Last week Beca attended the ANZ2023 Geomechanics Conference in Cairns, with several of our geotechnical engineers presenting papers, including Ann Williams who delivered the prestigious NZGS Geomechanics Lecture and Merrick Taylor a keynote lecture.
Held every four years on behalf of the ISSMGE (International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering), ANZ2023 is a regional conference that aims to connect people across the profession, to help develop the next generation of geotechnical leaders through plenary and session presentations, whilst stimulating technical discussions.
Beca was well represented amongst the 470 delegates from 16 countries who descended on tropical Cairns for the July 2-5 conference, with nine members of our geotechnical team attending – all of who presented papers. This included: Christoph Kraus, Sujatha Manoj, Joanna Petheram, Ken Read, Nicola Ridgley, Philip Robins, Merrick Taylor, Harry Wahab and Ann Williams.
Amongst them, Merrick Taylor (Technical Director - Geotechnical Engineering) and Ann Williams (Beca Technical Fellow - Geotechnical), were both invited to be keynote speakers, with Merrick presenting on the topic ‘Implementing performance-based design to achieve seismic engineering solutions for foundations in sandy soils’, while Ann presented on ‘The question of risk’ - also the theme of her 2022 NZGS Geomechanics Lecture.
"The conference was designed to maximise the opportunity for knowledge sharing and connection – huge thanks to the organising committee, sponsors and my fellow participants" - Ann Williams.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the week was Ann's presentation of the New Zealand Honour Lecture; recognition amongst her peers for having made a notable contribution to New Zealand Geomechanics and the industry. She delivered the 12th and final version of her NZGS Geomechanics Lecture – the first female to do so in the 48 years of the award.
Beca also hosted a well-attended sundowner event on Monday 3 July to celebrate women in geomechanics, where a number of our team were recognised, including Sarah Barrett, Claudia Kayser, Helen Loach, Nicola Ridgley and Ann Williams alongside their peers in New Zealand and Australia.
Reflecting on the conference, Ann said, "It was a privilege to present alongside such an excellent line-up of invited keynotes, in particular Professor Mark Jaksa from the University of Adelaide who received the Jon Jaeger award and gave the Australian honour lecture. The conference was designed to maximise the opportunity for knowledge sharing and connection – huge thanks to the organising committee, sponsors and my fellow participants."
Overall, ANZ2023 was a wonderful opportunity for the geomechanics profession to reconnect!
Learn more about Beca’s geotechnical services here.