2019 E.H. Davis Memorial Lecture: Fill Design – It is a Thing

Garry Mostyn

It appears that many structural and, even geotechnical, engineers consider that words such as “Earthworks to be completed in accordance with AS3798” plus a few vague notes constitutes a design of earthworks for industrial or residential purposes. Such an approach exposes the owner, multiple engineers, GITA, contractor and builder to considerable commercial risk as when an overlying structure is considered to not have performed as it should, litigation often ensues with each party blaming all other parties. Often ending with costs of the litigation being the only significant issue. The talk will cover the performance often required of earthworks, what can be measured and analysed and what might be done to specify works that ensure as constructed works achieve suitable performance at close to minimum cost (ie design).

About the speaker

Garry Mostyn Senior Principal and Director, PSM

Garry Mostyn graduated from the University of New South Wales in civil engineering in 1973. He subsequently completed a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering at UNSW and a bachelor’s degree in geology and statistics at Macquarie University. He worked as a cadet and engineer with the NSW Department of Public Works and with consulting geotechnical engineers from 1970 until 1986. He joined the School of Civil Engineering at the University of New South Wales as a senior lecturer in civil and environmental engineering practice and geotechnical engineering. He returned to consulting at PSM in 1997 as a Principal and has been an Adjunct Associate Professor at UNSW. He remains a senior Principal and Director at PSM. Garry has lectured extensively in geotechnical engineering including presenting postgraduate courses in foundation engineering, slope stability, dam engineering, rock mechanics and underground structures. He has completed research on the stability and reliability of slopes and the engineering properties of rocks and rock masses. Previously he has completed the training for and been graded as an arbitrator by the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators, Australia. Garry has undertaken or supervised geotechnical investigations for several hundred projects and has experience in most aspects of geotechnical engineering. He has worked on major projects throughout Australia and in Thailand and PNG. He has provided expert advice and evidence in numerous disputes. In 2019, Garry was named as the EH Davis Memorial Lecturer by the Australian Geomechanics Society, for a distinguished recent advancement of geomechanics knowledge in Australia. In June 2020, Garry was named as an Honorary Life Member of the Australian Geomechanics Society in recognition of the significant contribution he and 14 others had made in supporting the geotechnical profession in Australia. He has been a Member of the Standards Australia Committee CE/27 producing AS3798 “Guidelines on Earthworks for Commercial and Residential Developments” since its formation in the 1980s and was Chairman of CE/32 producing AS4678 “Earth-retaining Structures” since its formation in the 1990s.

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