News

Cameron Robertson wins 2013 Jack Morgan Award for Technical Excellence

August 22, 2013

Special congratulations are in order to our former BAP Master's student Cam Robertson! We are proud of our BAP/BHAP-trained students' accomplishments.

The Jack Morgan Award for Technical Excellence has been won by Cameron Robertson, Chris Day, and Travis Brousseau for the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) Waisoi Copper-Gold Mine ESIA cultural heritage assessment. The NJV is a group of three companies* who have come together to explore for, and potentially mine, copper and gold in the Namosi province located approximately 30 kilometres west of Suva on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji.

The winning entry is the most comprehensive cultural heritage assessment undertaken in the Pacific for this type of project and the largest in Fiji's history. It comprehensively addressed all of the award criteria (demonstrated technical excellence; use of innovative practices; contribution to the advancement of the discipline or science; level of added value for both the client and for Golder; and a focus on sharing information).

The NJV project task was to confirm known and identify unknown cultural heritage sites and artefacts within the project area, a site that posed significant challenges due to the steep and inaccessible terrain (thick jungle and no access roads), the lack of previous studies of the area, and the size of the area. In addition, there are many small subsistence traditional villages located in the study area all with strong cultural connections to the land and its history, posing another set of challenges.

A unique predictive GIS model to enable identification of potential sites, as well as known sites, and target field survey in these areas was developed by the team. This along with the techniques utilised in this project resulted in the identification and protection of numerous old village sites, war forts, temples and burial grounds. The same methods and potential model are going to be applied to the Sumitomo Project in the Solomon Islands, a project Golder was awarded earlier this year. The Fiji Museum now uses this study as the model for all cultural heritage impact assessments in that country.

The award, named after Dr Jack Morgan, leading geotechnical engineer and Golder luminary, aims to foster and highlight the ongoing pursuit of technical excellence. Jack, a strong advocate for technical excellence, was part of the assessment panel deciding the winning entry. There was a very strong field of 12 entries for the award this year and judging was a difficult task.

"It is the fourth year the award has been made and selecting a winner proved to be most difficult. All of the submissions demonstrated technical excellence, and the range of disciplines represented shows how Golder has developed into a leading multi-disciplinary consulting group", said Jack.

"The winning entry impressed the judging team with its innovative use of a GIS model without which previously unknown sites would not have been identified. That this ‘impressed and pleased community and heritage agencies' has given Golder great credibility in this field."

"Two other submissions were particularly highly ranked. One was the geotechnical and hydrogeological study for the New Perth Stadium submitted by the team of Doug Stewart, Alan Lundorf, Shane Green and Andrew Webster. An innovative approach in these studies was the use of AVS and ArcGIS to create a 3D model linking site geology and hydrogeology with geotechnical interpretation and ground water modelling. Also innovative was the use of 2D and 3D models to quantify risks of groundwater flow from the site to the Swan River."

"A team led by Joel Gneil submitted their studies for the Regional Rail Link in Melbourne. They suggested an innovative approach to the contractor to use controlled modulus columns instead of conventional piling. The savings from the combination of innovation and smart design was a key contributor to our client winning the project. The geotechnical design team was integrated with the broader project design team and exposed to much broader design interests such as signalling and contaminated soils."

"The runners-up demonstrated how far Golder has developed from its early days as a geotechnical sub-consultant to structural engineers to its present status as an equal partner in teams constructing major infrastructure projects."

Congratulations to all the finalists and particularly to the winners Cameron, Chris and Travis. Their prize is a travel fund of $10,000 to assist the team to visit our offices to present on the project and to further develop and deepen their technical network.

Village Consultation: Cameron Robertson meeting with community members and discussing history and heritage sites. This was done in a culturally appropriate manner, around the kava bowl. Time needs to be invested to build trust. Work was done with men and women in over 20 communities.

Cameron Robertson and Usaia Gaunavou from the Fiji Museum undertaking field work. We partnered with Fiji Museum for their local knowledge and in turn provided capacity building through discussion of our methodology and close collaboration.

News Archive


2017

2016

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

September

October

November

December

2015

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2014

January

February

March

April

May

July

August

September

October

November

December

2013

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

October

November

December

2012

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

October

November

December

2011

Bakail Hokkaido archaeology project