Nidhal Al-Alusi


Education and Qualifications

• MSc Highways design and construction methods, 1980 Bradford University, UK

• BSc in Civil Engineering, 1976 University of Baghdad, Iraq

• MIPENZ and member of New Zealand Geotechnical Society, 1998

• Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) Registration, New Zealand, renewed 2020

• International Professional Engineer (IntPE) Registration, New Zealand, renewed 2020

Career Summary

• Principal Geotechnical Engineer, Mott MacDonald, Dubai, 2009 to June 2020

• Principal Geotechnical Engineer, GHD Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand, June 2007 to 2009

• Senior Geotechnical Engineer, MWH NZ Ltd., Auckland/Christchurch, New Zealand, 2001 to 2007

• Senior Geotechnical Engineer, CCL, Auckland, New Zealand, 1996-2001

• Project Manager, Donay Consulting Engineers Co., Amman, Jordan, 1995-1996

• Lead Civil Engineer, Maco Engineering Consultants, Baghdad, Iraq, 1990-1995

• Senior Civil Engineer, Bechtel Corporation, Baghdad, Iraq, 1989-1990

• Quality Control Manager, Al-Jazira Contracting Co., Baghdad, Iraq, 1980-1989


Key experience

• Scoping of Geotechnical Investigations

• Interpretation of Geotechnical Data

• Foundations Assessment (Pile Foundations)

• Design of Retaining Structures and Reinforced Slopes

• Geotechnical Modelling

• Assessment of Large-scale Storage Tanks Performance

• Prepare Geotechnical Specifications

• Earthworks and Slope Stability Studies

• Ground Improvement (stone columns, soil mixing, wick drains)

• Liquefaction Assessments and Mitigation

• Peer Review of Geotechnical Reports and Studies

Selected Professional History- Middle East

Bahrain Airport Fuel Farm and Fuel Hydrants

Technical review of extensive ground improvement designs for large-scale storage tank farm. The review included evaluating the performance of the storage tanks which placed on problematic ground that include very soft layer of different thicknesses and depositions (peaty sandy clayey Silt).

Duqm Service Corridor- Oman

Lead of geotechnical designs reviews for Duqm service corridor. The corridor accommodate six  pipelines and is interrupted by several wadies crossed by steel bridges. Geology of the area changing from shallow rock to sabkha deposits of variable thicknesses. The designs revised to properly address identified geotechnical hazards in the review comments such as differential settlements due to high ground and load variations, long-term creep, seismic parameters, potential groundwater rise and associated liquefaction hazards.

Kuwait International Airport –P3

Lead of geotechnical design reviews for runway/taxiway, air traffic control tower, cargo tunnel, roads and utilities. The work involves review of adopted geotechnical design parameters of airfield pavements, assess performance of large rafts having irregular shape and subjected to highly variable loads, uncertainty associated with predicting over consolidation ratio, iterations of range of subgrade modulus to achieve a satisfactory correlation between geotechnical and structural assessments.

Doha Metro-Gold Line – Qatar

The gold line is part of the Doha metro system which includes 10 stations and 10 km of Twin Bore Tunnel running through the central parts of Doha. The work involves Design Verification Engineer (DVE) review of deep excavation, multipropped diaphragm wall, potential damage assessment (PDA) including prediction of ground movements, detailed assessment of assets identified as being at potential risk and design of monitoring system of ground movements during construction.

Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Programme (STEP) Pumping Station Abu Dhabi, UAE

Review of the geotechnical studies for deep underground pumping station, connected with a 40km TBM (tunnel boring machine) tunnel. The pumping station is over 100m deep and approximately 50m in diameter shaft constructed by a combination of diaphragm walls, grouting and SCL (sprayed concrete lining) techniques. The work include review of geotechnical design parameters, shaft seismic design parameters, methodology for underground excavations, grouting methodology, grouting trial interpretive report, numerical design of D-wall, etc.

Chemical Storage Facility, Hamriyah Free Zone (HFZ), UAE

The project includes design and construction of storage tank farm comprises 16 number large fuel tanks up to 20 m in diameter and 22 m in height with associated facilities in Sharjah. The work include geotechnical interpretations, field verifications, and FE modelling to provide design concepts for two possible ground improvement trials (stone columns and vibro compaction). These options were considered to overcome differential settlements anticipated due to high variations in the ground conditions across the site. This followed by reviewing the detailed design of the optimum ground improvement option which elected considering out come from field trials, ground variations, site status, cost and material availability.

Masdar City Development, UAE

The environment in the Middle East region is unique and challenging for geotechnical services. Subterranean voids are known in the local terrain and features like these can dramatically affect foundation designs. The work include detailed geotechnical design of 20 km of deep service trench, an elevated podium which covering most of the site, foundations for a railway viaduct, peripheral areas with landscaping, solar power fields, and road embankment approach networks. These designs were carried out based on results of full-scale site zone load trials, which were set up for obtaining a direct measure of the settlement characteristics of ground improved with different techniques and Nidhal had authored a research paper on this subject  published at 11th ANZ Conference.

Selected Professional History- New Zealand & Australia

Western Corridor Recycled Water Project – Western Pipeline, Australia

The pipeline passed over deep, soft alluvial deposits on some sections and shallow rock on others. The work include identifying geotechnical hazards and performing designs and construction supervision of piles, launch and receiver deep shaft excavations, retaining systems, thrust blocks, valve pits and other pipeline crossing structures.

28 Shortland Street Development, Auckland, New Zealand

Design review, and construction monitoring of deep excavation work for a 35-storey residential development. The work involves critical construction works next to sensitive multi-story buildings susceptible to movement. The excavation monitoring plan includes extensive geotechnical instrumentation. The work include evaluation of the information provided by the instruments, verifying the predicted ground and structures behaviour in the design model, and modifying the design utilising FE modelling.

PSMC 002 Maintenance Contract, Northland Region, Transit New Zealand

Responsibilities included back analysis for construction control purposes, North Auckland highway framework contract, geotechnical investigations and assessments of numerous slope stability assessments and remedial work designs.

SH74, Styx Bridge, Transit New Zealand

This project involved the widening of State Highway 74 between Belfast and Redwood (Christchurch). Included in the 1.4km of works are a new 220m long two-lane railway overbridge, pavement layers and ancillary works. The new bridge is to be sited on an area with poor ground conditions and piles required to be embedded to 34m. Responsibilities included investigation of several options and achievement of the lowest cost-effective solution for the bridge followed by foundation detailed design of bridge foundations.


Published Papers

  • “Ground Improvement in Sabkha, Abu Dhabi Emirate, UAE” for the 11th Australia New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics, 2012 N. Al-Alusi, P. Sharp and Dr. A. Sainak.

  • “Engineering Properties of Peat” for the 10th Australia New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics, 2007 Al-Alusi, N.

  • “Methods for Estimating Bored Piles Ultimate Bearing Capacities” for the 9th Australia New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics, 2004 Al-Alusi, N.


Professional Activities

  • “Design Verification Tests for Improved Ground” Presentation for GeoMEast 2018: ISSMGE TC211 & TC102 Joint Workshop, Egypt, Cairo, November 2018.

  • “Benefits of Zone Load Test (ZLT) on Improved Ground in UAE” Presentation for IQPC 2nd Annual Underground Infrastructures & Deep Foundation Conference, UAE, November 2015