Environmental Research Group



Kenichi Soga is Chancellor’s Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

He was a member of the Geotechnical Group in Cambridge as lecturer (1994-2000) and then was senior lecturer (2000-2003) and Reader (2003-2007). He held the post of Professor of Civil Engineering from 2007-2016. He specialises in the area of Geotechnical Engineering and Environmental Geotechnics

He was born in New York, but received most of his education in Japan. He went to Kyoto University to study Civil Engineering and obtained B.Eng. and M. Eng. in 1987 and 1989, respectively. In 1989, he was awarded a two-year scholarship from the Murata Overseas Scholarship Foundation to continue his study at the University of California at Berkeley. At Berkeley, he worked as a Research Assistant between 1991 and 1994 and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1994.

He is a Fellow of Churchill College since 1995 and acted as a Director of Studies in Engineering. He is currently the external examiner for the civil engineering programmes of the University of Southampton and the University of Hong Kong. He was visiting professor at University of Rome "La Sapienza", Tongji University, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Chulalongkorn University, JSPS fellow at Kyoto University and visiting researcher at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Colorado School of Mines, Deltares and Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne.

He is an editorial member of Computers and GeotechnicsGeomechanics and GeoengineeringGeorisk and Geomechanics and Engineering. In the past, he served as an editorial board memeber for Geotechnique (2003-2005), ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering (2001-2009), JGS Soils and Foundations (2001-2005) and Vadose Zone Journal.

He is co-author of "Fundamentals of Soil Behavior, 3rd Edition"(John Wiley and Sons) with James K. Mitchell. He has written more than 200 journal and conference papers and is recipient of the Telford Gold Medal (Institution of Civil Engineers), the George Stephenson Medal (Institution of Civil Engineers), the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (American Society of Civil Engineers), the Crampton Prize (Institution of Civil Engineers), the JE Jennings award (South African Geotechnical Society), and the Schofield award (International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics). He has delieverd numerous number of keynote lectures including the 2007 Geotechnique Lecture at ICE. 

He is fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and an Executive member of the Technical Oversight Committee of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). He is the secretary of TC105 GeoMechanics of the ISSMGE and a member of EPSRC Peer Review College.


Professor Soga is a member of the Steering Group and the Executive Committee of the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction. His research interests are innovative sensor technologies and assessment methods for civil engineering infrastructure.

His current research interests are


  • Momonitoring and assessment of underground structures
  • Tunnelling and deep excavation and their Influence on adjacent infrastructure
  • Methane hydrate extraction processes
  • Wellbore deformation and stability
  • Soil fracturing and grouting
  • Pipeline-soil interaction
  • Submarine landslides
  • Large deformation modelling using Material Point Method
  • Coupled soil deformation and pore fluid movement simulation using Molecular Dynamics and Lattice Boltzmann methods



  • Distributed strain measurements of geoinfrastructures using fibre optics
  • Wireless sensor network monitoring systems
  • Micro electro-mechanical sensors and power harvesting
  • Computer vision for infrastructure monitoring
  • Self-boring pressuremeter and permeameter



  • Energy foundations and tunnels
  • Geothermal energy from buildign scale to city scale
  • Soil-Bio interactions and engineering
  • Long-term monitoring and embodied energy-life cycle analysis of infrastructure


Key publications: 

Teaching and Supervisions

  • 3rd year 3D1&3D2 Geotechnical Engineering
  • Post graduate 5R7 Advanced Numerical Methods in Geomechanics
Chancellor’s Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Professor Kenichi  Soga

Contact Details

Department of Engineering
Trumpington Street
Available for consultancy