Honorary Life Members

The Rules of Association allow the giving of ‘Honorary Life Membership’ to members who have a distinguished history of contribution to ANCOLD. The current honorary life members are listed below.

Bob Wark (awarded in 2017)

Bob was awarded Honorary Life Membership at the ANCOLD 2017 conference.





Robin Fell (awarded in 2015)

Robin studied for his BE (Civil) and M.Eng.Sc. Degrees at the University of Queensland from 1961 to 1966. He worked with the Australian Government in Melbourne on hydropower and dams projects in Papua New Guinea for a total of 9 years, and with consulting geotechnical engineers Coffey and Hollingsworth from 1970-71 and Coffey and Partners from 1977-1985. There he worked mainly on landslides, tailings dams and embankment dams. He joined the University of New South Wales in 1985 as Visiting Professor, then Professor of Geotechnical Engineering.

He has with colleagues at UNSW, obtained sponsorship from a number of ANCOLD members, and from dam owners in Canada, USA and Sweden and Australian Research Council  to undertake research into rippability of rock,  landslide risk related topics, mechanics of large landslides, deformation behaviour of landslides , internal erosion and piping of embankment dams and their foundations, dam filters, deformation behaviour of dams, numerical modelling of cracking of dams, erosion of unlined spillways in rock and development of methods for quantitative risk analysis of dams.

He retired from UNSW in 2005 and is an Emeritus Professor of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW. He works as a Consultant through the UNSW Consulting Company Unisearch. He consults mainly in a peer review role in embankment dam engineering, geotechnical engineering of concrete dams, and risk assessment for dams and landslides. He has worked on more than 100 dams in Australia including many of the largest dams in the country and a number of major dam upgrades.  He was a lead member of the team for development of the system for estimating the annual probability of failure by internal erosion and piping for dams and levees (The “Piping Toolbox”); Member of review board for the Gatun Spillway duplication in Panama, Member of the Geotechnical Advisory Board for the Panama Canal Authority; and on the Expert Engineering Panel to advise on the mechanics of internal erosion of Bennett and Mica Dams for BC Hydro. He has also participated as a peer review consultant on Portfolio Risk assessments for several Australian Dam Owners.

He has contributed to the development of ANCOLD Guidelines relating to Tailings Dams, Design Criteria for Concrete Gravity Dams; Design of Dams and Appurtenant Structures for Earthquake; and Risk Assessment. He was one of the lead authors of the ICOLD Bulletin on Internal Erosion of dams, dikes and their foundations. He was Chair of JTC-1, the ISSMGE-IAEG-ISRM Joint Technical Committee on Landslides and Engineered Slopes from 2002-2005 and while in that position was a lead author of International Guidelines for Landslide Susceptibility, Hazard and Risk Zoning.

He has more than 100 publications relating to dams and landslides including books “Geotechnical Engineering of Embankment Dams”, and “Geotechnical Engineering of Dams” 2005, and 2015 second edition.

Bruce Cole (awarded in 2014)

The ANCOLD Secretariat moved from the Snowy to the Hydro in 1967 and in 1970 Bruce was appointed Treasurer and Bulletin Editor for three years. Over the years he has contributed 6 articles for the ANCOLD Bulletin and one ICOLD paper on the repair of Scotts Peak Dam.

He attended the ICOLD Congress in Lausanne and the ICOLD Executive Meeting in Iguassu, Brazil. He helped to organise several ANCOLD conferences held in Tasmania.

Bruce was a member of the working group that produced the first Guideline on Design Floods for Dams in 1986, and he convened the working group on concrete faced rockfill dams which delivered the guideline in 1991.

In 1996 Tony Moulds invited Bruce, now retired, to assist in the Heritage Dams project, a combined Engineering Heritage and ANCOLD three-year project to identify those dams in Australia with highest heritage significance and get them listed on the Register of the National Estate. As well as the 25 nominations for listing, appropriate expert authors prepared historical overviews of the technical development of six different dam types.

While this valuable material was placed on the national heritage database, it was not actually published. Bruce persuaded ANCOLD to let him put the material into two books. He edited “Dam Technology in Australia 1850-1999” and wrote “Australia’s 500 Large Dams, Conserving water on a dry continent” which ANCOLD published in 2000 and 2003 respectively.

Phillip Cummins (dec)

Phil was a highly respected and experienced Australian Dams Engineer having worked on the investigation, design, assessment, risk management and the rehabilitation of dams, hydropower projects and water supply works throughout the world in a career spanning more than 50 years.

He was a Chairman of ICOLD’s Committee on the Operation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Dams, a Past Member of the ICOLD Committee on Governance, a Corresponding Member of the ICOLD Committee on Small Dams, a Chairman and Honorary Life Member of the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia.

During his career, Phil was actively involved in projects across Australia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lesotho, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Zambia.

His positions included Design Engineer Dartmouth Dam Project, Principal Designing Engineer (Dams), Chief Designing Engineer, and Director Major Works responsible for investigations, design, construction, operation and maintenance of all large infrastructure for the Victorian Rural Water Corporation.  He was later appointed as Director Technical Services and General Manager for HydroTechnology, Managing Director of SMEC Victoria Pty Ltd, Chief Technical Principal SMEC Australia Pty Ltd, and as Senior Principal (Dams) for Australian Dams & Water Consultants Pty Ltd.   Phil was a founding and the longest serving member of the Hume & Dartmouth Dams (MDBA) Technical Review Committee.

He was also appointed by various Australian governments as a Dam Safety Regulatory Adviser in the ACT and Victoria, and as Commissioner to the Queensland 2011 Floods Commission of Inquiry.

Phil published and presented a number of technical papers to various professional bodies including ANCOLD, ICOLD, and the Australian and International Geomechanics Society.  He was a Guest Lecturer at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University and a Research Project Advisor at Monash University, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Wollongong.

Phil passed away in 2019.

John Phillips BE, MEng Sc, FIE Aust, Exec Eng (awarded in 2012)

John is a past Chairman of ANCOLD, the ANCOLD Tailings Subcommittee and Australian representative on the ICOLD Tailings Committee. He was lead author of the 1999 ANCOLD Tailings Guidelines and peer reviewer of the 2012 Guidelines. He was President of the Engineers Australia WA Division in 2006 and Chairman of the WA Centre of Engineering Leadership and Management.

He is the past Chairman of GHD, a multi-disciplinary consulting company which employs over 8,000 staff in Australia and 14 other countries.

John initially worked for the Commonwealth Government on rocket launching facilities at Woomera, the design of foundations for a number of Reserve Bank buildings and the international terminals at Tullamarine and Mascot.

His 40 years’ experience with GHD has focused on dams, mining infrastructure and water management and  has resulted in six Engineering Excellence Awards He has worked in eleven countries covering over 90 major tailings dams, 20 major water dams and three dams built into the sea. He continues to provide audits, peer reviews, design advice and legal advice to a wide range of mining clients.

Keith Murley (awarded in 2008)

Keith Murley was born in Bendigo in 1929 and educated at Bendigo High School to the Matric level in 1945. He was awarded a Dafyyd Lewis Scholarship in 1946 to study Engineering at Melbourne University, graduating in 1949.Keith joined the Vic State Rivers & Water Supply Commission in Jan 1950 in the Irrigation and Drainage design section to work on the big expansion of irrigation in Victoria after WW2. He transferred to the Commissioners Department in 1951 as a Personal Technical Assistant to Chairman, L R East and held that to 1953, with a brief period in the field on the Big Eildon Dam Project, transferring back to Designs in 1953.During 1954 – 1955 on leave without pay to Europe, he attended an ICID Congress in North Africa & France on the way. Keith gained construction experience with Geo Wimpey in the UK, on factory buildings. During this time he attended a Hydraulic conference in Grenoble. Keith was advised to finish in the UK to accompany the SRWSC Chief Construction Engineer in 1955 on a study tour of dams & prestressed concrete in UK & Europe, including an ICOLD Congress in France, & then USA. Keith’s career then went forward to include;

  • Back to Irrigation & Drainage designs from 1955 to 1969, then to Dams Section from 1969 to 1971.
  • From 1971 – 1973 Senior Designing Engineer, Main Urban Branch. Designs & contracts for Urban systems. Then in 1973 back to Dams Design Section with involvement with ANCOLD.
  • Attended ICOLD Congress in Mexico in 1976 and after a study tour in USA following up on Dam Safety procedures.
  • Appointed Chief Designing Engineer in 1980, mainly dams but also irrigation & drainage works including co-ordination & support for field design team, AIDAB Bah Bolon Scheme, irrigation and flood protection project, North Sumatra with a visit to the site.
  • Active with ANCOLD & ICOLD for many years. Convener of the ANCOLD Committee which prepared the 1986 Guidelines on Design Floods for Dams, and subsequent revision. Attended ICOLD Meetings, Mexico -1976; Italy -1980; Holland & UK – 1984; Indonesia – 1986. Was ANCOLD representative on ICOLD Committee on Dams & Floods (from 1995 to July 2000).

In retirement Keith was appointed one of the two IEAust. Nominees on the NSW Dams Safety Committee in June 1989 and served on that Committee, with continuing ANCOLD and ICOLD involvements until retired in 2000. He was an invited Expert on Panels at the ICOLD Congress, San Francisco, 1988 and ICOLD Symposium on Dams & Extreme Floods, Granada, 1992.


Len McDonald (awarded in 2006)

Len worked continuously on dam design and dam safety evaluation for thirty eight years until his retirement in 2014.He has had a long association with ANCOLD from 1979 onwards, having attended thirty three ANCOLD conferences on dams.  Len was the secretary of ANCOLD for three years from 1992 to 1994 and assistant secretary for six years from 1998 to 2003.

Len has served on a number of working groups preparing ANCOLD guidelines, most notably the guidelines on risk assessment.  From 1987 to 1993 he was a member of the group which produced the 1994 Guidelines on Risk Assessment.  He was then appointed the convenor of the second ANCOLD working group on risk assessment from 1995 to 2003.  That group’s work culminated in publication of the new ANCOLD Guidelines on Risk Assessment in October 2003.

He also represented ANCOLD on a number of ICOLD technical committees, his main involvement being with the ICOLD Committee on Dam Safety from 1998 to 2003 and on which he served as acting chairman for 2002 and 2003.  During that time Len was the lead author for the ICOLD Bulletin No. 130 Risk Assessment in Dam Safety Management – A Reconnaisance of Benefits, Methods and Current Applications published in 2005.

Len was chairman of the NSW Dams Safety Committee from 1997 to 2009 where he acquired an international reputation for dam safety risk management in the regulatory context.  He was an invited speaker for the Workshop on Tolerable Risk held by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Bureau of Reclamation and the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Alexandria, Virginia in March 2008.

Len has been recognised for his work in dam safety and risk assessment, having been made honorary life member of ANCOLD in 2003 and named as one of the one hundred most influential engineers by Engineers Australia in 2006.

Adrian Williams (awarded in 2006)

Now aged 73 years (in 2017), Adrian has a BE Civil, Univ NSW 1965 and retired FIEAust and CPEng affiliations.His career involved technical (dams related) and senior management positions with Sydney Water Corporation and Sydney Catchment Authority up to Dec 2000.

Other activities up to 2014 involved being a member and past Chairman NSW Dams Safety Committee, Chairman ANCOLD, Chairman ICOLD Committee on Dam Safety, Vice President ICOLD, consultant to BC Hydro, Canada; SunWater, Qld; State Water, NSW; and A/Director GMW, Victoria.

Adrian’s association with ANCOLD and ICOLD has been professionally very stimulating and rewarding with lasting wonderful memories of outstanding national and international conferences, study tours and social functions.