South Australia & NT Chapter

The Application Of Innovative Ideas To Solve Challenging Groundwork

Patrick Wong, Senior Principal, Coffey Geosciences

Human beings have a hunger for continuing improvement in the quality of life. In this modern world, there will be an increasing demand for buildings, transportation systems, mineral mines and various infrastructures associate with natural resources and manufacturing industries. Reducing cost is essential, but building sustainable and environmentally friendly developments is equally important.

In Australia, the use of Design and Construct, Build Own Operate and Transfer, and Alliance methods of project delivery in recent times has provided more opportunities for engineering innovations. Owners, developers, designers and contractors are working more closely than in the past, with the desire to come up with more cost-effective, lower risk, and environmentally sustainable engineering solutions. Due to the variability of geology, soil and rock properties, and groundwater regime, geotechnical aspects often present the greatest risks, opportunities, and challenges and to civil and building projects. Geotechnical engineering is also one of the least codified disciplines of engineering, which to me is an advantage rather than a drawback as it presents in my opinion more opportunities for innovation provided the basic geological and geotechnical principles are understood and applied appropriately.

In this talk, Patrick shall present a series of examples of the application of practical innovative ideas in geotechnical engineering to solve challenging problems. These examples will illustrate that one does not have to be totally original or use new ideas to be considered innovative and “create value” for projects, clients and the community.

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.