Failure and near Misses in a Geotechnical Career

John Phillips

John’s talk will cover a range of experiences that he would have preferred not to have had in a 40 year career in geotechnical work. However, there are lessons to be learnt so that younger engineers will make their own mistakes and not repeat these ones.

The talk will initially cover two dam failures in Victoria, one of which failed one and a half times and the other two and a half times. He will then describe a legal failure with geotechnical overtones, but not a structural failure, for a swimming complex built on the infamous Coode Island Silt.

There will be a description of the “witchcraft-induced” failure of a waste dump at the Ok Tedi mine in which a dozer operator was killed. Finally the slip failure of the Cockatoo Island Sea wall will be described.

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.