Prof. Dr. Harry G. Poulos



Professor Harry Poulos' pioneering work in pile foundation analysis and design has enabled the world's geotechnical specialists to have a greater understanding of the way structures interact with the ground. His research has enabled a more reliable approach to be adopted for pile design, replacing procedures which previously relied purely on experience and empiricism.

Professor Poulos has applied his research to a wide range of major projects, both in Australia and overseas, including buildings, bridges, tunnels, freeways, mines, airports offshore structures (e.g. oil rigs) and earthquake-related problems. Professor Poulos' work includes the Emirates Twin Towers in Dubai, where his analysis and design of the piled raft foundations provided significant cost benefits for the twin towers exceeding 300 metres in height, the Burj Khalifa, now the world's tallest building, where he was the geotechnical peer reviewer, the Docklands project in Melbourne involving design of remedial pile foundations for one of the high rise residential developments, and the construction of a 700km long motorway in Greece using his expertise in slope stabilisation and earthquake engineering.

While retaining his professorial position at the University of Sydney, Professor Poulos joined the Coffey Group in 1989, as the Director of Advanced Technology, and became Chairman of Coffey International Pty Ltd in 1991, a position that he held for two years. In the period 1998 to 2002 he served as Director of Technical Innovation and General Manager, Technical Development.

Professor Poulos has long been a contributor to the activities of the international geotechnical community. He was also a long-term member of the National Committee of the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) (1980 to 1995) and its Chairman from 1982 to 1984. He was Committee Member of the AGS Sydney Group, 1971-76, 1979-2002, Vice-chairman 1974 and Chairman 1980-81. He was the Australasian Vice-President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering in the period 1989-1994, an appointed Board Member of the Society from 2001 to 2005, and is currently the Chair of the Membership, Practitioner and Academic Committee of the Society.

He was recognised by his peers for his contributions to Australian Geomechanics by the Sydney Chapter via the institution of the annual Poulos Lecture in 2002.

Professor Poulos is a recipient of many prizes and awards, including Australia's Centenary Medal (2003) for his services to Australian society and science in the field of geotechnical engineering. His overall contribution to the engineering profession has been recognised formally by the award of Member of the Order of Australia (1993), his election as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (1988), his Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (1996), his Honorary Fellowship of the Institution of Engineers Australia (1999), the award of the Warren Prize (1972) and Warren Medal (1985) of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, his selection as the 2003 Australian Civil Engineer of the year, and his selection in 2004 as the inaugural Geotechnical Practitioner of the year.

Professor Poulos gave the prestigious Rankine Lecture of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK) in 1989, and was invited by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to deliver the annual Terzaghi lecture in 2004. He also received from ASCE the 1972 Croes medal, the 1995 State of the Art Award, and the 2007 Middlebrooks Award. In 2010, he was elected as a Distinguished Member of ASCE, the first Australian Civil Engineer to be so recognised.


Speaker of the 4th HPDL:


Professor Barry Lehane;
Professor of Geotechnical Engineering Department of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, Perth WA 6009 Australia


Professor Barry Lehane has worked as a practitioner and academic in geotechnical engineering since 1984.

Professor Lehane obtained his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the University College Cork in Ireland with first class honours, and then worked with Arup Geotechnics in London as a Geotechnical Engineer until he began his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) on piled foundations at Imperial College, London, in 1989.

Following completion of his PhD in 1992, Professor Lehane again worked with Arup Geotechnics in London and Hong Kong as a Technical Leader.

To further his research involvement in the field of Geotechnical Engineering, Professor Lehane took up a lecturing position at Trinity College Dublin in the Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering, where he a remains a fellow to this day.

Professor Lehane relocated to Perth in 2002 where he was awarded Deputy Head of School of Civil and Resource Engineering and later Head of School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering.

Professor Lehane has since remained as a professor at the University of Western Australia for the School of Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

In 2002, Professor Lehane also took up a Design Consultant position as Technical and Research Leader Geotechnics, Arup Australasia. 

Professor Lehane has published more than 250 technical papers in international journals and conferences and his career has included a wide spectrum of geotechnical activities involving contracting, design, consulting, laboratory & field testing, peer review and expert witness.

In high demand by Industry, Professor Lehane continues to consult widely on a variety of national and international projects.


Lecture Title: TBA