Engineers Australia

2021 AGS Victorian Symposium

Innovations in Geotechnical Design

Call for abstracts

The Victorian Chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) is pleased to announce the 2021 AGS Victorian Symposium titled “Innovations in Geotechnical Design” to be held on 21 October 2021.

There have been recent developments in the fields of geotechnical analysis, design methodology and data collation which when effectively combined can lead to improved design solutions. The aim of this symposium is to provide geotechnical professionals, academics and contractors with a forum to share and discuss their experiences and knowledge of innovative analysis and design methods for geostructures such as excavations, earthworks, structure support and pavements as well as the many challenges faced in effectively delivering these services in a complex civil engineering environment.

AGS Victoria invites both local and national professionals and academics to submit abstracts for this event.

The event

Design and analysis techniques across the geoprofession are evolving. Increasing computer power, data capture and interconnected software packages is enabling expanded analysis of the design space and more robust design. This may involve methods of statistical analysis that incorporate probabilistic distributions of material parameters, coupling of the input/output data between software or field data leading to improved realisation of material behaviour and more efficient analysis routines that enable assessment of a larger range of design options.

These changes are occurring at time where design methodologies are continuing to evolve. These design methodologies include a traditional total FOS approach, the increased use of Limit State Design approaches typically involving assessment of Serviceability Limit States (SLS) and Ultimate Limit States (ULS) and the adoption of Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) approaches in a number of design codes. In addition, performance/observational based design, reliability based design methods and the risk based methodologies, such as the approach adopted in the AGS Landslide Risk Assessment guidelines, are being increasingly adopted in practice.

In addition, an increasingly large number of analysis methods are available to inform design. These include; limit analysis methods based on lower and upper bound plasticity theorems, the limit equilibrium method, 2D and 3D options for the Finite Element Method (FEM) and Finite Difference Method (FDM) as well as advanced methods such as the Discrete Element Model and Material Point Methods amongst many others.

The modern geoprofessional is faced with a growing array of analysis ‘tools’ and design methods that are being increasingly applied in a complex environment comprising large multi-disciplinary design teams, often comprising staff from multiple organisations, with extensive internal review processes to satisfy project scope and technical requirements and external review with proof engineer, independent reviewer and stakeholder involvement. In addition, the designer is expected to satisfy value engineering processes and safety in design requirements all in a timely manner while operating in a challenging commercial environment in many cases. These conditions are particularly prevalent on large scale infrastructure projects.

This symposium is a call to industry, academia and contractors to contribute and participate in a discussion on this topic of innovation in geotechnical analysis and design and its related challenges.


The Victorian Chapter of the AGS invites local and national practitioners, academics and contractors to submit abstracts on a topic related to “Innovations in Geotechnical Design”. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and prepared following the abstract submission guidelines outlined below. Completed abstracts should be sent to Alireza Mohammadinia by 23 April 2021 for consideration by the organising committee.

Abstracts will be selected based on their quality and relevance to the Symposium topic with the successful authors invited to submit a six-page paper for presentation at the symposium. We are interested in hearing from a broad cross section of the professionals, academics and contractors involved at all stages of the design and construction project life cycle in the interests of knowledge sharing and lifting the overall standard of the geoprofession.

The following is a list of suggested topics:

  • Case studies highlighting the benefits or challenges of particular design methodologies or analysis approaches in carrying out geotechnical design
  • Applications of alternative design methodologies or analysis approaches with reference to either academic research or specific case studies across all aspects of geotechnical engineering
  • Investigation and discussion of the general design process as well as the design review, value engineer and safety in design processes in civil engineering projects (with a geotechnical focus)
  • Integration/coordination challenges and solutions between engineer and project participants/stakeholders
  • Examples of probabilistic or statistical methods for geomaterials (or structural) characterisation and their benefits (or challenges) in design
  • Examples of innovative data capture techniques (drone survey, LIDAR etc.) enabling improved design outcomes
  • New methods of conducting construction verification works including use of novel civil engineering materials and technologies
  • Examples of construction phases instrumentation and monitoring methods enabling improved design outcomes


The cost of the symposium is to be confirmed. Presenters will enjoy free entry to the symposium with discounts for co-authors.

Important dates and submission

23 April 2021 – Abstract submission
3 May 2021 – Notification of accepted abstracts
6 August 2021 – Full paper submission
27 August 2021 – Paper acceptance notifications
23 September 2021 – Final paper submission and early bird registration deadline

Abstract submission

Please submit a word document with the following information for abstract submission.

Authors’ full names:
i.e. Bob A. Smith, David S. Smith.
Font type: Times New Roman, font style: regular, font size: 10. Please underline the presenting author

Authors’ full affiliation:
Position, name of company/university, email address and contact number.
Font type: Times New Roman, font style: regular, font size: 10

Title of paper, maximum 100 characters
Font type: Times New Roman, font style: bold, font size: 12

Abstract text, maximum 300 words
Font type: Times New Roman, font style: regular, font size: 10

Further information

For further information, please contact the Co-Chair of the organising committee:
Alireza Mohammadinia
Swinburne University of Technology
Phone: + 61 3 9417 4333


The organising committee interested in hearing from potential sponsors of the symposium; interested parties should contact Mike Shackleton by 14 May 2021.

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.