Engineers Australia

Panel discussion

Piling Practice Design & Construction

Event Summary

The event is aimed to provide an opportunity for open dialogue, discussion & feedback to occur between all parties involved in the completion of bored piles in QLD – with the point of view from major QLD infrastructure asset owners, designers, contractors and independent assessors being represented by the expert panel. The panel discussion event will review the current QLD piling practices and present some underlying rationale behind the current practice and what is/is not being found to be work effectively. It is hoped the collaborative and interactive session would facilitate better understanding of the key drivers associated with each stakeholder, and that the key outcomes may be used in future as a starting point for considerations in any future revision of the relevant standards/guidelines.

Discussion Themes

The session will centre around 4 key themes, with possible discussion points including:


  • Frequency/type of investigation and type of laboratory testing undertaken. Are we getting the best information/parameters/test results we can to use as the basis for design.
  • Prescriptiveness / appropriateness of design methods currently adopted / specified. Compare QLD to rest of Australia / relevant worldwide practice and provide some rationale / historical context for the development of the current QLD specifications.
  • Do design procedures typically undertaken for cast-in-place piles in QLD based on current best practise/most appropriate design methods.

Construction / Delivery:

  • Identify key construction phases in pile installation/pile outcomes – how does construction techniques adopted reduce likelihood of creating defective piles?
  • Review of pile outcomes – Do current practices deliver the Client desired outcomes in the most efficient way? Does QLD achieve better piles/less frequent pile defects based on the currently implemented practices?
  • How can industry assist to deliver Client innovation?

Pile Verification Testing:

  • Is low-strain testing delivering most effective pile verification?
  • Are QLD asset owners comfortable with current regime/appropriateness of testing being undertaken or are other verification tests available/being considered?
  • Is there any potential for effective pile verification testing to be incorporated in pile design efficiencies?

Role of Independent Geotechnical Assessor:

  • Rationale for the role, responsibility and obligation of supervising / certifying geotechnical professional (RPEQ)
  • Is the role currently functioning as Client expects?


The intended format of the afternoon is as follows:

  • 4.00 pm – 5.45pm – Individual Presentations: Each panellist will initially make a short individual presentation on relevant aspects of bored piles design and construction relating to the above themes
  • 5.45 pm to 6.00 pm – Coffee Break (Catering Provided)
  • 6.00 pm to 7.15 pm – Moderated panel discussion with audience participation.

Confirmed Panellists

  • Lex Vanderstaay – Queensland Transport and Main Roads
  • Kamal Dissanayake – Queensland Transport and Main Roads
  • Jim Slatter – FSG Geotechnics + Foundations
  • Greg Caporn – Caporn Piling
  • Greg Anderson / John Wagstaff – Wagstaff Piling
  • Ardie Purwodihardjo – Golder
  • Hugo Acosta Martinez – Aurecon
  • Sukumar Pathmanandavel (ISSMGE – CAPG)

A summary report on the discussion session is also intended to be included in the ISSMGE’s CAPG Session of the 13th Australia New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics 2019  (ANZ2019) – Collaboration in Geotechnical Engineering – Impact on Research and Project Delivery

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.