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 3rd HPDL:


Professor Charles W.W. Ng;
(2017-2021) President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering


Professor Charles W.W. Ng is currently the CLP Holdings Professor of Sustainability, Chair Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He is the President of International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE).

He grew up in Hong Kong and went to the UK to earn his MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Southampton and the University of Bristol in 1987 and 1993, respectively. After carrying out a period of post-doctoral research at the University of Cambridge between 1993 and 1995, he returned to Hong Kong and joined HKUST as Assistant Professor in 1995 and rose through the ranks to become Chair Professor in 2011. Professor Ng has supervised 46 PhD and 41 MPhil students to graduation and mentored dozens of postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars.

Professor Ng was elected an Overseas Fellow from Churchill College, Cambridge University, in 2005 and was elected Changjiang Scholar (Chair Professor in Geotechnical Engineering) by the Ministry of Education in China in 2010. He is Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE), the American Society of Civil Engineers (FASCE), the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (FHKIE) and the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences (FHKEng). Currently, he is an Associate Editor of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal.

Professor Ng has published some 270 SCI journal articles and 230 conference papers and delivered more than 50 keynotes and state-of-the-art reports in five continents. He is the main author of two reference books: (i) Soil-structure Engineering of Deep Foundations, Excavations and Tunnels by Thomas Telford and (ii) Advanced Unsaturated Soil Mechanics and Engineering by Taylor & Francis. He has received many awards including the 2017 Telford Premium Prize from the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Henry Adams Award from the Institution of Structural Engineers, the first Tan Swan Beng Award from the Southeast Asian Geotechnical Society, and the R. M. Quigley Award from the Canadian Geotechnical Society three times for his three best papers published in 2007, 2012 & 2016. He was conferred the Mao Yisheng Youth Award by the Chinese Institute of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering for his significant contributions in Geotechnical Engineering over the years. He was one of the recipients of the 2nd Prize of 2015 Scientific Technological Advancement Award by the State of China. Recently, he has delivered the 2017 Huangwenxi Lecture on “Atmosphere-plant-soil-interactions: theories and mechanisms”, which is the most distinguished named lecture in geotechnical engineering in China.