Poulos Lecture: Engineering Geological Challenges for the Active NZ Environment

New Zealand is a highly varied landmass with many different terrains displaying defective and difficult rock and soil masses crafted by a collection of hazardous geologic processes. This presents a unique challenge to engineering development. This talk offers a personal view of the contribution engineering geology has made to our understanding of this active New …more

Numerical Investigation into the influence of bored piles on existing tunnels

In the urban environment, deep foundations are often constructed in locations very close to existing tunnels. Many tunnels can often only tolerate minimal movements. Tunnel owners are concerned that the process of bored pile construction and/or the subsequent loading of the piles may cause intolerable movements or stress levels that might cause cracking of the …more

D H Trollope Lecture: The Mathematics of Engineering

Boundary conditions are critical to the solution of most differential equations encountered in the physical sciences and engineering. In many mathematical models great lengths are taken to derive and explain the governing differential equations, the boundary conditions seem to be an optional extra! It is an easy procedure to show how a small change in …more

Slope Stability Analysis & Risk by Finite Elements

The seminar started by briefly reviewing the power and advantages of the finite element method in tackling slope stability problems, especially in non-uniform soils. A closely related method called the Random Finite Element Method was described, which enables analyses to be made of slopes with highly non-uniform properties, in which the shear strength is described …more

Applications & Benefits of Cold Spray-Applied Membranes

Cold spray-applied membranes are an economic and practical solution for waterproofing of buildings, tunnels, canals, ponds and reservoirs, and as gas vapour barriers over industrial sites and sites affected by landfill gases. Membrane technologies have produced materials that are easy to apply, non-toxic, odourless, solvent free, with seamless application and high strength and bonding characteristics. …more

Energy Method for Structures Interacting with Dissipative Soils

The combination of energy methods and variational principles has provided a valuable tool to analyze the behaviour of elastic structures for quite a long time. It has also been used infrequently to study soil-pile interaction problems, considering the soil as elastic material by following the traditional method that was developed for the elastic structures. However, …more

Regional landslide hazard maps of Tasmania

Land stability is a significant problem in parts of Tasmania but useful information outlining the spatial and temporal distribution of this hazard is limited. To address this problem a methodology has been developed to record known areas of instability and predict areas where various landslide process could occur in the future. Specifically the project models …more

Special Function

To celebrate the completion of the 2004 Geotechnical Design Project at the University of Newcastle, the Newcastle Chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society invited its members to join the 4th year design students to a recovery function on 29 October 2004 (just after they submitted their major assignment work). It proved to be an excellent …more

Risk Assessment for Civil Engineering Systems

The talk presented an overview of how measures of risk can assess and manage the safety and performance of civil engineering systems such as dams, embankments and buildings. Typical measures of risk include the probability of system failure, annual fatality risk or expected damages or losses. Techniques for quantifying uncertainty and risk were described, as …more

A Study of Direct Shear Testing using a Large Shear Box

Reinforced soil walls are finding increasing application in Australian civil engineering infrastructure. The commonly applied Q181C ‘Test Method’ of Direct Shear Testing to estimate the ‘Effective angle of internal friction at constant volume conditions for granular (coarse grained) materials’ is commonly applied to assess the suitability of backfill soils. This presentation presented the outcomes of …more

Geosynthetics in Reinforced Earth Structures

The presentation provided a brief overview of the world of Geosynthetics and latest technologies, with an emphasis on reinforced soil structures and other typical civil engineering applications. Some interesting case studies, local and abroad, were briefly discussed. Innovative technologies in the field were also looked at, including instrumentation using geosynthetics and the use of poor-draining …more

Geotechnical Stability Analysis: New Methods for an Old Problem

In practice, geotechnical stability analysis is usually performed by a variety of approximate methods that are based on the notion of limit equilibrium. Although they appeal to engineering intuition, these techniques have a number of major disadvantages, not the least of which is the need to presuppose an appropriate failure mechanism in advance. This feature …more

Numerical Analysis: A Virtual Dream or Practical Reality?

The development of numerical analysis and its application to geotechnical problems over the past 20 years have provided geotechnical engineers with an extremely powerful analysis tool. However, the use of such analysis is still not widespread, and when it is used there is all too often evidence of bad practice. Part of the reason for …more

Jamuna – Bridge Foundations

The Jamuna Multi-purpose Bridge, Bangladesh consists of a 5.0 km long combined road, rail and service crossing of the Jamuna [Brahmaputra] River at Sirajganj some 100 km north of the capital, Dhaka. It is the largest project ever undertaken in Bangladesh at contract value of US$ 700 million. The bridge was Bangladesh’s first major river …more

Rock Stability Analysis and its Application in Large Dam Construction

In recent years in China a lot of dams, especially large dams have been constructed and are under construction. Rock engineering research has been faced with rock stability problems in dam construction. Below are several important problems that were encountered: Uncertainty in which stability models to use in dam evaluation Difficulty in conducting rupture analysis …more

Poulos Lecture: Tunnels and Excavations: Ground movements and the construction process

Infrastructure development invariably involves construction of excavations in the ground. These may be long and horizontal – tunnels – or short, often wide and vertical – basement excavations or cut-and-cover tunnels. The excavations need to be formed safely, so stability can be an issue, and increasingly there are major concerns about the assessment and control …more

Geotechnical Engineering and the Law

Nick will discuss practical legal information of relevance to geotechnical practitioners. Topics discussed will include: Latent conditions – Who should take the risk for ground related risk? Examples of contractual approaches to risk allocation. Proportionate liability – What is it and how does it affect geotechnical contractors and consultants. Expert Witness – What are the …more