Engineers Australia

Building useful and robust geological models to support geotechnical analyses, demonstrated with WA case studies

Matthew Tutton

This talk will attempt to bring clarity to the principles, techniques and general philosophy behind building useful and robust geological models to support geotechnical analyses and design and reduce risk. The talk will explain why the term geological (model) rather than geotechnical or ground model is in the title.

The geological model is an opportunity to make sure geological considerations are explained and presented in a way that they can be considered, informing geotechnical design and construction mitigating financial, time or health and safety risks.

The talk will cover what is a geological model; the principles of conceptual, observational and analytical geological models; how to progress through each stage. Some real life WA case studies will be presented to illustrate it all.

About the speaker

Matthew TuttonSenior Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Matthew Tutton is an engineering geologist and chartered professional geotechnical engineer, he is a member of the Australian Geomechnics Society and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers. He has over 35 years-experience and is a Senior Principal with CMW Geosciences.

His first 10 years were spent in the UK working as a consultant on a variety of projects, many with a maritime focus, undertaking investigations and design for marinas, ship lock refurbishments, wharf and dolphins. The next 5 years were spent in the Geological Survey of Papua New Guinea as a public servant where he was an Assistant Director and was involved in undertaking work into landslide mitigation. He was acting Chief Government Geologist for about a year, including the period when Rabaul volcano erupted in 1994, resulting in the evacuation of 30,000 people and ultimately the abandonment of the town of Rabaul. He was involved in providing advice to the government on public safety matters, liaising with supporting agencies (AusAID, Geoscience Australia, UN, etc.) concerning this disaster and all the major landslide/earthquake events that occurred in PNG during his tenure.

Matthew moved to Perth in 1998 and joined Golder Associates where he became an Associate and then Principal. Whilst in Perth he has developed complex geological models for a number of landmark projects throughout the state, including Fremantle Inner Harbour Deepening, Wheatstone LNG and New Metro Rail. Throughout his time in Australia he maintained a keen interest in Papua New Guinea and has worked on the PNGLNG undertaking site assessment, investigations, selecting pipeline route alignments and risk mitigation work over a 12 year period spanning Pre-FEED through FEED, Construction and Operation.

He has been closely involved with the AGS, motivating for the publication in 2003 titled The Engineering Geology of Perth to fill an information/knowledge gap.

Throughout his career he has had a keen interest in geological models and the importance of strong communication between geologist and engineers.

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