Registered Professional Engineer in Queensland with significant experience providing geotechnical consulting services in Australia, PNG and South America. His expertise includes using his fore-front large-deformation numerical modelling skills to simulate the failure of the Brumadinho Dam in Brazil; included in one of the expert panel’s reports. Marcelo participated in a third-party review for the recovery work required for remediation at the Cadia dam failure in Australia. He is experienced with multiple dam safety reviews, third-party reviews, site investigations, GISTM compliance and gap assessments for tailings and water retention structures. Marcelo has published and/or presented more than 40 papers in international conferences and journals, and his work has received over 200 citations.

Presentation Title: The use of numerical modelling to assist in risk management and optimisation of construction incorporating operational challenges


For tailings storage facilities (TSFs) construction management is an essential task that requires due consideration of operational requirements and limitations. The process is often accomplished through optimisation of the required tasks interbedded with operational challenges, with a focus on minimising safety risks, while also considering economical risks. In this case study the authors present an example of innovative numerical modelling to assist in risk management for construction. The results were used to optimise the chosen construction approach and methodology. The case study took place during construction works for closure of a TSF in Northern Australia. The numerical modelling methodology chosen incorporates 3D slope stability assessments carried out using FLAC3D, for optimisation of construction processes. This numerical modelling approach is then compared to the more commonly utilised 2D limit equilibrium methodology. In the results the soil behaviour and stress state are analysed. The results demonstrated that use of the 3D shear strength reduction methodology has the potential to better understand risks. The process allowed improved decision making when assessing the appropriate choice of plant for use during construction projects such as embankments and buttresses.