Engineers Australia

The Relevance of Public Geotechnical Databases

Timothy Thompson

The viability of a modern public geotechnical database is influenced by many factors including the availability of data, an area’s population density, and seismic risk. Where a city, region or country has sustained the use of a geotechnical database or databases through evolving technology and generational change, the benefits can become embedded in routine practice. Elsewhere the creation of a database may be constrained by questions of liability and intellectual property, or by consultants who view a public database as working to their competitive disadvantage. With a summary of several geotechnical databases around the world (including at least one that prioritises investigation logs compiled for public works financed by tax payers), the presentation will highlight their potential benefits for the assessment of risk, reduction in costs, research, adoption of a standardised investigation data format, and analytical methods in geotechnical engineering.

About the speaker

Timothy ThompsonGeotechnical Engineer, Arup

Tim is a geotechnical engineer with Arup in Brisbane. After graduating from Purdue University, Tim was a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama where he taught land surveying to high school students. He started with Arup in New York City and then moved to London for three years to work on preparations for the 2012 Olympics. Tim arrived in Brisbane in late 2009 and has appreciated the national obsession with the Australian Baseball League and its 2016 to 2018 champion Brisbane Bandits. Tim launched the Queensland Geotechnical Database (QGD) with Jared Priddle of FSG in 2017. He is currently undertaking part-time research with the University of Queensland and was the AGS Queensland Chair in 2016 and 2017.

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