Engineers Australia

1st Tasmanian Symposium on Geotechnical Engineering and Geomechanics

University-Industry-Government Interaction

Dr Ali Tolooiyan, Matthew Ferguson, Joe Booth, Dr Hong Y Liu, Colin Mazengarb, Dr Claire Kain and Mojtaba Mohammadnejad

The Tasmanian Chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) is pleased to announce a one-day symposium titled “The 1st Tasmanian Symposium on Geotechnical Engineering and Geomechanics: University-Industry-Government Interaction” which is to be held on 18 September 2019, from 8:30am to 12.30 pm.

The event will be held at the Sandy Bay campus of the University of Tasmania and will bring together geotechnical and other civil engineering professionals to share and discuss their knowledge and expertise to improve the University-Industry-Government interaction in the area of geotechnical engineering and geomechanics.

About the speakers

Dr Ali TolooiyanSenior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering, University of Tasmania

The current AGS Tas Chapter Chair, Dr Ali Tolooiyan, is relatively new to Tasmania, having arrived late 2018 to join the geotechnical engineering team at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). His vision is to improve the interaction between the University, industry and government stakeholders who have an interest in continually improving the geotechnical engineering profession in Tasmania. The AGS sees this as a unique and exciting opportunity to have the University take a leading role in co-ordinating, managing and furthering geotechnics in Tasmania. This would allow the University to train future engineers and researchers who are able to answer the local needs and handle the geotechnical challenges in Tasmania.

Ali is well-positioned to facilitate this geotechnical renaissance. He came to UTAS from Monash University and Federation University Australia where he was instrumental in designing, establishing and managing the geotechnical engineering laboratory of the Geotechnical and Hydrogeological Engineering Research Group (GHERG).

As the Deputy Director of GHERG, he worked closely with government and industry to fund, develop and manage industry-driven research programmes with impact on both industry and society.

Ali’s approach is to initially assess what industry and government need, where the gaps are, what needs to be improved to facilitate best practice, then identify opportunities for the University and industry to collaborate to fill these gaps. The purpose of this symposium is to let stakeholders and practitioners have their say. A series of presentations will be delivered by researchers from UTAS, as well as engineers from Entura and geologists from Mineral Resources Tasmania.

All areas are open for discussion from how we collect, manage and share our laboratory and field data, how we integrate this into a dynamic database system, current analytical techniques, through to raising the bar with advanced laboratory testing, advanced numerical modelling and associated collaborative research opportunities.

Matthew FergusonEntura

Matthew currently works as a geologist with Entura based in Tasmania. His current work is focused on geotechnical site investigations and reporting for Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation projects. He recently finished his PhD in geology with the CODES group at the University of Tasmania in Australia, and enjoys combining his knowledge of igneous and metamorphic petrology, geochemistry, and regolith science with his engineering geology projects.

Joe BoothEntura

Joe Booth is a Senior Geologist with Entura, based in Tasmania. He completed his Honours Degree in Geology with CODES at the University of Tasmania. Joe has over 17 years’ industry experience in mining, minerals exploration and civil engineering geology projects throughout Australia. Recent work has included involvement in Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation studies as well as other dams and renewable energy projects providing geological/geotechnical engineering services.

Dr Hong Y LiuUTAS

Hong is currently a senior lecturer in geomechanics at the University of Tasmania and a fellow of the Engineers Australia. He completed his PhD at Lulea University of Technology in Sweden and his Master and Bachelor degrees at Northeastern University in China. Before joining UTAS as a lecturer in 2010, he had worked in the University of Queensland as a research fellow for about two years and at the University of Sydney as a postdoctoral fellow for about three years.

He has been a committee member of the AGS TAS chapter since 2011 and the national representative from 2017-2018, during which he hosted the 12th Australian and New Zealand Young Geotechnical Professionals Conference in Hobart as the Conference Chair. Hong currently supervises 3 PhD students at UTAS and his current research interests include advanced laboratory tests, underground excavation stability, mechanical rock cutting, rock blasting, and development and application of advanced computational geomechanics methods, which are funded by UTAS, Australian Government, Australian Academy of Science, CSIRO, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Australia-Japan Foundation and the Tasmania mining industry.

Colin MazengarbMineral Resources Tasmania

Colin is a geologist who has primarily worked in a geological survey environment during his career in NZ, USA and Australia. He has authored peer-reviewed journal papers and reports, regional geological maps at various scales, and worked on a variety of geohazards including slope stability, mine subsidence and earthquake microzoning. He has embraced the digital revolution and uses spatial and database technology to compliment his classical geological skillsets. Colin has recently developed a GIS course to upskill geologists and engineers in this technology that has been run for the Australian Geomechanics and NZ Geotechnical societies. He is an active member of the AGS Tasmanian Chapter committee.

Dr Claire KainMineral Resources Tasmania

Claire is a Natural Hazards Geologist who moved to Tasmania in 2016 after finishing her PhD at UNSW. She is originally from New Zealand, where she completed her BSc in Geology and MSc in Environmental Science. Growing up with frequent earthquakes, she has always been interested in natural hazards and is particularly interested in multidisciplinary research. Over the past 11 years she has contributed to research related to debris flow deposits, coastal and glacial processes, landslides and geotechnical studies of the 2010-11 Christchurch earthquake impacts. Claire is currently leading a tsunami modelling project in eastern Tasmania, and working on developing an updated DEM for Tasmania that feeds into a wider statewide flood modelling project. She is also a member of the AGS Tasmanian Chapter committee.

Mojtaba MohammadnejadUTAS

Mojtaba is currently a PhD student in Geomechanics at the University of Tasmania. He has five years professional experience as the design and site engineer in the field of geotechnical engineering. His main area of expertise includes assessment of rock mass quality, stability analysis of rural and urban slopes and excavations, and rock fracturing. He teaches rock mechanics and engineering as a casual lecturer at the University of Tasmania. Furthermore, he works with CSIRO as a postgraduate researcher focusing on the mechanism of rock fragmentation.

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