News & Insights

Engineering of the largest structures on earth - Davin Slade, Principal Geotechnical Engineer

What is Pavement Engineering?

It's the engineering of the largest structures on earth, enabling us as a society to move through areas.  Pavements are everything from the underground foundation to the driving surface and we see them in residential subdivisions, ports, airport runways and highways.

Our Victorian Geotechnical Team comprises Geotechnical Engineers, Geologists, Geotechnicians and Scientists.  Led by Davin Slade, the team specialise in providing ground engineering services, delivering practical and sustainable solutions across all project scales by conducting comprehensive investigations and designs to empower clients in making informed project decisions.

Davin Slade studied as a Civil Engineer and specialises in Geotechnical Engineering because he liked working outside.

Working on retaining walls and field investigations from early on in his career provided Davin with an opportunity to learn and explore his options.  

After completing a Master of Pavement Engineering, Davin thrived on the discipline's complexity - components such as the weight, size and repetition of vehicles plus creating situations dealing with natural elements such as the soil structure, groundwater and surface water.

Since joining Cardno, now Stantec, 16 years ago, Davin and his team have worked on a raft of projects.  Highlighted below are the standouts.


North East Link is the biggest road transport project in Victoria’s history. It will fix the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network, connecting the M80 with an upgraded Eastern Freeway.

The Geotechnical team were involved with the tender design of the pavements and temporary works, the detailed design of the early works and now the detailed design of the temporary works to facilitate construction.

"As the population grows, so does the demand for infrastructure. Victoria remains the fastest-growing state in the country with our population expected to double, predicted to reach 11.2 million by 2056. Future planning requires better road systems, such as the North East Link and the West Gate Tunnel to facilitate and enable growth." adds Davin.

Land development - Highlands Estate

The team delivered the geotechnical investigation for the proposed residential subdivision at Highlands Estate, Craigieburn, Victoria. The investigation was undertaken to determine the subgrade CBR for the pavements as well as to design the pavement profiles for the proposed pavements.  We were also involved in determining the backfilling requirements for the proposed sewers, and water mains, as well as the investigations for the design of the wetlands and bridges within the estate.


Golden Plains Windfarm - one of the largest windfarms in the southern hemisphere

Wind Farms - Golden Plains Wind Farm

The Geotechnical Team conducted detailed condition assessments of the pavement network being utilised for the construction of the wind farm. Assessments were conducted before and after construction to assess the impacts of the construction on these roads.

Port Pavements

The container storage facility in Laverton North is used for the storage of shipping containers that are stacked up to seven containers high. It was proposed that the facility utilise a crushed rock-hard stand both to support the containers and also for the vehicular traffic. In order to appropriately design the hard stand, it was necessary to design for both the traffic and also for bearing capacity beneath the containers.

With the population growth and an increasing number of vehicles on the road, the demand for pavement rehabilitation has risen significantly.  Pavements have a limited life, however, they use precious quarried resources.  Choosing the right rehabilitation method is essential to achieve the greatest return on investment.

"The future outlook for the industry is exciting. Petroleum is limited and has a large impact on the environment. There are many new opportunities to use alternative pavement sources that have a less environmental impact such as recycled concrete and glass." says Davin.

Davin Slade is a Principal in Geotechnical Engineering, Victoria.  Read more about our geotechnical services.