Feb 6, 2020

Meet the distributor: Geotechnical Observations

Tyler Morency
4 years ago

Meet the distributor: Geotechnical Observations

Geotechnical Observations has been a Measurand distributor in the United Kingdom for over 10 years, providing “structural and geotechnical instrumentation and monitoring services for civil engineering projects.”

In this video, Measurand talked to Dr. Andrew Ridley, managing director at Geotechnical Observations, a company that he helped form in 2000, about his more than 35 years of experience in the geotechnical sector.

“We’ve been involved in installing ShapeArrays into tunnels, into retaining walls, into slopes and doing quite a few of the innovative developments within the product such as convergence,” Dr. Ridley said, noting that feedback from Geotechnical Observations lead to the development of Measurand products like the SAA Field Power Unit.

Dr. Ridley explained that while it was his academic research in slope stability monitoring that initially drew his interest in Measurand’s ShapeArray, he realized that construction monitoring applications were where ShapeArray’s real-time shape sensing could be extremely useful.

“Slopes move fairly slowly, but in the construction environment, you’re dealing with real-time measurements that matter,” Dr. Ridley said. “That’s where it’s really mushroomed and they’re quite exciting projects to work on because they’re big construction-type projects.” 

Geotechnical Observations is passionate about collecting, analyzing, and presenting data, which led Dr. Ridley to develop a innovative, cloud-based software platform, Geodaisy®. Conceived as a way to give engineers all the power of a database along with the flexibility of a spreadsheet, Geodaisy® takes full advantage of ShapeArray’s real-time monitoring capabilities with intelligent alarms, convergence graphing for tunnels, and several visualization options.

Geotechnical Observations project profiles

Construction of the new Western Ticket Hall: ShapeArray measured retaining wall deflection, reduced construction time and costs

Ranelagh sewer: Effective convergence and settlement monitoring in confined, hazardous space


Read an in-depth Q&A with Dr. Andrew Ridley.

Watch Dr. Andrew Ridley’s John Mitchell Lecture at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.

Meet the Distributor is a video series that introduces a valued Measurand distributor and shares their company’s work. Subscribe to Measurand on YouTube to make sure not to miss a video.

  • 1993

    The Beginning

    Measurand is established in Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • 1994

    Bend sensor development

    Measurand develops and patents fiber optic bend and position sensors for the medical and automotive sectors

    U.S. Patent 5,321,257

  • 1995

    Canadian Space Agency

    Receives funding from the CSA to develop sensor technology that ultimately leads to invention of ShapeTape

    U.S. Patent 5,633,494

  • 1999

    Patent on fiber optic sensor

    Measurand receives patent for "Fiber Optic Bending and Positioning Sensor" issued June 29, 1999

    Canadian Patent 2,073,162

  • 2001

    ShapeTape & ShapeHand debut

    Measurand designs and develops innovative motion capture technology

    U.S. Patent 6,127,672, 6,563,107

  • 2002

    Measurand Attends the ICPMG

    First contact with the geotechnical sector at the International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (ICPMG)
  • 2004


    Design patent application sent about a new product designed to meet the specific needs of the geotechnical industry

    U.S. Patent 6,127,672, 6,563,107

  • 2005-08


    Measurand debuts ShapeWrap motion capture technology for the film and animation industry

    U.S. Patent 7,296,363

  • 2006

    Malibu installation

    ShapeAccelArray installed for ground monitoring for the first time​ in Malibu, CA

    Canadian Patent 2,472,421

  • 2007


    Suite of instrumentation developed for motion capture within Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines

    U.S. Patent 7,296,363

  • 2011

    SAAScan launched

    Built for rapid deployment and repeated use

    Canadian Patent 2,472,421

  • 2014

    SAAX launched

    Purpose-built for heavy-duty horizontal installation

    Canadian application 2,815,199 & 2,815,195

  • 2017

    SAAV launched

    The only geotechnical instrument with a patented cyclical installation method

    Cyclical Sensor Array, Canadian application 2,815,199 & 2,911,175