From cobra swamp to golden land – The story of an airport, Brisbane

27 September, 2017 | 17:30 - 19:30

Join us for our AGM and lecture
Join us for our AGM and lecture

About this event

If you would like to assist the ICE in your region, please stand for a role at the AGM. See voting procedure and branch nomination forms attached, positions available are outlined in the nomination form.

From Cobra Swamp to Golden Land – The Story of an Airport, presented by Stephen Buttling, Principal, National Geotechnical Consultants.

This presentation describes what happened during more than 4 years spent on site at what is now Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, turning it from a greenfield site into an international airport. The talk covers not only geotechnical engineering, but also civil and structural engineering, airport planning, architecture, hydrology, contract management and M&E, as well as a sprinkling of politics, humour and frustration!

Event materials

The following materials are available for download:


Stephen Buttling

Stephen Buttling graduated in civil engineering from Imperial College, and has been a geotechnical engineer since finishing a PhD at Bristol University in 1973. After working for 9 years in the UK, he spent 24 years to reach Australia, wasting time in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand building underground railways, elevated highways, ports and harbours, and eventually an airport, reaching Brisbane in 2006.

He was admitted as a Member of the ICE in 1977, and transferred to the Class of Fellows in 2001. In Brisbane he has worked for Hyder, now part of Arcadis, Piling Contractors, now part of Keller Australia, and GHD, but now operates as National Geotechnical Consultants.