Engineers Australia

AGS Victoria Symposium

Geotechnical characterisation — managing design and construction risk

Professor Mark Jaksa, Dr Richard Kelly, Peter Kingston and Associate Professor Bill Bamford

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The Victorian chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society has released a Call for Abstracts for the 2019 symposium.

The Victorian chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) is pleased to announce a one day symposium titled “Geotechnical characterisation – managing design and construction risk” which is to be held on 30 October 2019.

The event will be held in Melbourne and will bring together geotechnical and other civil engineering professionals to share and discuss their knowledge and experiences related to geotechnical characterisation and its implications for design and construction.

Victoria’s construction industry is booming. Investment in both public infrastructure and commercial real estate is growing, and as our cities and infrastructure grow, so too does the need to develop parcels of land with challenging ground conditions. Economical and safe geotechnical design requires efficient and well thought through ground investigation and characterisation to identify and manage ground risks and opportunities.

This symposium will present overviews of current state of-the-art practices, innovation, new research results and case studies relating to geotechnical characterisation with an emphasis on its implications for the addressing and managing design and construction risk.

The symposium will bring together professional engineers, researchers, specialist contractors, regulators, educators and students to share and discuss their experiences on the topic of ground characterisation.
Best practices, case histories and innovative methods for assessing and characterising ground risk will
be presented and discussed, with a particular emphasis on the geotechnical characterisation of the
Melbourne region and regional areas of Victoria.

About the speakers

Professor Mark JaksaThe University of Adelaide

Mark Jaksa is Professor of Geotechnical Engineering in the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide, Australia. He has been an academic for more than 30 years, before which, he spent 4 years practising as a consulting geotechnical and civil engineer in Adelaide and Canberra. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree in Civil Engineering and a PhD, both from the University of Adelaide.

He has published more than 190 papers, chapters and reports on various aspects of geotechnical engineering. His primary areas of expertise are in the characterisation of the spatial variability of soils, probabilistic analyses, artificial intelligence, ground improvement, unsaturated soils and enhancing learning in geotechnical engineering. He has received several awards recognising his contributions to learning and teaching in geotechnical engineering.

Mark is a former Chair of the Australian Geomechanics Society and immediate past Vice-President for Australasia and Treasurer of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. He is also a past Chair of the ISSMGE’s Technical Committee, TC306, on Geo-engineering Education and a member of TC304, on Risk Assessment and Management.

Dr Richard Kelly headshot

Dr Richard KellyChief Technical Principal, SMEC

Richard is a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) with more than 24 years of experience as a geotechnical engineer, academic and structural engineer. Richard has extensive experience delivering large and complex
civil infrastructure projects.

Richard has been the Geotechnical Manager working within design teams integrated with the Client and Contractor on many projects. Richard has extensive expertise in site characterisation, soft soil engineering (including the creation of the National Soft Soil Field Testing Facility in Ballina for the University of Newcastle), ground improvement, materials use, earthworks and foundation design. Richard is responsible for the application of expert level technical expertise to generate innovative, economical and practical engineering solutions resulting in excellent project implementation and delivery. Richard is also responsible for research and development and assisting with business development in the geotechnical space.

Peter KingstonNational Design Manager, Keller Australia

Peter has over 30 years of experience in geotechnical contracting and design and has developed a thorough working knowledge of deep foundations, retaining walls and ground engineering works with particular focus on effective risk management. His role as both State Manager and National Design Manager involves coordination, leadership and technical support of the engineering and state operational function within Keller.

His key client focus together with open collaboration with project teams has allowed Peter to contribute significant value engineering benefits throughout his career. Peter has worked across Europe, Central America and over the last 10 years throughout Australia, and has presented papers at a number international conferences.

Bill Bamford headshot

Associate Professor Bill BamfordDepartment of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne Director, Bamford Rock Testing Services (BRTS)

Bill earned a B.E. in Applied Geology from the University of NSW, and M.E. and PhD degrees from the University of Melbourne. Previously an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, he has been an Honorary Principal Fellow there since 1997. His teaching and research specialties have included rock mechanics, mine design, tunnelling, construction, and mechanical excavation.

He was a Senior Principal with Coffey from 2011 to 2014, then started his own private rock testing laboratory. He served 2 terms as the Vice-President for Australasia of the International Society for Rock Mechanics, and as the founding President of its Commissions on Swelling Rocks, and Rock Boreability Cuttability and Drillability, and is an ISRM Fellow. He has served as National Chairman of the Australian Geomechanics Society, and 3 separate terms as Chairman of its Victoria Chapter. He has been the Chairman of the Australasian Tunnelling Society, and represented Australia at meetings of the International Tunnelling Association on several occasions.

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.