Western Australia Chapter

Geotechnics of Nearshore and Dredging Projects

The Western Australia Chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) is pleased to announce details of a one day seminar focussing on the Geotechnics of Nearshore and Dredging Projects. This seminar forms part of the continuing program of technical events by the AGS WA Chapter, designed to keep geotechnical professionals aware of recent developments in particular areas of practice of interest in WA. The event will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Australia has, during recent years, experienced a period of unprecedented economic growth. This has led to an increased demand for nearshore and coastal infrastructure for both government and private (mainly resources companies) sector clients. This seminar will present best practices, innovative solutions and case histories in the field of coastal and marine geotechnics. It will also provide a platform for geotechnical professionals, researchers, specialist contractors, and students to meet and share their knowledge and experiences on this topic. The seminar will include presentations by invited speakers who have many years of experience working on nearshore projects and a variety of local presenters covering a range of topics.

The seminar will be a high profile event expected to attract in excess of 100 attendees. It is aimed at all geotechnical professionals, ranging from students and recent graduates through to experienced practitioners, both contractors and consultants.

Keynote Speakers

Nick Ramsey, GeoConsulting Leader – Fugro GeoConsulting Australia

Nick has over thirty years of geotechnical experience. His particular interest is formulating cost-effective and project-specific ground models for engineering purposes, using appropriate combinations of in-situ testing, laboratory testing and geophysical data. Nick’s extensive international experience includes offshore and offshore site investigations, standard and advanced laboratory testing, advanced ground model development, and the design of piled and shallow foundations for offshore, coastal and onshore structures, embankments and pipelines.

Nick has been lead geotechnical engineer on geotechnical projects throughout the world – including onshore and offshore Australia and New Zealand, PNG, offshore West Africa, offshore and onshore East Africa, offshore and onshore UK, offshore Brazil, offshore Indonesia, offshore Russia, offshore and onshore Bangladesh, offshore Norway, offshore Azerbaijan, and the Gulf of Mexico. For eight years, Nick was technical director of Fugro’s advanced laboratory in the UK (one of the largest advanced commercial laboratories in the world) and for two years he was technical manager of Fugro’s non-destructive pile-testing team in the UK.

Nick has always maintained a close interest in the promotion of academic theory into commercial geotechnical practice – this takes the form of writing and reviewing technical papers and arranging technical lectures by others. Nick regularly presents guest lectures and workshops, primarily on the subjects of advanced laboratory testing, CPT and ground model interpretation, pile design and geohazards. Nick has published his own model for interpretation of Piezocone Tests, and was a keynote speaker at the last International Conference on Cone Penetration Testing, at Huntington Beach, California, in 2010.

Frans J. W. Schlack, Dredging Manager, Port Hedland Port Authority

Frans Schlack was educated in The Netherlands; to kick off his dredging career he enrolled at The Dutch School of Dredging at Delfzijl, Holland and graduated from the school in 1976. Following his studies he proceeded to complete his ‘dredging apprenticeship’ as a ‘Student Dredge Master’ in the Middle East.

After emigrating to Australia in 1981, he continued operating a variety of dredging equipment including suction and cutter-suction dredgers ranging in size from 100 to 15,000 hp, as well as a wide variety of associated dredging and marine equipment around Australia. In 1988, as a natural progression of his career, he became involved in the management of dredging and marine projects as a Project Manager on various small and major Australian dredging projects.

In 1998 he returned to work for the major international dredging companies as an international Works and Project Manager managing a number of projects in Brazil, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Dubai, India and Australia. Since 2004 Frans has managed a variety of dredging projects in Australia with the most notable the recent successful completion of the Anderson Point 4 dredging works in South West Creek, Port Hedland.

Frans joined the Port Hedland Port Authority in 2012 as their dedicated Dredging Manager. In this position he manages Port Hedland’s own dredging requirements as well as providing advice to the PHPA on the various issues arising from the major capital dredging works currently underway and scheduled for the near future.

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.