Engineers Australia

Sydney Symposium 2021

Geotechnical Lessons Learnt – Building and Transport Infrastructure Projects

Andrew Leventhal, Prof. Buddhima Indraratna, Kim Chan, Patrick Wong, Dr David Och and AHM Kamruzzaman

The Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) Sydney Chapter is holding its 25th annual Symposium on Friday 12 November 2021, ‘Geotechnical Lessons Learnt – Building and Transport Infrastructure Projects’. The symposium forms part of the continuing program of events organised by the AGS Sydney Chapter. It aims to keep the engineering industry informed of recent geotechnical advances in building and transport infrastructure projects, as well as the challenges and opportunities out there.


The symposium will showcase state-of-the-art practices, new research findings and case histories that demonstrate geotechnical advances and challenges in building and transport infrastructure projects. The organising committee invites papers on geotechnical aspects of building and transport infrastructure projects, underground structures, specialist testing and application of smart technologies.

The symposium presents an opportunity for professional engineers, researchers, specialist contractors, regulators, educators and students to meet and share their knowledge and experiences in geotechnical engineering.

Tentative topics (subjected to final paper submission and review)

  • Deep Wet Soil Mixing Columns Ground Treatment Technique-Lesson Learnt from Project.
  • Design of Complex Permanent Tunnel Linings at Victoria Cross Station
  • Precision Tunnelling Under Heritage Building in Sydney CBD
  • Geotechnical Challenges in Design and Construction of Bridge Foundations and Approaches in Hilly Granite Formation
  • Differentiating Natural and Fill Soft Clays – The Importance of A Meaningful Desktop Study
  • Geotechnical Testing for Temporary Works
  • Improvements to the Observational Method in New South Wales Road Tunnel Construction


What will Sponsorship will do you?

  • Significantly increase your visibility and impact at the online Symposium
  • Promote your organisation to hundreds of senior-level decision- makers in the industry, and nearly 2500 readers of Australian Geomechanics spread throughout Australia
  • Establish name and product recognition
  • Demonstrate to colleagues and clients that you support the industry.
  • Sponsorship is a direct line to customers who may never come to you
  • Sponsorship is a targeted, cost effective marketing opportunity

Benefits of Sponsorship

  • Ability to upload a video (2 minutes long ) to play during the online symposium, and/or provide LinkedIn link for each level of sponsorship
  • Recognition of your sponsorship at the online Symposium and to readers of Australian Geomechanics
  • There will be three levels of sponsorship: Platinum, Gold and Silver.

More information

More information on sponsoring the symposium, including the benefits of the sponsorship levels and how to apply to become a sponsor, can be found in the attached Call for Sponsors flyer or by contacting Adrian Hulskamp via

Organising Committee

  • Ali Parsa, JK Geotechnics (Organising Committee Coordinator)
  • Sam Mirlatifi, GHD
  • Hadi Khabbaz, University of Technology Sydney
  • Adrian Hulskamp, JK Geotechnics
  • Cholachat Rujikiat-kamjorn, University of Technology Sydney
  • AHM Kamruzzaman (Zaman), TfNSW
  • Puvaneswary Rajarathnam, AECOM
  • Kourosh Kianfar, SMEC
  • Saman Zargarbashi, Arup
  • Mehdi Tamadon, Avopiling

About the speakers

Andrew Leventhal

Andrew LeventhalSenior Technical Director – Geotechnics, GHD

“Understanding the Benefit of Suction within Free-standing Mainline Railway Embankments”

Andrew has contributed to the AGS over an extended period through the initiative of Landslide Risk Management (LRM) [35 years], and as an office-bearer of our Society. Andrew’s geotechnical interests cover many areas, and his interest for more than the last decade has been in the management of the impacts upon major surface infrastructure resulting from underground longwall coal mining – being the mining of high-quality coking/metallurgical coal for steelmaking, and therefore a fundamental requirement of our civilization.

Andrew is member of the Order of Australia (for significant service to geotechnical engineering, and to the community), investiture 2019. He is Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia and Life Member of AGS. Andrew has been recognised as Sir John Holland Civil Engineer and Professional Engineer of the Year 2011 by Engineers Australia.

Prof. Buddhima IndraratnaDistinguished Professor, UTS

“Smart Solutions for Railroad Degradation Using Recycled Materials”

Prof Buddhima Indraratna is a Civil Engineering graduate from Imperial College, London. Since his PhD at University of Alberta in Canada in 1987, his contributions to geotechnical and railway engineering have been acknowledged through numerous national and international awards, including 1st Ralph Proctor Lecture and 4th Louis Menard Lecture of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. He also delivered the 2009 EH Davis Memorial Lecture of the Australian Geomechanics Society for contributions to Theory and Practice of Geomechanics. Currently, Buddhima is a Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and the Director of Transport Research Centre, at University of Technology Sydney.

Having pioneered the research in transport geotechnology and related ground improvement since the early 1990s, he has supervised over 75 PhD students and nearly 40 postdoctoral fellows to date. Buddhima is the author of 12 Books and over 850 scholarly articles including over 450 journal papers and 70 invited Keynote lectures in all continents, and currently among the most cited geotechnical engineers globally. He is a Fellow of the prestigious Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (FTSE).

Kim Chan

Kim ChanSenior Technical Director – Geotechnics, GHD

“Potential Factors Causing the Movement of a Newly Constructed Bridge”

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.

Patrick WongSenior Consultant, Tetra Tech Coffey

“Geotechnical Design Failures – Lessons Learnt”

Patrick has been a consulting geotechnical engineer since graduating from The University of Sydney with First Class Honours in Civil Engineering in 1978.

He joined the Coffey Group in 1979, and has held various leadership positions within Coffey including directorship of the operating company during the period 1991 to 1993, and Manager of Eastern Region during 1995 to 2000.

Patrick currently runs his own consultancy and also acts as a Senior Consultant at Coffey Geotechnics.

Photo of David Och

Dr David OchAssoc. Professor & Technical Executive – Geology, WSP

“A Smart geotechnical and Geological Approach for Future Building and Transport Infrastructure Projects”

David’s role within WSP is primarily to provide high level technical advice on a wide range of projects and issues in Australia and overseas. David’s expertise in tunnelling and engineering geology is demonstrated by performing key lead and advisory roles on transportation projects. David carries out research faults and dyke systems within the Sydney Region and regional NSW involving structural and geochemical analysis and age dating. David’s current research is on regionally occurring tuff lamination in the lower Ashfield Shale David still maintains an active research capacity with collaboration with national and international. David also maintains an expansive geological/geotechnical GIS based database, which has been used in all the projects for which he has been involved and is a basis for his Winston Churchill Fellowship study.

AHM KamruzzamanPrincipal Engineer Geotechnical, Transport for NSW

“Deep Wet Soil Mixing Columns Ground Treatment Technique-Lesson Learnt Project”

Dr. AHM Kamruzzaman (Zaman) is a Fellow and Chartered Professional Geotechnical Engineer of Australia (FIEAust, CPEng). He holds a PhD degree from the National University of Singapore, MEng from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok and BScEng from Khulna University of Engineering & Technology, Bangladesh. He has over 27 years of working experience in consulting, construction, public and research industries in the provision of providing expert geotechnical advice and the management of technical risk for over 30 multi-million/billion dollar infrastructure and tunnelling projects both in Australia and Singapore.

Currently, Zaman is working with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) as a Principal Engineer Geotechnical. He is a subject matter expert in the field of soft soil and ground improvement techniques. His other fields of specialisation include: geotechnical design of civil structures (e.g. embankments, slopes, pile foundations, earth retaining walls, cuttings etc.), geotechnical investigations, instrumentation & monitoring, geotechnical materials, numerical modelling, geotechnical model parameters and construction issues on a wide range of geological conditions.

He has written over 100 technical papers in reputed journals, conferences and several TfNSW standards/technical directions (e.g. deep soil mixing, concrete injected columns, bored pile testing) for practicing engineers, and was a keynote/invited speaker at a number of national and international conferences. Zaman is an editorial board member of the Journal of Ground Improvement, ICE, London.

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.