Professor David Williams initiated and directs the industry-funded UQ Geotechnical Engineering Centre, which has attracted over $10M in research funding. David has over 40 years of teaching, research and consulting experience, and is internationally recognised for his expertise and global experience in geotechnical aspects of mine design, mine waste management, characterisation and mine closure. One of David's specialty areas of research is mine tailings and he was a member of the Expert Panel investigating the technical causes of the 2019 Brumadinho tailings dam failure in Brazil. David is also a representative on numerous Tailings Independent Technical Review Boards.  In 2009 and 2016, David authored the Tailings Management Handbook, as part of Commonwealth Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for Mining Industry. David is also part of the Working Party for Australian National Committee for Large Dams Guidelines on Tailings Dams, originally published in 2012, and updated in 2019. In addition, David manages the Large Open Pit Project (LOPP II) focused on data and design uncertainty in large open pit mines.

Tailings dam failures are unfortunately common, with recent failures having catastrophic consequences in terms of loss of life and environmental damage. Such failures have contributed to a significant loss in confidence regarding tailings dam engineering. David will present an overview of recent dam failures, technical causes and new methods of monitoring, failure prediction and closure practices that will reduce the frequency of tailings dams failures in the future.

About JKMRC Friday Seminars 2020

Welcome to the 2020 Series of the JKMRC Friday Seminars.  The list of presentations will aim to cover a range of topics related to the minerals sector from decision making in exploration, new mineral processing technologies, social licence to operate and mine closure.

Due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, all JKMRC Friday Seminars will be presented as webinars only.

If you wish to watch past webinars you can access the videos on the SMI website

Previous seminars have been uploaded to YouTube via the following link:


UQ Experimental Mine Site, 40 Isles Road Indooroopilly.
Lecture Theatre