Keynote Speaker (1)

Dr. Ramli

Dr. Hj. Ramli Nazir

Geotechnical and Transportation Department

Universiti Teknologi, Malaysia


Dr. Hj. Ramli bin Hj. Nazir is a Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at Geotechnical and Transportation Department, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia since 1989. He served as Assistant Engineer in Public Works Department Malaysia for four years. Holds a B. Civil Eng. from UTM and Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool specialized in Geotechnical Engineering. He has more than 25 years' experience in the field of Geotechnical Engineering, especially Foundations, Ground Improvement and Geotechnical Forensics Engineering and have wrote more than 100 technical papers and Journals related to his field of expertise. In addition as a Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering, he is also a Professional Engineer who have numerous experience as a Design Engineer, Design Checker and Geotechnical Technical Advisor to various government and private agencies and also involved in many Civil Forensic works including Structural and Infrastructures in Malaysia. In addition to engineering education and consultation activities, he is a Member of the Technical Committee on Eurocode 7 Malaysian Annex which responsible for regulating the use of Eurocode 7 according to local needs, Research Committee Members for Construction and Industrial Development Board of Malaysia, and Public Work Department Malaysia. He also provides an expertise support for Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) and Public Work Department (JKR), in the design specification work for specialized work such as Soil Anchor and Load Testing. He is also a member of National Slope Failure Enquiry Commissioner. He is also an invited Geotechnical speaker for training and workshops to government and private technical agencies such as JKR, PETRONAS, SHELL, Malaysia Productivity Corporation and many more. Currently, Prof. Ramli is a Deputy Director for Tropical Geoengineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Keynote title: Taking Risk in Geotechnical Engineering Design: Do We Learn from Failure?


Soils are human in nature. Uncertainties, history, colours and background dominates the behaviour of the soil. Understanding its behaviour is a complicated task. Prediction on its behaviour is the best solution offer so far without any assurance on its performance. Terzaghi(1936) once said , “soils are made from natures and not by man, and the product of natures are always complex”. Many uncertainties involves in predicting the behaviour of soils. From extracting, handling and testing which bound to accumulate errors and disturbance to the sample, will cause a deviations from its actual behaviours. Question will arise from a designer as representative samples taken from site may not resembles at all since statistically only a small portion is being taken from a large area. Geotechnical Engineering fields are related with daily life. Slopes, foundations, excavations, flood barrier, anchoring to name a few are geotechnical construction that needs high safety design for the comfort of the public. Engineer must struggle to design in such a way as to avoid failure, which could result in loss of property, damage to the environment of the user of that technology, and possibly injury or even loss of life. However, failures in Geotechnical construction seems to be a common scenario nowadays. Some catastrophic events involving loss of lives periodically remind people that the notion of zero risk and of completely guaranteed safety does not exist. From common structural settlement to a mass slope failures, many Geotechnical Designers have come forward with various state of the art in rectification works at the design stage to obtain better and safer constructions to the public. The design and constructions has been improvised in lieu to the lesson learn from the previous failure. New developments in design are often the direct consequence of lessons learnt from previous failures, which are caused when the designers went too far beyond the state-of the art or the contractors did not implement the design intent in the construction. This combination with increase in knowledge and development of new materials actually led to the occurrence of more failures, principally as a result of enhanced demand for many types of novel structures for which there were no historical precedents. There is no question that the trial-and-error process of designing and constructing, over the centuries, resulted in the loss of properties and life. It is not that failure is desirable, or that anyone hopes for or aims for it. But failures, sometimes appalling, are inevitable, and given this fact, engineers say it pays to make good lesson learned to prevent any possible future mistakes. This keynote address will focus on the risk of geotechnical hazard which lead to the necessity of understanding its behaviour which cause the failure for future improvement of the construction.


Online Submission

Important Dates
Submission Deadline
August 27, 2019
Notification of Acceptance

from September 17, 2019

(Paper reviewing takes 7-14 days)

Early Bird Registration & Payment Deadline
September 27, 2019

Conference Date
December 17-19, 2019