Director, Geotechnical Engineering Centre, University of Queensland
Professor David Williams initiated and directs the industry-funded Geotechnical Engineering Centre at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and also manages the industry-funded Large Open Pit Project. He has over 40 years of teaching, research and consulting experience. He is internationally recognised for his expertise and experience in mine waste management and mine closure. He is particularly recognised for his expertise in tailings, and the design, construction, operation, closure and rehabilitation of tailings dams and waste rock dumps, including the design of covers. He carries out high-level reviews of and provides expert advice, opinion and review on tailings dam designs, and tailings and waste rock facility closure and value-adding. He was on the Expert Panel investigating the technical causes of the fatal Brumadinho tailings dam failure in Brazil in 2019. He authored in 2009 and 2016 the Tailings Management Handbook, as part of the Commonwealth Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry. He is on the Working Party for the Australian National Committee for Large Dams Guidelines on Tailings Dams – Planning, Design, Construction, Operation and Closure, published in 2012, with an Addendum in 2019, which is currently being reviewed.