Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Nineteenth Glossop Lecture.

A great many of you here this evening will already know our speaker, Dr Kevin Privett (Fig. 1). Perhaps at one stage you may have worked alongside Kevin as a fellow employee. Alternatively, perhaps you have attended course lectures presented by him (at any one of a number of universities around the UK) or, worse still, perhaps Kevin was your external examiner for your MSc in Engineering Geology! If the latter does apply to anyone in tonight's audience, you have clearly forgiven him, or maybe you...

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