Online Presentation: Reflecting on the Ruahihi & Wheao canal failures (1981 and 1982)

Presented by Dick Beetham,

Principal Geotechnical Engineer & Engineering Geologist, Coffey NZ

Register HERE

Ruahihi and Wheao canal collapses, 1981 and 1982. These two case histories where something goes drastically wrong are pictorially described and discussed. The photo images graphically demonstrate what has happened; the lessons learnt, and steps taken for improvement are discussed. They are mostly applicable today. As geotechnical practitioners we have limited work experience and we must learn from case histories, favourable and unfavourable!


Interestingly Dick is double qualified, with both a BE Civil from Canterbury University and a BSc in geology and geophysics from Auckland University.  He is also one of very few people jointly awarded as both CPEng and PEngGeol.

Live Webinar – Limitations of Simplified Methods for Estimating Seismic Settlements.

The presentation briefly describes Dr Pyke’s Ph.D. research on the settlement of sands, the evolution of simplified methods for estimating settlements, their limitations, a much more accurate method based on his Ph.D. research, and an improved approach to conducting screening evaluations.

DR ROBERT PYKE was born and raised in Australia and received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Sydney. He then worked for the Commonwealth Department of Works in Canberra on various water resource projects before attending graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley he conducted original research for his Ph.D. under the guidance of the late Professor Harry Seed and formed a close relationship with Professor Seed with whom he subsequently worked on a number of consulting assignments. Since 1977 Dr Pyke has worked principally as an individual consultant on special problems in geotechnical, earthquake and water resource engineering.

Register HERE



This talk will outline an earthquake-induced landslide (EIL) forecast tool that will produce outputs for the GeoNet landslide duty officers after a significant earthquake, in near-real time, approximately 5 to 7 minutes after being triggered. The function of this tool is to provide rapid advisory information about the severity and likely location and impacts of landslides following a major earthquake, where ground shaking data recorded by the GeoNet strong motion instrument network is used as the input for the tool. The EIL forecast tool is the first of several to be developed as part of a larger landslide forecast project being carried out by the GNS Science landslide and social science teams, and others. The aims of the overall project are to allow the GeoNet landslide duty officers (the end users) to: 1) Rapidly identify whether an earthquake or a rain event can generate landslides and the severity of landsliding; 2) Rapidly generate advisory information such as a spatial representation (map and table) of where landslides could occur in a significant earthquake or rainfall event and where the debris might travel, which can be used to help target response activities. The efficacy of the tool is demonstrated using the MW 7.8 14 November 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake, and the landslides it generated, as an example of how the tool would work and the outputs it generates.

Details to register and connect below.  Please log in  15 minutes prior to the presentation to ensure you are connected!

Regional-scale landslide forecast tools for NZ | Engineering New Zealand (

Online Presentation – Regional Geotechnical and Geophysical Site Characterisation across New Zealand

Presented by Liam Wotherspoon

This presentation will provide an overview of the regional geotechnical and geophysical site investigation studies that have recently been carried out across New Zealand, with a focus on improving our understanding of sedimentary basin structures and the shear wave velocity of regional soil deposits. The field testing methodologies that have been used across these studies will be discussed and how they were applied in each region of interest. Outputs have been used to inform appropriate site subsoil classifications across these regions according to NZS1170.5, with examples of these updated classifications presented and discussed. Methods that have been developed for the rapid characterisation of basins to develop first order velocity models that will inform ground motion simulation efforts will also be summarised. These studies have been supported by a range of different research programmes and in partnership with a number of councils. The presentation will end with a summary of future studies and the need for industry data to improve our understanding of soil profile characteristics across the GeoNet strong motion station network, as part of the update of the New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model.


Auckland Online Presentation – Drilled Displacement Piles/Elements for Liquefaction Mitigation

Presented by W.Morgan NeSmith (P.E),

Director of Engineering, Berkel & Company, Atlanta, USA

Liquefaction induced settlement or structure movement due to lateral spread are two significant design challenges in seismically active areas. In deep liquefiable sands (e.g. 9 m and deeper), traditional vibration or soil mixing techniques may prove to be financially and operationally inefficient. Drilled displacement systems that densify the sands by mechanically displacing them laterally can be an efficient alternative in this scenario. The presentation will provide background on drilled displacement piles/elements and their modification to ground improvement systems including for liquefaction mitigation.

Morgan is the Director of Engineering at Berkel & Company and has more than 20 years of experience in geotechnical contracting and consulting. Since 2004, he has specialized in the design and installation of cast-in-place piles and ground improvement systems for Berkel & Company Contractors. Morgan is a Deep Foundation Institute (DFI) trustee and the immediate past chair and current trustee liaison of the DFI ACIP and DD Pile Technical Committee.


 Please register on line HERE

Online Webinar – Guidelines for the Development and Application of Engineering Geological Models on Projects


Register HERE

Wednesday 7 Oct 2020

AEST: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

NZ:  8pm – 9pm


Experienced practitioners throughout the world are concerned that many of the sophisticated engineering geological studies that are currently being carried out exhibit a lack of understanding of the fundamental principles of engineering geology.

To counter this trend, a working group of IAEG Commission 25, is attempting to establish Guidelines to provide succinct, practical, accessible and authoritative advice on how to create effective Engineering Geological Models for use on projects. These Guidelines are aimed at practitioners from around the world involved in projects ranging from investigating single storey dwellings to constructing a major piece of infrastructure or carrying out a regional study for planning purposes.

The background, progress and interim findings of Commission 25 will be presented and the key messages of the Guidelines will be illustrated with both practical and theoretical examples from a variety of projects.



This webinar event will utilise a browser-based platform, and thus no download of additional programs is required by attendees.

Multiple web browsers are supported by the webinar platform, and you can check the exact requirements here.

Please note that you will also need to be able to suitably access the internet to attend the online event.

ENZ Webinar – Defect bored piles – Causes, assessment and remediation strategies

Concrete bored piles are commonly used for the foundation of buildings or structures like bridges, rail, airport or port facilities. This webinar addresses the most common defects in relation to defect foundation elements of building and structures, introduces the most common methods to assess such defects and suggests remediation strategies for some of the most common defects.
Duration: 1 hour
Presenter: Martin Larisch