Past Panel Discussions

Panel Discussion 1: Career Prospects in Geotechnical Engineering: Academia and Industry

20:00-21:30, 11th September 2020 (AEST)


Ms. Lydia GentleEngineering Manager, BHP Australia
Lydia is a high skilled and experienced Chartered Professional Engineer. Her career spans the engineering consultancy, construction and mining industries across multiple continents. Lydia is currently the Engineering Manager at BHP where she utilises her significant experience in project leadership to adopt innovative and collaborative approaches to engineering design and project delivery. Lydia enjoys promoting and advancing programs and policies that build and support the creation of stable and innovative engineering practices.Lydia was recently awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her contribution to Engineering. Lydia also holds a Master of Engineering Science, a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and is an Engineering Executive and Fellow of Engineers Australia. Lydia is Co-chair of the National Civil College Board and also sits on the UQ Engineering Civil College Board and the Advisory Board for Top 100 Women. Lydia is also a member of the Infrastructure Advisory Committee and Professional Standards Committee for Engineers Australia, illustrating her passion to the engineering community and increasing the profile of the profession.

Professor G.L.S. BabuProfessor, Indian Institute of Science President, Indian Geotechnical SocietyIndia
G L Sivakumar Babu completed Ph.D.(Geotechnical Engineering) in 1991 from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, after Masters Degree (Soil Mechanics Foundation Engg.) in 1987 from Anna University, Madras and B.Tech. (Civil Engineering) in 1983 from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati.He worked as Humboldt Fellow in Germany during June 1999- July 2000 and as Visiting Scholar, Purdue University, Lafayette, USA during 2/95 - 2/96. He is presently the Chairman of Indian Geotechnical Society, Chairman of International Technical Committee (TC-302) on Forensic Geotechnical Engineering (FGE) of (ISSMGE). He is a Fellow of ASCE and is also serving a Governor, ASCE, Region 10.He guided 22 research degrees (Ph.Ds-17, M. Sc (Engg.)-5) and wrote a book on soil reinforcement and geosynthetics, edited eight books and proceedings and has several publications (International and national Journals -180, International and national conf. more than 130 Total over 300). He received several awards such as John Booker award from IACMAG, Humboldt fellowship from Germany, DST Boyscast Fellowship, and a few awards for the best papers from Indian Geotechnical Society and American Society of Civil Engineers.

Dr. Anne-Catherine DieudonnéAssistant Professor, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of TechnologyNetherlands
Anne-Catherine Dieudonné is Assistant Professor of Engineering Geology at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. She obtained a BSc in Civil Engineering (2009), MSc in Geological and Mining Engineering (2011) and PhD in geomechanics (2016) from the University of Liege, Belgium. Between 2015 and 2017, Anne-Catherine was a scientist at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, where she led the numerical analysis activities of the Laboratory of Soil Mechanics. Since arriving at TU Delft in 2017, Anne-Catherine has continued to develop research that focuses on assessing the impact of environmental loads on the behaviour of geomaterials and on the performance and resilience of geotechnical structures, including geological disposal facilities for radioactive waste, dykes and landfills. In particular, Anne-Catherine favours a combined approach of experimental testing, imaging, constitutive modelling and numerical analysis (FEM, DEM). In 2017, Anne-Catherine received the prestigious Ioannis Vardoulakis Prize from ALERT Geomaterials and, in 2019, she was awarded an NWO-Veni grant to investigate the self-healing capacity of clays. Anne-Catherine serves as the secretary of the Dutch association of engineering geologists and geo-engineers (Ingeokring) and is a member of ISSMGE technical committees TC105 (Geo-Mechanics from micro to macro) and TC308 (Energy geotechnics).

Dr. Luis Alberto Torres-CruzSenior Lecturer, University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburg, South Africa
Luis obtained his first degree in Civil Engineering at the Universidad del Valle, Colombia. In 2009, he began lecturing and studying at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Wits University in South Africa, where he obtained a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering. His thesis looked into the use of the CPT to assess the liquefaction potential of tailings dams. He has a keen interest in studying soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering from a fundamental, non-dogmatic approach in which absolutely every "truth" can be questioned. He recognises the importance of empiricism in his field, but also recognises the importance of understanding the rationale and limitations behind the correlations on which geotechnical designs/procedures are based. Luis sees collaboration with industry as essential to keeping his research grounded and relevant. He has conducted academic exchanges at universities in Brazil, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. Currently, he is a Senior Lecurer on Geotechnical Engineering at Wits University

Dr. Robert C. BachusSenior Principal Engineer, Geosyntec ConsultantsKennesaw, Georgia, USA
Dr. Bachus is a civil engineer with more than 40 years of experience, with an expertise in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. He started his professional career as a member of the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he taught for 11 years before joining Geosyntec Consultants in 1990, where he is a Senior Principal. The firm specializes in geotechnical, environmental, and water resource engineering, with >1,200 employees in its 75 offices in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. His research and project activities cover a wide range of topics, including dams and levees, landslide assessment, landfill design and performance, soil/rock properties, geosynthetics, and forensic engineering. He has worked extensively on the properties and beneficial use of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) and geotechnical data management and visualization. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Georgia Tech and Chairman of the Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Soil and Rock Properties.