Geotechnical Engineering

RCA Australia provide an extensive range of geotechnical engineering and consulting services. Industry sectors serviced include infrastructure, water, mining, construction and maritime industries and includes all stages of development from concept development, risk assessment, site investigation, design and construction.

The geotechnical team comprises a range of senior and graduate level staff with the capability to service large scale infrastructure projects as well as smaller scale residential and commercial customers and we pride ourselves on friendly, personal and reliable service to take the risk out of your project.

Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Site Investigation
  • Road and rail Infrastructure
  • Mine Infrastructure
  • Commercial, industrial and residential developments
  • Slope stability assessment and design
  • Geotechnical modelling and analysis
  • Engineering geology
  • Forensic geotechnical engineering
  • Mine subsidence assessment

Roads, rail and pavement

Services include mapping and terrain evaluation, geotechnical investigation for road and rail design including route evaluation, concept design, detailed design and DCM, foundation investigation for bridges, culverts, retaining walls, arches and reinforced earth walls, pavement design for local roads, highways, airfields and heavy duty pavements, cut and fill batter stability assessment and design, material evaluation, pavement rehabilitation, embankment stability and construction on soft soils including surcharging and provision of wick drains, construction monitoring and instrumentation.

Major road project experience includes over 100km of Pacific Highway Upgrade projects and the Hunter Expressway.

Major rail projects include Drayton Rail Spur and Minimbah Third Track.


Services include route evaluation for water/sewer pipelines, pumping stations and wastewater treatment works, dams (including Chichester, Coepolly, Karuah and Drayton), dewatering of excavations and groundwater modelling, on site effluent disposal, infiltration of stormwater, water sensitive urban design and reservoirs.


Services to the mining industry include haul road design, stacker reclaimer foundations, stockpile stability, tailings management and emplacement design, high-wall and spoil dump stability assessment, rail loop investigation, stability of underground workings, groundwater modelling and control, crane pad assessment and design, excavatability and rehabilitation of open cut mines.

Sample projects include tailings dam design at United Colliery, foundations for conveyor and transfer towers at Ulan Colliery, haul road, bridge and conveyor investigation and stabilisation or rail loop cut at Ravensworth, high-wall and dragline dump stability along with development of design charts at Warkworth, investigation and design of drift access for Powercoal, high-wall stability auditing, in pit dump design, and risk management Training for Bayswater Colliery and Mt Arthur Coal and material testing and haul road design for Mt Arthur Coal, Management Training for Bayswater Colliery and Mt Arthur Coal and material testing and haul road design for Mt Arthur Coal.

Coal mine slope stability services include regular pit inspections and reports on high-wall, low-wall and spoil dump stability, slope design review for short and long-term planning, preparation of slope hazard plans, slope monitoring, slope failure investigation and design of remedial works.


RCA Australia is a specialist in redevelopment of industrial sites, with work on sites including Steel River, Kooragang Island, BHP closure site, Honeysuckle rail yards, Pasminco at Cockle Creek, Goninans at Broadmeadow and Lansdowne and Boral quarries at Meadowbank and Greystanes. Solutions for these sites have included design of low permeability caps, dynamic compaction to provide deep compaction, piling and provision of deep engineered fills. Industrial developments include multiple electrical sub-stations, metal recycling plants and general manufacturing facilities. Commercial developments include high rise commercial/residential projects in Newcastle and Charlestown, tourist developments – golf courses, resorts, leisure centres and sport facilities, shopping centres, Newcastle Airport terminal extension and parking facilities and the Black Hill Centre at Muswellbrook.


RCA Australia services all geotechnical facets of both large and small residential developments. From planning to construction, RCA services include terrain assessment and urban capability assessment to assist the client with rezoning applications and concept layout, detailed geotechnical investigation for DA including site classification, pavement design and earthworks specification, input into the design phase including review and certification of plans, construction advice, testing and inspection, and provision of summary reports of construction. Other services include development guidelines, water and sewer pipelines, assessment of damaged houses and design of retaining structures.

Notable residential projects include over 1000Ha of residential development at Booragul, Windy Hill, Charlestown, Gateshead, Tallwoods Village at Hallidays Point, Wallarah Peninsula, Regatta Quays, Fern Bay Estate, Eastbrook Estate at Muswellbrook and numerous sites in the Maryland/Fletcher area. Investigation for rural residential developments has been undertaken at Clarence Town, Medowie, Gloucester, Heddon Greta and Cessnock.


RCA Australia provides specialist services for investigation and design for port and wharf related engineering activities. Services include pile design, wharfs and marine structures, sheet pile walls, retaining walls, revetments and shoreline stabilisation.

Key projects have included investigation and design of eastern basin tug berth facility, Newcastle Harbour, assessment of stability of BHP Berth No 6, issues assessment for coal loader construction on Kooragang Island Eastern Basin, stability assessment and reclamation filling revetments and land investigation for Honeysuckle Development Corporation, assessment of dredge bank stability, revetment bank stability and material disposal options for Kooragang Coal and a new tug berth facility, Dyke Point, Ballina seawall investigation and bank stability analysis, Newcastle coastal hazards investigation including condition and stability of seawalls and coastal structures.