Register via the CGS (Zoom)

In lieu of the Cross-Canada Lecture Tour (CCLT), the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) is pleased to announce the First CGS National Geotechnical Lecture featuring Dr. Doug Stead, Professor Emeritus of Simon Fraser University. Dr. Stead’s presentation is titled Applications of Mixed and Virtual Reality in Engineering Geology.

The number of participants is limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Please register before November 1, 2021, so the CGS can adjust their capacity limit.


The last decade has seen rapid advances in the methods of characterising, monitoring, and modelling rock masses both in surface and underground environments. The use of remote sensing in geotechnical surveys has become routine and the application of sophisticated three-dimensional numerical models is becoming increasingly common. These developments have led to the need to store and, more importantly, interpret and visualise large complex three-dimensional datasets. In this presentation I will begin by introducing the concepts of Mixed and Virtual Reality, MR/VR, and show how these techniques are being increasingly used in geotechnical engineering and engineering geology. The MR/VR research conducted at Simon Fraser University, SFU, in collaboration with the Universities Exeter and Durham, UK and UBC, Canada will be presented in addition to industry-SFU collaborations. MR/VR can be used in data collection, data interpretation and data visualisation, at multiple scales, ranging from geotechnical logging of cores and mapping of rock cuts to large scale visualisation of major landslides and open pits. Examples of the use of Mixed and Virtual Reality will include engineering geology case histories from Canada and internationally.


Doug Stead began his career in geotechnical engineering in 1978 working on rock and soil slope stability at Nchanga Open Pit in the Zambian Copperbelt, Africa. This was immediately followed by periods working in engineering geology and rock mechanics consulting in the UK and Hong Kong. In 1984, after obtaining his PhD investigating rock slope stability in UK surface coal mining at the University of Nottingham, he was appointed Lecturer in Applied Geology at the University of Papua New Guinea and then in 1986 Assistant Professor in Geological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. From 1996-2000 he was Chair in Geotechnical Engineering Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, UK. In 2000, he returned to Canada where he was Chair in Resource Geotechnics until June 30, 2021. His research has focussed on experimental rock mechanics (brittle fracture and acoustic emission), open pit and underground geomechanics and rock slope engineering, His research has emphasised the applications of numerical modelling, remote sensing, and more recently mixed-virtual reality visualisation in rock engineering.

Doug Stead has received several awards for his contributions to geotechnical engineering from the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) including the society’s most prestigious award the RF Legget Medal (2017), the John Franklin Award for contributions to Canadian rock mechanics (2009), and the Thomas Roy Award for engineering geology (2008). He was also awarded the Engineering Institute of Canada’s John B. Stirling Medal (2019) for his leadership and services to geotechnical engineering.

Doug Stead has authored over 300 technical papers on engineering geology and rock engineering. He has delivered numerous keynote presentations and was co-author with Loren Lorig of the chapter on numerical modelling in the textbook “Rock Slope Engineering, 2017 5th edition” by Duncan Wyllie and was co-editor with John Clague of the book “Landslides: Types, mechanisms and modelling”.

Doug Stead served as both ISRM Vice-President for North America and Chair of the ISRM Technical Commissions Oversight Committee (2015-19). He is Past Vice-President Technical for the Canadian Geotechnical Society, Past Chair of the CGS Engineering Geology and Rock Mechanics Divisions, and Past President of the Canadian Geoscience Council. He was a member of the Editorial Boards of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Engineering Geology, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering and Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. Doug is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, a Professional Engineer in BC, an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter, UK and Affiliate Professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Doug has undertaken extensive research/consultancy on a wide range of projects in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.