Engineers Australia

TfNSW (formerly RMS) Geoscience challenges

Michael Hughes

Geotechnical Science is within the Pavements and Geotechnical section of the Engineering Services branch of Transport for NSW (formerly RMS). In addition to providing geotechnical services associated with road infrastructure construction projects Geoscience is involved in other technical aspects within the roads space. This presentation will include an overview of:

  • RMS slope risk assessment program; discussing the challenges of working in a high risk environment and how quality and training are managed. It will discuss the future direction of the slope program and present opportunities for collaboration.
  • Challenges RMS has experienced with weak rock with a focus on sampling. Discussion will provide a broad overview of a recent collaboration with UNSW and the development of a constitutive model (FLAC).
  • RMS developed “Safety DCP”. In 2018 the operator of a Dynamic Cone Penetrometer required micro-surgery to a finger that was crushed between the DCP hammer and anvil on one of our projects. RMS has re-designed a standard DCP to eliminate this risk.

About the speaker

Michael HughesTfNSW (Geotechnical Science)

Michael Hughes is a Geotechnical Engineer with over 15 years’ experience across the UK and Australia. Michael spent the first five years of his career in the UK working on a broad range of geotechnical and geo-environmental projects. During this period he was awarded a scholarship to study for a Master of Science degree in Geotechnical Engineering.

Michael re-located to New Zealand in 2008; working for a leading Geotechnical consultancy in Auckland before transferring to the Sydney office in 2009. Michael worked as a senior consultant delivering geotechnical expertise for major infrastructure and construction projects across the road, mining and building sectors. He has a proven track record of geotechnical investigation, interpretation and design, temporary works, construction advice, risk management, safety, client liaison and project management.

After joining Roads and Maritime Service in 2017, Michael has led the Geoscience Unit in his role as Senior Geotechnical Scientist, responsible for the provision of geoscience expertise within Engineering Services. The Geoscience Unit is comprised of three teams; “Investigation and Monitoring”, “Project Engineering” and “Slope Risks and Standards”.

Michael has a BEng (Hons) from the University of Leeds and an MSc from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

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