Keynote speakers

Masaki Kitazume
Professor of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan

January 18, 2021
10.15 (EET)

Masaki Kitazume, professor of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan, has over 40 years of experience on soil stabilization, ground improvement and foundation engineering. He was involved in many land reclamation and ground improvement projects including Tokyo/Haneda International Airport, Kansai In-ternational Airport and Central Japan International Airport construction projects. He was al-so invited as a technical committee member of several overseas construction projects. He has published many papers, mainly on the geotechnical aspects of soil stabilization, ground im-provement and centrifuge model testing. He also published three books from Balkema Pub-lishers and Taylor & Francis, on Deep Mixing Method, Sand Compaction Pile Method and Pneumatic Flow Mixing Method. He was awarded the Geotechnical Engineering Development award from the Japanese Society of Soil Mechanics and Foundation engineering in 1992, the Minister of Transport Award in 2000, and Continuing International Contribution Awards, Japan Society of Civil Engineers in 2006.


Jean-Sebastien L'Heureux

Principal Engineer, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI),
Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)


On the use of benchmark test sites for research and development in geotechnical engineering

January 18, 2021
10.45 (EET)

Dr. Jean-Sebastien L'Heureux is a technical lead at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) and a Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. He obtained his undergraduate degree in engineering geology from Laval University in Québec city in 2003. He thereafter moved to Norway in 2003 to continue his studies and received a MSc. from the University of Oslo in 2005 and a PhD in geotechnical engineering from NTNU in 2009. After a short stint as a postodoctoral fellow at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), Mr. L'Heureux started at the NGI in 2012 in Trondheim, Norway. 

Dr. L'Heureux's has been heavily involved in the Norwegian and International geotechnical community throughout his professional career. Notably, he served as Chairman for the 1st International Workshop on Landslides in Sensitive Clays (IWLSC) held in Quebec city in 2013; as co-chair for the 2nd IWLSC in 2017 in Trondheim; chair for the 1st International Symposium on GeoTest Sites (ISGTS) in 2019 in Oslo; and since 2017 actively participates in the European Large Geotechnical Institutes Platform (ELGIP). Since 2016, Dr. L'Heureux has been leading the Norwegian Geotest Sites (NGTS) infrastructure project in Norway. 

Dr. L'Heureux has made a significant impact in the field of geotechnical engineering in Norway, such as through his contributions to Norway's National Technical guidelines on Landslides in sensitive clays, his work on the mechanisms of near-shore and coastal landslides, hazard risk management for long linear infrastructure and his contributions related to the characterization of Norwegian clays. He has also served in several expert committee panels following catastrophic landslide events in Norway. Dr. L'Heureux has also authored and co-authored over 100 scholarly papers throughout his young geotechnical career (h-index: 18; i10-index: 26; January 2019). 

Besides work, Mr. L'Heureux keeps quite active and has until last year played professional ice hockey as a goalie. He is heavily involved in minor hockey where he coaches both his sons and act as sport director for Astor hockey. He also enjoys fishing, hunting and hiking in the mountains with his family. 


Minna Karstunen 


From soft soil modelling to engineering application

January 19, 2021
10.45 (EET)

Minna Karstunen is Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, UK. She got her PhD at University of Wales Swansea in 1998, followed by a successful academic career in the UK. She joined Chalmers in 2012, where she has built an internationally leading research group focussing on modelling soil and rocks across the scales. Minna’s industrial experience relates to the design of roads, tunnels and bridge foundations on very soft soils in Finland and she is involved as an independent expert in the West Link project is Sweden. Minna is internationally known for her research on constitutive model development, aimed at representing the complex rate-dependent stress-strain behaviour of sensitive soft clays. In parallel, she has been working on novel numerical techniques for representing periodic ground improvement on soft soils. She has coordinated a number of European projects related to soft soil modelling and soft clay engineering and has published over 100 scientific publications.