Engineers Australia

Simulation Aided Geotechnical Engineering

Dr David Beck

Simulation Aided Engineering is a concept for leveraging computer based design tools to improve the engineering and design work flow. For complex geotechnical problems, it can be thought of as providing the virtual test laboratory for testing the bottom-line performance of various courses of action at every stage in the engineering process, using the best available information, constrained by the known physics at the time. The purpose of SAE is to ensure:

  • that the constraints of the physical and fiscal world are properly appreciated at every stage from planning to operations, while
  • considering uncertainty and
  • promoting rapid progress towards a more optimal outcome.

The concept of Simulation Aided Geotechnical Engineering will be presented, including some conclusions about requirements for training, quality standards and software development.

Speaker Biography

Dr David Beck is currently General Manager of Beck Engineering Pty Ltd and Vice President Australasia, ISRM. He has a Bachelor of Engineering, Mining and a PhD in Mining, Minerals and Materials Engineering (Rock Mechanics) from The University of Queensland in Australia. David’s research area for his PhD was simulation of instability and induced seismicity in deep level hard rock mining. After graduating David worked for Mount Isa Mines across the Enterprise and George Fisher Mines, including as rock mechanics engineer for a number of major development projects, before specialising in rock mechanics as a consultant. David started Beck Mining in 2003, which later became BAE, then Beck Engineering (BE). David’s specialist expertise is in rock mechanics, fracture mechanics, induced seismicity, multi-physics simulation and large-scale discontinuum non-linear numerical modelling. David and his team have completed a number of internationally significant engineering simulation projects and in Australia are the main provider of non-linear numerical modelling services to the mining industry. BE has offices in Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, and Berlin, Germany. David and BE lead a significant research program each year, and have developed widely used tools for probabilistic forecasting of mining induced seismicity, fully coupled hydromechanical simulation, large scale high resolution discontinuum simulation, high similitude discontinuum dynamic simulation and coupled flow-deformation models for cave performance forecasting. David is a member of the ISRM, Engineers Australia and is a Chartered Professional Engineer.

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