Adrian Russell – Life-saving knowledge transfer

CIES Professor Adrian Russell CIES Professor Adrian Russell and his team’s knowledge transfer activities are in overdrive. 

They relate to Adrian’s Future Fellowship and a recently completed Linkage Project, aimed to reduce risk in the mining industry from failing mine tailings.

Adrian and his team have discovered how to characterise tailings, and assess liquefaction propensity, when they are partially saturated. 

They are now reaching out to a global and local audience, educating them on a pressing problem that is vital to reducing the number of tailings dam failures, which can be catastrophic to the downstream community.

  • On 12 October Adrian delivered a keynote lecture on the topic at a conference in Peru, the 1st International Congress of Geotechnical Engineering GEOUPC - CIIGGUPC 2022
  • On 14 October PhD candidate Yanzhi Wang delivered a lecture through Australia’s geotechnical webinar series.
  • On 7 November Adrian delivered a lecture to members of an international Technical Committee on Tailings and Mine Waste (TC221) in a special webinar, hosted by Technische Universität München, Germany

These complement multiple special lectures Adrian gave on the topic earlier this year through The Tailings Center in the USA; the AGERP International Workshop on Unsaturated Soils; the University of Chile; to SRK Consulting in Argentina and Ghana; and at the 8th International Conference on Tailings Management conference in Chile. 

Selected lecture recordings can be viewed at:

To transfer the knowledge transfer even further and more quickly, Adrian is also ready to launch a 4-hour online short course on this topic. The course, involving self-directed learning, will be deliberately low-cost, enhancing access in South America and Africa where the learning needs are particularly high. 

In November 2022 Adrian has been invited to join the editorial board of Géotechnique. This is the most prestigious journal in the field of geotechnical engineering and is indicative of the international standing and impact of Adrian’s work.

Brumadinho tailings dam mudslide, Brazil, 2019

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