E.H. Davis Memorial Lecture – SA-NT

Professor Malek Bouazza


This biennial lecture commemorates the work in geomechanics by Professor Edward Hughesdon Davis. Professor Davis was one of the pioneers of geomechanics in Australia. He perceived that progress and understanding of the theoretical basis of geomechanics would only come if consistent, sound, but simple models of soil behaviour were used. The two topics that were the central focus of his research were application of the theory of elasticity to foundation deformation and the theory of plasticity to stability. He also made a major contribution to the theory of consolidation of clay soils. Ted Davis was always extremely conscious of the link between theory and practice, the relationship between the idealised and the real material, and the engineering significance of his work.

Geosynthetics in Geoenvironment Systems:

Pushing the application boundaries further.

What have we learned? And where to from here?


Over the past three decades geosynthetics have become one of the dominant construction materials in modern municipal solid waste landfills and consequently have gained widespread acceptance for use as contaminant barriers. As our knowledge of the issues related to their use has advanced, their use has also extended into harsh or severe environmental conditions. However, their application under these specific conditions generally pushes their performance beyond recommended limits typical for other environmental and engineering applications. Thus transferring technology from applications common to landfills to applications where severe extreme conditions (very high/low temperatures and stresses and extreme range in leachate chemistries) may be encountered is not a simple matter. Although geosynthetics can provide new solutions, at the same time they can pose new challenges. The lecture will focus on the use of geomembranes (GMBs) and geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) in barrier systems. It will describe the latest findings with respect to their performance under severe environmental conditions and will explore the practical implications of these findings.

About Professor Malek BouazzaMBouazza

Dr. A (Malek) Bouazza is a Professor in Civil Engineering at Monash University and visiting Professor at Zhejiang University, China. He has also held a number of visiting scholar positions at University of Missouri-Columbia, USA, Arizona State University, USA, University of Malaysia-Pahang, Malaysia and Queen’s University, Canada. He has been appointed recently to the EPA Victoria independent landfill expert advisory Panel. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (FIEAust). His research has been recognised by a number of awards including, recently, the 2015 R.M. Quigley Award (honourable mention) from the Canadian Geotechnical Society, the 2014 Zeng Guoxi Lecture from Zhejiang University, China, and the 2013 International Geosynthetics Society (IGS)Plaque for significant contributions to the International Geosynthetics Society and outstanding technical contributions to the geosynthetics discipline, the 2010 Telford Premium Prize, Institution of Civil Engineers, U.K. and the 2006 International Geosynthetics Society Award and Gold Medal for outstanding contribution to advances in the scientific and engineering developments of geosynthetics. Professor Bouazza is very prominent in technical and professional society activities and serves on a number of international technical committees. Currently, He is the Chair of the International Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Technical Committee TC 215 on Environmental Geotechnics and Secretary of ISSMGE TC308 on Energy Geotechnics. He served as council member of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) from 2004 to 2012 and was one the founding chairs of the IGS TC on barrier systems established in 2010. He also was the President of the Australasian Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (ACIGS) from 2003 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2015. He is editorial board member of 10 International Journals. In addition to his academic commitments, Prof. Bouazza engages extensively with industry both nationally and internationally.

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