Simplified Geotechnical Analyses – “Back of the Envelope” Methods
Second October session of the course
Professor Harry Poulos, Kim Chan and Dr Tim Hull
The availability of complex methods and software for geotechnical analysis and design may suggest that simplified methods of geotechnical analysis and design have now been superseded. However, there are several circumstances in which such methods are still applicable, and indeed essential, and these include:
- In the design of small projects where both the available data and budget are limited;
- For preliminary design of larger projects, to gain an understanding of the design requirements, and to assist in providing initial estimates of project costs;
- For checks on the results of more detailed and complex analyses that use third-party software.
The latter application is very important, as there is a tendency for time-poor and less-experienced users to uncritically accept the analysis results.
This workshop will review the steps involved in identifying the critical design issues and developing appropriate geotechnical models for simplified analysis, and will then present methods that can be implemented via simple charts or equations that do not require computer programs, other than perhaps a spreadsheet for more convenient implementation.
About the presenters
Professor Harry Poulos joined the Department of Civil Engineering at Sydney University in 1965, and was appointed a Professor in 1982, a position he held until his retirement in 2001. In 1989, he joined Coffey Partners International, and is currently a Senior Consultant with Tetra Tech Coffey. He is also an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney and an Adjunct Professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He has been involved in a large number of high-rise and infrastructure projects in Australia and overseas, including the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Creek Tower in Dubai, and the 720 km Egnatia Odos motorway in Greece. He has received a number of awards, the most recent being the 2020 Peter Nicol Russell Medal from Engineers Australia.
Kim Chan graduated from the University of Calgary in Canada with a BSc (Eng) degree and later received his MEngSc degree from the University of Sydney. He has over 40 years of post-graduate experience and is highly regarded in the industry for his ability to solve challenging geotechnical problems using practical and theoretically sound solutions. He has worked on all facets of geotechnical engineering and has published over 50 peer reviewed technical papers and book chapters on various geotechnical subjects. Kim is currently a Senior Technical Director in Geotechnics and previously held the position of Australasia and Asia Service Line Leader of Geotechnical Engineering in GHD for 8 years.
Dr Tim Hull is a Technical Director in Geotechnics for GHD and had been associated with the GHD geotechnical group for over 20 years as a technical advisor whilst working at The University of Sydney. He joined GHD full-time in 2006 and has led the GHD geotechnics analytical team on some milestone projects covering various geotechnical aspects. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil, Honours) degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Sydney. Tim’s more than 30 publications include notable peer-reviewed journals and conference papers on a variety of topics which reflect his experience in analysis over a wide-range of areas in geotechnical engineering.
- Introduction and basic soil properties.
- Shallow footings – bearing capacity and settlement/consolidation.
- Pile design – axial and lateral capacity, lateral loading, single and group settlement.
- Slope stability – limit equilibrium, stability charts and rock slope stability.
- Retaining wall design – gravity walls and soil nail walls.
- Excavation and groundwater control, including impact of dewatering.
Who Should Attend
The workshops will be designed for engineers, geologists and other professionals.
It is envisaged that each participant will have some industry experience and, as a minimum, a knowledge of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering to Bachelor of Civil Engineering standard.
Early bird prices (purchased before August 31)
AGS Members: $825
Standard prices (after August 31)
AGS Members: $990
- A 50% discount will apply for full-time students – proof of enrolment must be shown.
- Refunds (excluding a $50 handling fee), or the transfer of a registration to a colleague, is possible due to covid.
- Places are limited, to maintain a maximum of 1 person per 2m2
- Selected notes and other resources will be provided. Lunch and snacks will also be provided.
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