ARC Centre of Excellence Geotechnical Science & Engineering

Vale Laureate Professor Scott Sloan

The CGSE is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Laureate Professor Scott Sloan AO on Tuesday 23 April 2019.

As an academic leader, Scott was the Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Science and Engineering, a University of Newcastle Laureate Professor, a former ARC Laureate Fellow and a former ARC Federation Fellow. He was also an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering UK and the Royal Society of London, being one of 8 Royal Society members worldwide in geotechnical engineering.

The professional accolades he achieved are too numerous to reproduce in full. Some highlights include delivering the 2011 Rankine Lecture (arguably the world’s highest accolade for a geotechnical engineer), being awarded the NSW Scientist of the Year award in 2015 and being named as one of the ‘100 Most Influential Engineers’ by Engineers Australia in the same year. In 2018 he was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his service to geotechnical research and education.

Scott was an internationally renowned expert in the field of geotechnical engineering and he pioneered new numerical methods for stability analysis, formulated algorithms for implementing realistic models of soil behaviour and developed software for solving nonlinear finite element equations. His research has been implemented in many leading commercial and academic finite element software programs, which has allowed engineers to design cheaper, safer civil infrastructure around the globe, including roads, railway lines, tunnels, building foundations, dams, port facilities, pipelines, mining operations and offshore oil and gas facilities.

A world class scientist and engineer with a meticulous eye for detail, Scott was passionate about his research work.  He was a generous leader with a clear vision and the talent and commitment to realise it. But perhaps his greatest legacy was his mentoring of the next generation of academic and industry leaders.