Prof. Dr. Sherif Wissa

An internationally well-known geotechnical expert

Distinguished Professor Sherif Wissa;
An internationally well-known geotechnical and heavy structures expert,
Died August 20, 2019.

Prof. Dr. Sherif Wissa Agaiby was the Director of the Geotechnical and Heavy Civil Engineering Department at Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair and Partners). Dr Agaiby earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from Cairo University, Egypt in 1983 and 1987, respectively, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA in 1991. 
Dr. Agaiby taught and conducted research in most fields of Geotechnical Engineering as a university faculty member (Cairo University; 1983 - 2004). Since joining Dar Al-Handasah, Dr. Agaiby has been actively involved in consulting and has participated in the planning, analyzing, designing, and providing during construction follow-up for major engineering projects worldwide. 
Dr. Agaiby was involved in many national and international scientific activities including: Chairperson of the Professional Image Committee, International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), 2013 to 2017; Board Member, Council of Foundation of ITA-CET, Foundation for Education and Training on Tunneling and Underground Space Use; member of the Egyptian Code of Practice for Geotechnical Engineering and Foundations on Rock committee and the Site Investigation committee; member of the Egyptian Code of Practice committee for the Design and Construction of Tunnels and Underground Structures. Some of his research could be found here:



Dr. Eng. Shehab Sherif Wissa

Assistant Professor, Cairo University, Egypt



Lecture Title: Mega Projects, Mega Geotechnical Challenges

Author: Sherif W. Agaiby

Director, Geotechnical and Heavy Civil Engineering Department, Dar Al-Handasah ‘‘Shair and Partners’’, Cairo, Egypt

Co-Author: Sayed M. Ahmed

Associate Professor, Structural Engineering Department, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt


Abstract: Over the past decades, the number of mega projects increased all over the world with an expectancy to exponentially increase in the near future. Mega projects are significantly more complex if compared to normal developments as they may involve many stakeholders, large and extended sites, substantial investment costs and time. Mega projects commonly comprise any, or a combination, of the following: bridges, tunnels, airports, high-rise buildings, large multiuse developments, and marine structures. One of the main sources of uncertainties in these projects is the high probability of unforeseen geotechnical conditions which may increase their relatively huge costs and/or delay their successful completion. Such projects call for special subsurface investigations that are often conducted over phases to allow the construction to proceed in tandem with the progress of design. The use of both expeditious tests such as in-situ tests and laboratory index tests are often preferred at the early stages of these projects; allowing the designer to get acquainted with the general subsurface conditions followed by detailed investigations to more reliably determine the geotechnical design parameters. The extended footprints of such projects require special geotechnical consideration with respect to the spatial variability of the various geomaterials and the impact of potential changes of the geotechnical conditions on the design and construction processes. Monitoring of the ground and structural stresses and associated deformations is not uncommon in these projects to ensure the adequacy of the used design parameters and enhance/calibrate the design during construction. This lecture explores the geotechnical aspects and the numerous learnt lessons from some of the largest civil engineering projects across recent history of mankind.