Bruce McPherson

Principal / Geotechnical Engineer / Branch Manager NSW

With over 30 years’ experience in geotechnical consulting and contracting, Bruce has worked on both ‘sides’ of many groundworks and foundation projects.

With particular interests in basement construction, foundations, ground improvement, reactive and dispersive soils, Bruce has enjoyed dealing with these issues on many projects throughout regional and metropolitan NSW, while at Douglas Partners.

Bruce graduated with Honours in Civil Engineering from Sydney University in 1990 and then a Master of Engineering Science, majoring in Geotechnical Engineering in 1994. After 8 years of consulting in Australia and Malaysia, Bruce worked for Frankipile Australia for 2 years before joining Douglas Partners in 2000. During his time in contracting, he worked on most the Olympic venues in Sydney including Stadium Australia and the adjacent Multi-Purpose Arena at Sydney Olympic Park. These projects involved very large pile inspection and testing regimes. Another major testing project handled by Bruce included the Eastern Distributor in Sydney, with 17 static load tension tests and 100 sonic integrity tests (SIT) performed.

Major project experience at Douglas Partners includes the foundation investigation and design for the Victor Trumper Stand at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the main bridge for Majura Parkway (ACT) and several deep basements in Sydney for residential and retail projects. Some of basements have been up to seven levels below ground with adjacent to existing rail/road and other infrastructure, such as the VAPS project at Sydney Opera House and residentail towers by Mirvac near Chatswood station. Many of the issues that interest Bruce, particularly in relation to piles foundations, reactive and dispersive soils, have been present on the numerous transmission line and substation projects that he has worked on throughout NSW.

Bruce has also worked on several building upgrades where it has been necessary to carry out forensic sonic integrity testing to determine the existing footing dimensions. This information is combined with detailed soil profile data, such as is provided from cone penetration testing (CPT), to assess whether existing piles can cater for increased loadings. Bruce has successfully applied this approach to a number of Westfield and other shopping centres across Australia.

Bruce also assists in lecturing undergraduates at the University of Sydney on the subject of practical geotechical solutions. He has carried out extensive pile testing and has written several published technical papers on this and other subjects.