Tasmania Chapter

Structural engineering contributions to geotechnical failures

Dr Chris Haberfield


Like most failures, geotechnical failures usually comprise a number of contributing factors which align to bring about the failure. Whilst some fault may be attributed to the geotechnical engineer, too often, fault can also be attributed to the structural engineer. In most cases the engineers involved have not fully understood the risks involved in undertaking the work, and therefore have not adequately designed for the risks or have not included for them in the drawings and specifications used to construct the project. Not understanding the risks can usually be attributed to poor knowledge. In this presentation, Chris, through his personal experience, will present a number of case studies of geotechnical failures and demonstrate how structural engineers have contributed to the failure.

About Dr Chris HaberfieldChris Haberfield

Dr Chris Haberfield is a Principal Geotechnical Engineer with Golder Associates Pty Ltd and previously head of geomechanics at Monash University. He is internationally recognised for his work on foundation structure interaction, especially in respect to tall buildings and deep basements (including geotechnical lead for the 1.2 km tall Nakheel tower in Dubai). He has published over 140 refereed papers and provided expert advice on many failures. Chris was awarded the 2007 Eh Davis Lecture from the AGS for his work in foundations in weak rock and the 2017 ISSMGE Gregory Tschebotarioff Lecture for contributions to the field of soil-structure interaction. He is currently a member of Technical Committee 207 – Soil Structure Interaction of the ISSMGE.


Venue location

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