Sydney Chapter

Young Geotechnical Professionals Night – 2017

The 2017 Young Geotechnical Professionals’ Night is an opportunity to see four selected presentations by young geotechnical professionals discussing interesting and challenging aspects of their work.


The following presentations will be given during the evening.

Katherine Kwa

The University of Sydney

A study into the liquefaction of shipped metallic ores

In the past 30 years, at least 24 large ore carriers have capsized due to liquefaction of their lateric or nickel ore resulting in the loss of 177 lives but the mechanics behind the liquefaction of the cargo is still not well understood. One of the main areas of uncertainty that is currently being studied is in understanding the soil mechanics behind the behaviour of the unsaturated ores when subjected to severe cyclic loading conditions that can develop during transportation.

Christine Yoshe


Support Design for large span tunnels or caverns in Australia

As urban population continues to grow, there has been an increase demand in more reliable transport infrastructure in Australia. This has led particularly to the proposal of tunnel projects with some very large tunnel spans and caverns in recent projects in Sydney.  The recently proposed caverns have unprecedented spans for excavations in Hawkesbury Sandstone, reaching spans of more than 29 m and exceeding past experiences in Australia which include the Eastern Distributor in Sydney (24 m) and both Kedron (26 m) and Lutwyche (27 m) caverns in the Airport Link tunnels in Brisbane. Despite these previous experiences, the relationship with precedent design is not linear. This presentation will present and discuss some design concepts and analysis results that aim the design of large span caverns in Hawkesbury Sandstone.

Geoffrey Chan


Laying the foundation for the Sydney Light Rail

The Sydney Light Rail (SLR) alignment covers the typical geological and geomorphological settings for the Sydney and Botany Basin. This comprises three distinctive zones: (1) manmade fill; (2) recent quaternary aeolian, alluvial and estuarine sediments, which overlie; (3) residual soil and weathered to fresh bedrock. When investigating subsurface conditions within a metropolitan area, various constraints can have impacts on the scope and extent of geotechnical investigations (GI) that can be safely and practically completed.  For the SLR project, investigation of the subgrade conditions along the alignment was significantly constrained due to the alignment which follows existing roads through the CBD and eastern suburbs.  Constraints for working in these areas included complex traffic management planning to avoid disruptions to the community and also an equally challenging network of underground utilities and other service tunnels. These constraints required thoroughly planning for traffic management and consultation with utility service providers, thus significantly reducing the amount of work that could be completed within the program.

Firman Siahaan


Characterisation of municipal solid waste materials for the purpose of engineering design for transport infrastructure

Space restriction especially in the urban area has contributed to the reuse of landfill area or Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) for the purpose of infrastructure development. This type of development presents some significant challenges in the engineering design due to high variability of waste properties and the uncertainty in relation to the application of conventional geotechnical engineering principle for the engineering design involving waste materials. This presentation presents a geotechnical investigation and characterisation of waste materials for the engineering design of a proposed railway embankment over an active landfill site in the eastern NSW.

Venue location

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.