Alan W. Bishop


Alan Wilfred Bishop (27 May 1920 – 30 June 1988) was a British geotechnical engineer and academic, working at Imperial College London.

Alan Wilfred Bishop
Born(1920-05-27)27 May 1920
Whitstable, England
Died30 June 1988(1988-06-30) (aged 68)
Whitstable, England
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Alma materImperial College London, UK
University of Cambridge, UK
Known forBishop's method of Slope stability analysis
Awards6th Rankine Lecture (1966)
Scientific career
FieldsSoil mechanics
InstitutionsImperial College London, UK
Academic advisorsAlec Skempton
Notable studentsNicholas Ambraseys, John H. Atkinson, Peter Rolfe Vaughan, Stephen G. Evans

He was known for the Bishop's method[1] of analysing soil slopes. After his graduation from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Bishop worked under Alec Skempton and obtained his PhD in 1952 with his thesis title being: The stability of earth dams.[2] He worked extensively in the field of experimental Soil mechanics and developed apparati for soil testing, such as the triaxial test and the ring shear.

His contribution to the science was widely acknowledged and he was invited in 1966 to deliver the 6th Rankine Lecture of the British Geotechnical Association titled: The strength of soils as engineering materials.[3]

Nowadays, a part of the Soil Mechanics Laboratories at Imperial College is named after him in recognition of his long-time work at the College.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bishop's method
  2. ^ Bishop A. W. (1952), The stability of earth dams. PhD Thesis, Imperial College London
  3. ^ Bishop A. W. (1966), The strength of soils as engineering materials. Rankine Lecture, Geotechnique, 16 (2), 91–130

External linksEdit

  • Obituary [1]
  • The Skempton and Bishop Archives