The inaugural conference on Piling and Ground Improvement Technology for the Modern Building and Infrastructure Sector in Melbourne, Australia, was a resounding success. The two-day international event on March 21-22, 2017, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, was hosted by the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) and the Piling and Foundation Specialists Federation (PFSF). More than 200 attendees participated in technical presentations, poster presentations, exhibits, networking events and a conference banquet.
“There was a tremendous energy and buzz throughout the entire conference,” says Theresa Engler, executive director of DFI. “The interaction between the audience and the speakers was very dynamic and resulted in in-depth and valuable discussions on the design, construction and performance for piling and ground improvement techniques for building and infrastructure works.”
“This was the first conference in Australasia that brought together practitioners from all of the disciplines involved in piling and foundation engineering,” says Mark Johnson, executive director of PFSF. “The opportunity to interact with, and learn from, other professionals in the industry was incredibly useful to the attendees. We are definitely planning on organizing a second conference, tentatively scheduled for Sydney in 2019, and expect to see even more participation.”
The event featured 28 technical presentations and 11 poster presentations. Keynote presentations included “Challenges in the Design and Construction of Deep Foundations for Transportation Infrastructure Projects,” presented by DFI President Dan Brown, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, of Dan Brown and Associates; “Geotechnical Design Considerations for Rock Socketed Piles,” delivered by Chris Haberfield, Ph.D., principal geotechnical engineer of Golder Associates in Melbourne; “Designing Piles for Seismic Events,” by Harry Poulos, Ph.D., P.E., consultant with the Coffey Group; and “Ground Improvement by Dynamic Replacement within Intertidal Mangrove Mud Environment Ichthys LNG, Darwin,” by Philippe Vincent, managing director at Menard Oceania.
According to Kim Chan of GHD, the technical program featured “a good mix of technical and practical application papers, innovation and new products.” Gerhard Zylowski of Bauer Foundations Australia adds that the presentations included “a wide range of current geotechnical techniques and actual applications.”