Engineers Australia

Society News

HKGES webinar on Rock strengthening upon heating – FACT or MYTH?


AGS members are invited to attend a HKGES webinar Rock strengthening upon heating – FACT or MYTH? by Dr Louis Wong, Department of Earth Sciences, The University of Hong Kong.

The webinar will be held on 9th October 2020 (Fri), GMT+8 (HKT) 6:30pm.

Further details are available in the flyer.


Most underground projects, such as geothermal energy extraction, nuclear waste repository and underground excavation for deep mining and caverns, are implemented at the depths ranging only from hundreds to thousands of meters where the temperature is far from reaching the high level for the sole operation of the thermal weakening factors. On the contrary, some experimental studies have reported that rock can be strengthened upon heating, rather than weakened in the mild temperature range from room temperature to 200 °C. Despite the profound scientific and practical significance in the geophysical and geological fields, whether rock will be strengthened or weakened in response to elevated temperature is elusive. We carry out a comprehensive literature review and find that the dual effects of three major mechanisms and their interplay may either increase or decrease rock strength in the mild temperature regime. Nevertheless, rock strengthening is more or less an intrinsic property depending on various factors. We also find that there exists a “transition period” at elevated temperatures from rock strengthening to weakening. This discovery is important for underground engineering projects, since the determination of a number of design parameters relies on the laboratory-measured rock strength. Misinterpreted temperature impact on rock strength in an engineering project potentially leads to structural and/or economical failure. For accurate evaluation of rock strength, future laboratory studies should concentrate on the mildly heated rock relevant to the in situ ground conditions.

118th IAEG Connector


Incredible career of Prof. Peter Fookes, UK, comes to an end — the latest issue of the IAEG Connector newsletter is available online.

7th Leture of the AGERP series: ‘Biogeotechnics’


The organising committee of AGERP is pleased to invite you to the 7th instalment of the Lecture series, which will be on ‘ Biogeotechnics ‘.

This is scheduled on 3rd October 2020 (AEST).

Free mandatory registration for this lecture closes at 00:00,  2nd October 2020 (AEST). This Lecture will be delivered by Professor Jason T. DeJong (University of California, Davis, USA) and Dr. Dimitrios Terzis (Managing Director, MeduSoil).

At the request of the lecturers, this session will not be recorded. We encourage you to attend the session live if you are interested.

Further information and registration (free but mandatory).

More information, please refer to the attached flyer.

ISSMGE News & Information Circular August 2020


The latest issue of the ISSMGE News & Information Circular is available online.

117th IAEG Connector


Richard Wolters nominations due Sept. 30, 2020 — the latest issue of the IAEG Connector newsletter is available online.

Global Synthetics Lecture: Designing Composite Liners on Slopes


Don’t miss your chance to hear Prof. Kerry Rowe talk about his latest unpublished research findings in a live webinar on Designing Composite Liners on Slopes Part 1: GCL.

Register online

AGERP lecture series: ‘Advancements in Geotechnical Engineering’


AGERP has launched a lecture series ‘Advancements in Geotechnical Engineering: From Research to Practice’.

This lecture series is aimed at coupling the learnings from academia and industry on several key topics in the discipline of Geotechnical Engineering. There will be two talks on each lecture: one from an academician and one from a practitioner. The mode of delivery of the lectures is online to ensure a better reach. The lectures are free to attend, but registration is mandatory.

Information and registration is available via the AGERP website.

Flyers are available with information on the Panel Discussion and Lecture 6: Mechanics of Unsaturated Soils.

116th IAEG Connector


IAEG Bulletin celebrates 50th year birthday! — the latest issue of the IAEG Connecter newsletter is available online.

Online Professional Certificate in Tailings Management


AusIMM, in conjunction with leading tailings experts including David Williams, Peter Chapman and others, has developed an Online Professional Certificate Course in Tailings Management.  The Six-Module Course will cover an introductory overview, and geotechnical, geochemical and water, governance and surveillance, closure and socio-economic considerations of tailings management.
Upon successful completion of all six modules and assessments, a Professional Certificate in Tailings Management will be awarded.
The interactive, online format of the course will provide participants with an opportunity to learn in a tailings community-based environment from wherever they are situated.
The course content for each module will be delivered over one week. Each module consists of:

  • A live, interactive 90-minute webinar featuring industry experts
  • Pre-recorded videos, featuring Q&As with global tailings experts
  • Interactive learning activities and group discussions
  • Multiple choice and short answer questions
  • Additional readings and case studies

The Course will run over six weeks, with Webinars on Wednesdays, starting from 2 September 2020, and Participants will have access to the course platform for two weeks per module and 10 weeks for all six modules, to enable them to complete the assessments.
For the Course pricing and more information please visit the AusIMM website via the link below:

Hong Kong Geotechnical Engineering Society Webinar


Dr Mark Cottrell (Golder Associates (UK) Ltd, London) will be presenting a webinar titled: A DFN Framework with Application to Rock Engineering Characterisation, Analysis & Design for the Hong Kong Geotechnical Engineering Society and the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.

The webinar will take place 2nd September 2020 (Wed), GMT+8 (HKT) 6:30pm

Members of the AGS are invited to attend by registering online.

Further details, including an abstract, can be found on the webinar flyer.

115th IAEG Connector


71 people killed by landslide in Rajamala, Kerala, India — the latest issue of the IAEG Connector newsletter is available online.

ISSMGE News & Information Circular


The August 2020 ISSMGE News & Information Circular is available on the ISSMGE website.

AGS Awards at Curtin and at the UWA


The WA Chapter congratulates the recipients of the 2019 AGS Awards at WA universities. These awards are presented annually to two engineering students from different State universities who produce the best combination of thesis and seminar on a geotechnical topic. This year’s 2019 AGS Awards were presented to Samantha McClurg from Curtin University and Marco Trimboli from the UWA.

Samantha’s final year thesis, titled “Influence of Using Seawater in MICP on the Erodibility of Bio-Cemented Slope Profiles”, investigated using MICP (microbiologically-induced calcium carbonate precipitation) as a method of coastal erosion mitigation. Marco conducted a research project on the “Effects of Soil-Structure Interaction on the Differential Settlements of Multi-Storey Structures”. As part of this project, he helped develop a technique for predicting the differential settlement of a structure over staged construction. Following her studies, Samantha commenced a Graduate Engineer position with Main Roads WA where she is currently exercising her interest in geotechnical and pavement engineering while working on the new Manning Road Southbound On-Ramp project. Marco is currently working as a Graduate Structural Engineer at Worley and hopes to combine his interests in both structural and geotechnical engineering in his future work. Congratulations to these award recipients!

114th IAEG Connector


Richard Wolters Prize nominations extended and many volcanoes and landslides — the latest issue of the IAEG Connector newsletter is available online.

Call for nominations — AGS Practitioner Award and D.H. Trollope Medal


The Australian Geomechanics Society is calling on members for nominations for the AGS Practitioner Award and the D.H. Trollope Medal.

AGS Practitioner Award

This biennial award recognises contributions of the highest order over an extended period with a commitment to the geotechnical profession in Australia and the Australian Geomechanics Society.


Nominations should be made by at least three persons (not necessarily members) to the Secretary of the National Committee of the Society following a call for submissions in Australian Geomechanics. Nominations must be accompanied by a comprehensive supporting document.

AGS Practitioner Award Nomination Form

D.H. Trollope Medal

The Trollope Medal is awarded to the author of an outstanding paper on either theoretical or applied geomechanics. The work reported in the paper must have been undertaken in Australia by an author under 35 years of age and can have been published anywhere in the world in the previous four years. The nominated author must have been primarily responsible for the work and would normally be the principal author of the paper.


The nomination can be made by any member of the Society. The nomination requires the approval of the author and should be accompanied by two copies of the paper. The nomination is to be accompanied by an electronic (disk or USB) copy of the Doctoral thesis, which will be returned following the selection process.

The nominations should be forwarded to the Secretary of the National Committee following a call for submissions in Australian Geomechanics Journal. Nominations will be called every two years, normally in the alternate year to the EH Davis Memorial Lecture.

D.H. Trollope Medal Nomination Form

13th IAEG Connector


Two landslides block rivers and one traps coal miner — The most recent edition of the IAEG Connector newsletter is available online.

Soil & Rock Logging Courses Postponed


Health and safety concerns due to COVI-19, along with logistical issues, have meant that the Soil & Rock logging courses have been postponed. It is unlikely that these courses will be held in 2020.

112th IAEG Connector


New Bulletin Released and Incredible Geohazard Events — the latest issue of the IAEG Connector newsletter is available online.

Dr Baden Clegg Award


On Tuesday 14th of July 2020, the Western Australian Chapter held a webinar for their annual Dr Baden Clegg Award. This annual event gives a platform for our younger (under 35) geo-professionals to present their work, gain feedback from experienced colleagues and become involved in AGS activities. There were three presentations on a wide range of topics and delivered to a number of AGS members and guests.

Michael Kostadinovski’s (BHP) presentation on “Rapid and robust slope failure appraisal using aerial photogrammetry and 3D slope stability models” was announced as the overall winner and will receive a $1,000 prize along with a miniature “Clegg Hammer” trophy. Exceptional presentations were also delivered by the other two finalists: Colin McGovern (Fugro) on “The MH370 Airplane Search – Challenges and Data Examples of a Deep-Water Geophysical Seabed Survey”, and Shaun Yap (GHD) on “East Kimberley Regional Airport – Stabilisation Trials and Real Time Monitoring of Gilgai Holes in the Runway Strip”. Each of the runners up will receive a $250 prize. 

Special thanks to Jim Crandell, for his presentation of Dr Clegg’s achievements, and Stephanie Clegg, Dr Clegg’s eldest daughter, for presenting the award to Michael Kostadinovski.