PatrickWong 191x103

Patrick Wong

Senior Consultant

+61 403 242 411
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I am a Senior Consultant at Coffey and I have over 36 years’ experience in geotechnical engineering.  As well as having worked on many major infrastructure projects in all states of Australia, I have worked on many challenging projects in New Zealand, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau, Dubai, Jordan and Egypt.

My specialist expertise is design of smart geotechnical solutions for challenging ground conditions such as support of deep excavations, highways and railways on soft ground, and deep foundations for high-rise buildings and bridges.

I have proven industry record in providing innovative, cost and time effective solutions for major contractors and government bodies.  My on-going focus at Coffey is to continue delivering this service to our clients through Coffey’s design teams, by providing encouragement, training, technical support and review throughout the bidding, design and construction phases of major projects.


Ballina Bypass Alliance, RMS, Australia

I initially led the Coffey team on the investigation and concept design of ground improvement studies for the RMS.  The resulting work demonstrated to RMS that it was possible to reduce the embankment construction time on the soft soils from 13 years to less than 5 years (the project was eventually completed in 4 years), and introduced the innovative Vacuum Consolidation ground treatment technique to Australia.  RMS considered Coffey’s work was pivotal to the success of the project and nominated Coffey as a full Alliance Partner prior to selecting the successful constructor, Leighton Contractors (now CPB) to design and construct the project.

During the Alliance phase of the project, I acted as the Geotechnical Steering Group (GSG) Leader.  In addition to providing technical direction to the design team in the design of numerous ground treatment methods adopted to suit the soil conditions at different sites, I developed construction specifications for each technique (many of them a first in Australia) including vacuum consolidation, deep dry soil mixing and controlled modulus columns which are now embedded within standard RMS earthworks specifications.

I was also instrumental in a number of other innovations on the project via close collaboration with the construction team, including the use Low Embankment Strategy (i.e. practically no ground improvement) using sound whole-of-life principles to reduce project cost, and the first large scale use the Pile Driving Monitor (PDM) on a major project in Australia to provide quality assurance of delivered adequate energy to the pile heads of all production piles and accurate measurement of final set.  The use of the PDM also reduce personnel safety risks by eliminating the conventional approach of measuring driving sets manually beneath operating pile driving hammers.

Kempsey Bypass Alliance, RMS, Australia

I took over the Geotechnical Design Manager’s role half way during the design phase of the project and made immediate impact on the project by working closely with the construction team and the RMS Peer Review team in developing a methodology that enabled the non-conforming site won material to be adopted for use as rockfill. 

Procedures were developed to satisfy the project owner, RMS, that satisfactory long-term performance of embankments and pavements will be assured. The procedures developed by close collaboration with the constructor and RMS earthworks specialists comprised roller trials, daily geological mapping of cuttings to ensure appropriate rockfill is won from site, and fill placement procedures to ensure adequate compaction of the rockfill. 

This innovation minimised the amount of processing needed, thus saving the project significant time and millions of dollars.  RMS’ Earthworks Specification R44 on rockfill grading was modified for this project as a result of this work, which not only benefited the Kempsey Bypass Alliance project, but also has the potential to save cost for all future Pacific Highway Upgrade works.  This aspect of the project resulted in the Alliance being presented with RMS’ 2012 Quality Innovations Award. 


I am proud to work at Coffey because the people are passionate about making a difference for our clients.  We have a culture of understanding and communicating geotechnical risks to our clients, and crafting suitable design options that are constructible, time- and cost-efficient.

We believe it is important to understand our clients’ risk and reward profiles and where their priorities sit for specific situations – in a lot of cases saving money is a priority provided risks can be managed well, but occasionally time is more important than cost, and that includes time to get the solution over the line with the project principals and independent reviewers.

I am always excited to work with various Coffey design teams on developing different design options and risk mitigating strategies, and work collaborative with our clients to enable them to select the right solution.  This includes providing our clients with easily understood risks and/or reliability for each design options to enable them to make informed solutions.