Engineers Australia

Engineering geological models, slope stability and landslides.

Mark Eggers

Mark completed a Bachelor of Science (Geology) in 1983 and a Master of Science in Engineering Geology (First Class Honours) in 1987 at the University of Canterbury, NZ. Partly in conjunction with his Masters studies, Mark worked for both the New Zealand Geological Survey and the New Zealand Forest Service as a geologist on regional geological, landform and slope stability studies for three years. He moved to Sydney in late 1987 where he worked for Coffey Partners International as an Engineering Geologist for six years. Mark joined Pells Sullivan Meynink in 1994 soon after the company’s inception where he is now a Principal and Director.

Mark works in both mining and civil based projects with specialities in:

  • Open pit mining geotechnics
  • Development of geotechnical models in complex settings for civil and mining projects
  • Structural geological studies & rock mass characterisation for hard & soft rock design
  • Slope stability investigation & assessment
  • Engineering geomorphological studies, landform/terrain evaluations, urban capability assessments

Mark has worked extensively throughout Australia including a continuous involvement in iron ore projects in the Pilbara since 1989. Mark has also worked on mining projects in New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Mozambique, Mauritania and Ghana.

He lectures into a number of post-graduate short courses at the University of New South Wales and is co-presenter of the AGS field based courses on geology and engineering geology held in Adelaide and Wollongong in alternate years. Mark has been appointed as the Australian liaison for the International Society of Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG) for the period 2011 to 2014 and in that capacity he currently sits on the National Committee for the AGS.

In 2005 and 2006 he was appointed a member of the Landslide Risk Management taskforce as part of the National Disaster Funding Program. The outcome was the updated Landslide Risk Management guidelines (AGS 2007).

In 2009 Mark was appointed onto a panel of four to review and update the post-graduate programs in engineering geology at the Department of Geological Sciences, University of Canterbury. He has recently been appointed as the Australian representative on the Industry Advisory Committee for the engineering geology program at the university.

The main premise of the presentation is how to focus development of the geological model on the important factors that control engineering design and how models should be objective-driven as regulated by the proposed engineering end use. Themes will include:

  • The power of the desk study in establishing the regional geological setting and how this informs the detailed site model, and
  • Development of geotechnical modelling and slope stability methods in open cut studies during the mining boom and how these are now being used to innovate geotechnical modelling and slope design in civil infrastructure projects.

Projects that will be discussed include:

  • Northwest Rail Link (NWRL) project in Sydney;
  • Transmission Gully highway project in Wellington NZ;
  • Huntly Bypass highway project in NZ; and,
  • Open pit mine design studies drawing on examples from Pilbara iron ore deposits in WA and copper porphyry deposits in SE Asia.

For NWRL the example will be investigation and modelling of discrete faulting and how this impacted on design of a station box cut excavation and underground crossover cavern design. For Transmission Gully the discussion will be around the structural geological model and impacts on cut slope design plus modelling of the debris flow/debris flood risk to the alignment. The Huntly Bypass tender design is a good example of how a good understanding of the regional geological setting can be used to inform and interpret site specific data when formulating the project engineering geological model. Open cut mining examples will be used to highlight some of the design philosophies, techniques and methods developed for mine studies which are now being adopted and adapted for innovation in civil infrastructure design.

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.