|Allen Neyland Tunnelling Achievement Award, 2007
Presented to Philip Pells
On the occasion of the thirteenth Australian Tunnelling Conference, Melbourne
Philip Pells has over the past 30 years established a reputation within the tunnelling industry not only as a leader in the field of geotechnical engineering but also for his capacity for innovation in construction and for his wider contributions toward delivering major underground infrastructure.
Philip graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1966 and went on to complete a Masters degree at the Imperial College, London. Moving to Sydney in 1975, Philip lectured in Rock Mechanics at the University of Sydney and quickly became an expert on Sydney's geology.
Joining Coffey Partners in 1981, Philip worked on a number of landmark projects in Sydney including the Sydney Opera House Carpark where he truly extended the boundaries of engineering and innovation in the design of the underground cavern.
In 1993, having been awarded a Doctor of Science in Engineering from Cape Town University, Philip formed Pells Sullivan Meynink. He also presented the EH Davis Memorial Lecture in that year on "Rock Mechanics and Engineering Geology in the Design of Underground Works".
In 1997, Philip was appointed Adjunct Professor of Civil Engineering at University of NSW and while working on Sydney's New Southern Railway project, he developed the absolute and differential settlement criteria which continue to be used by NSW government agencies today.
In 1999 Philip was retained to review the causes of the failure of the Burnley Tunnel in Melbourne and in 2004 he was appointed Chairman of the Engineering Taskforce established by the Mayor of Brisbane for the evaluation of the North-South Bypass Tunnel and other road tunnels in Brisbane.
Having himself been responsible or numerous significant engineering achievements, Philip is also a prolific educator and has remained dedicated to the education of future generations. He has maintained strong on-going relationships with our universities and also published over 80 technical papers.