Engineers Australia

2018 AGM and Annual Dinner

Estimating Ground Model Reliability for Linear Infrastructure Projects

Darren Paul

The ground model is fundamental to any engineering project with ground structure interaction. Linear infrastructure projects have many forms of ground interaction and ground models are essential. All ground models are hypothetical. Interpolation or extrapolation from known data is required in order to form a prediction of the ground characteristics at any particular location. There is therefore inherent uncertainty in every ground model. The reliability of the ground model may be considered to be a function of: 1) the accuracy or reliability of the data on which it is based; 2) the quantity of data ground information available; 3) the geological complexity of the ground from which the data has been obtained, and 4) the complexity of the ground response to changes included by the project. The presentation discusses a method of assessing ground model reliability for linear infrastructure projects based on the assessment of these four key factors. The method has been applied to three linear infrastructure projects in Australia.

About the speaker

Darren PaulPrincipal Engineering Geologist, Golder Associates

Darren is a Principal Engineering Geologist at Golder Associates in Melbourne. He consults on building infrastructure projects in Australia and overseas. His key area of expertise in developing ground models, identifying and assessing ground related risk. In Melbourne, he has worked on the Burnley Tunnel, the Eureka Tower, Freshwater Place, Regional Rail and recently the Melbourne Metro Rail Project. He has also worked in Dubai as geotechnical project manager for the once proposed world’s tallest building, the Nakheel Tower. Darren was National Chair of the AGS in 2014 and 2015 and is an instructor of the AGS “Field Techniques for Landslide Assessment” course.

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