Western Australia Chapter

Geotechnical Practitioner of the Year 2010 and Civil Engineer of the Year 2011

Andrew Leventhal

“A window into some of the challenges and joys accompanying 4 decades of geomechanics practice”

Andrew was awarded the Australian Geomechanics Society Geotechnical Practitioner of the Year in 2010 and the Engineers Australia Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year in 2011. These are both prestigious awards within Australian engineering.

The Civil Engineer of the Year award is presented annually by the Civil College of Engineers Australia to an eminent Civil Engineer considered to have made a major contribution to the profession.

The AGS GPY biennial award is “for significant contribution to the practice of the geotechnical profession and the life-blood of our Society. The award complements other AGS awards, and particularly the EH Davis Memorial Lecture”. AGS National Chairman at the time, Graham Scholey, presented the award to Andrew at a meeting of Sydney Chapter members on Wednesday, 13 April 2011. Graham noted that “the award recognises contributions of the highest order over an extended period with a commitment to the geotechnical profession in Australia and to the Australian Geomechanics Society”.

Andrew’s presentation will cover:

  • salient features and “take-away” lessons from some of the geotechnical projects selected from his portfolio over the last 4 decades;
  • background to the development of the Landslide Risk Management framework for Australia, dealing more with the challenges and issues in bringing the framework to fruition than specifically the guidelines themselves; and
  • particular (and dare it be said) novel applications and challenging geotechnical responses, and their interpretation, for a current project relating to management of the Main Southern Railway south of Sydney during underground longwall mining, whilst permitting safe operation of the railway together with unimpeded mining.

Speaker biography

Andrew’s experience has included many aspects in the fields of geotechnical engineering and rock mechanics. Recent tasks have been associated with the management of the consequences of underground mine subsidence upon major infrastructure elements – mainline railway and stored water reservoirs.

Andrew has also been the behind-the-scenes driving force for the AGS Sub-committee on Landslide Risk Management, being involved: from the initial (world-first) publication in 1985, through development of AGS (2000), the Risky Roadshow (2002 and 2011), development of AGS (2007), representation of AGS at international LRM workshops, and the launch of the interactive website for Landslide Risk Management Education Empowerment (July 2012). Andrew was President of Sydney Division of Engineers Australia for two consecutive terms (2000 & 2001) and Chair of the AGS National Committee in 2002 & 2003.


You are invited to join the Speaker for dinner after the talk (pay your own way) at: Black Toms, 27 Ord Street West Perth

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.