Vice President Australasia - Philip Robins

Philip Robins

ISSMGE Vice President for Australasia Philip Robins
Philip has over 25 years’ international experience in geotechnical engineering, with wide ranging involvement across the infrastructure, buildings and industrial sectors in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and the USA. He is based in the Wellington, New Zealand, office of Beca Ltd, an Asia Pacific focused multi-disciplinary consultancy. Philip is a Technical Director in Beca’s Geotechnical Engineering group, where he has led single and multi-disciplinary teams on many large-scale, high profile and complex projects. Philip has mixed his geotechnical engineering skills with strong leadership in project delivery while developing key client relationships. 

Philip was the geotechnical team lead for the design and construction of the Mackays to Peka Peka (M2PP) Expressway project delivered through an alliance. The M2PP project includes 15 road bridges and several pedestrian bridges and has provided many geotechnical challenges due to the extent of peat and liquefiable ground. All bridges on the project required extensive ground improvements to cater for liquefaction to control ground displacements at the bridge abutments. As part of M2PP Expressway Project, Philip also led the design and delivery of the Te Kãkãkura Retaining Wall, a 11m high split retaining wall which was recently awarded a 2017 Concrete Landscape Award Commendation in recognition of “a landscape project outstanding achievement in the advancement of concrete practice in design, construction, rehabilitation or research”. 

Philip regularly undertakes independent peer reviews for other engineering organisations, for example, he has recently completed the geotechnical peer review of 26 bridges for the NZ$850 million Transmission Gully motorway. This project is being delivered as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) by Wellington Gateway Partnership in partnership with the New Zealand government. A key part of the Wellington Northern Corridor, the project is one of the most significant single pieces of new road construction in New Zealand.

Following his centrifuge modelling research at The Center for Geotechnical Modeling (CGM) at UC Davis, Philip went onto work in Southern California on ports and harbours; including the Port of Los Angeles Pier 400, Container Wharf project and the Downtown/Rainbow Yacht Marina within the Port of Long Beach, California.

In Australia, Philip was project manager for the geotechnical site investigation/interpretation for the onshore pipeline and plant for the BHPBP Macedon Gas Development Project, Pilbara, Western Australia.

Philip was awarded a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Natal, Durban in 1990 and a Master of Sciences in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 2000. He is a Chartered Member of Engineering New Zealand and Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) with Engineers Australia. Philip was Chair of the New Zealand Geotechnical Society from 2009 to 2010 and leads the Technical subcommittee for the upcoming NZGS Symposium 2020, to be held in Dunedin, New Zealand.