Technical Advisors

SoilVision Systems Ltd. is proud to partner with an outstanding group of diverse professionals. Our board of Technical Advisors have provided SoilVision with a depth of knowledge in the areas of Slope Stability Analysis, Groundwater Seepage Analysis, Stress-Deformation Numerical Modeling, Mining, Tailings Storage Facility Design, Geotechnical and Civil Engineering, Hydrogeology and Water Resource Management, Environmental Management and Remediation.

The purpose of the advisory board is to communicate the senior experts which are involved in the process of continual software development and usage.

Murray Fredlund, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Field of Expertise: Unsaturated Soils/Slope Stability

Murray Fredlund President, CEO SoilVision Systems Ltd.

Murray founded SoilVision Systems Ltd. in 1997 and has spent much of his time since guiding the development of geotechnical software development. He has been involved in a number of numerical modeling projects involving heap leach flow, heap leach stability, waste rock water balance and stability, tailings water balance, and tailings consolidation. More recent software projects supervised have been the release of SVOFFICE™5 and the new SVSLOPE® 2D/3D limit equilibrium slope stability software package. His work continues in the areas of i) unsaturated heap leach flow, ii) uranium and oil-sand large-strain tailings consolidation, and iii) applications of 3D slope stability. He continues to be active in the presentation of short courses around the world as well as training on the use of geotechnical software. The software products of SoilVision Systems Ltd. apply cutting edge research to the geotechnical community and have pioneered the application of 3D analysis to main-stream.


Ken Mercer

Ken Mercer, BSc, MSc, PhD, MBA

Field of Expertise: Mining Geotechnical

3rd Rock Consulting, Founding Director
Adjunct Associate Professor of Mining Geomechanics, University of Western Australia

Ken has more than 29 years of experience in the civil engineering and mining industries as a geotechnical engineer, researcher and consultant. Ken’s general areas of expertise include both soil mechanics and rock engineering in all aspects of mining waste landforms and surface (open pit) mining operations. This experience has been gained over a wide range of commodities but particularly platinum, heavy mineral sands and iron ore in the Pilbara.

Ken holds an MSc from University of Cape Town, a PhD in mining engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, in the field of the deformation behaviour of unsupported rock slopes, and an MBA from Curtin University, Australia.

Ken has worked as a consultant for most of his career to a range of clients mainly in Africa and Australia but also internationally as far afield as Europe and Asia. He has also gained four years of operational experience for Anglo American and BHP Billiton. Before joining the ACG for three years of research and teaching, Ken was a divisional manager and an executive consultant for the Snowden Geotechnical Group. He is currently the founding director of independent geotechnical consultants, 3rd Rock Consulting.

Ken has a keen interest in training and mentoring and has provided a wide range of environmental geomechanics and rock mechanics related training courses throughout Australia, Africa and Asia for both mining companies, consultants, regulators and NGO/non profit organisations.


Dr. Delwyn G. Fredlund, O.C., P. Eng.

Field of Expertise: Unsaturated Soils; Numerical modelingDelwyn Fredlund

Delwyn G. Fredlund has spent over 45 years conducting research into the behavior of unsaturated and expansive soils.

Most of his career was spent at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, where he organized the Unsaturated Soils Group for research into all aspects of unsaturated soils behavior. During his career he supervised about 100 M.Sc. and Ph.D. graduate students. His research studies have involved all areas of unsaturated soil behavior; ranging from the flow of water and air through unsaturated soils to the shear strength and volume change of unsaturated soils.

He is the author, along with Dr. Harianto Rahardjo, of the book, "Soil Mechanics for Unsaturated Soils", in 1993. A second book, "Unsaturated Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice", was published in 2012 by Del Fredlund, Harianto Rahardjo and Murray Fredlund. Both books were published by John Wiley & Sons. He has also published approximately 500 journal and conference research papers and has delivered many keynote lectures at conferences. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Legget award from the Canadian Geotechnical Society, the Terzaghi award from ASCE and the Blight award from the ISSMGE.

The present primary focus of Dr. Fredlund’s work involves bringing unsaturated soil mechanics into routine geotechnical engineering practice.


Dr. Dirk Van Zyl, BS., BSc, MS, Ph.D., Executive MBA

Field of Expertise: Mining Geotechnical Dirk Van Zyl

Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada

Dirk has more than 30 years experience in research, teaching and consulting in tailings and mined earth structures. During that period he was a faculty member for 13 years at four Universities in the US and Canada. For the last 10 years much of his attention has been focused on mining and sustainable development. He has been involved internationally in many mining projects. These projects covered the whole mining life cycle, from exploration to closure and post-closure, in a large range of climatic and geographic environments. His present research is in the area of the contributions that mining makes to sustainable development as well as the application of life cycle assessment to mined earth structures.


Gilson Gitirana Jr. B.Eng, MSc, Ph.D.

Field of Expertise: Geotechnical/Slope Stability Gilson Gitirana

Associate Professor at the Federal University of Goias, Goiania, GO, Brazil

Prof. Gilson Gitirana has collaborated on research and development with SoilVision since 1999. From 1999 to 2005 he was a research engineer, being involved in the development of early seepage and stress-deformation numerical solutions. In 2006 he moved back to Brazil and has since led a research group on Unsaturated Soil Mechanics and Computational Geomechanics. SoilVision and Prof. Gilson’s research team collaborate on numerous R&D projects. The most notable contributions of their research efforts are in the area of coupled hydro-air-thermal-mechanical simulation, soil-atmosphere modelling, probabilistic analysis, slope stability using Dynamic Programming, and three-dimensional slope stability using FEM stress analysis.


Dr. Shlomo Orr, Ph.D., P.Eng

Field of Expertise: HydrogeologyShlomo Orr

Orr & Associates

Over 33 years of extensive consulting, research, and project management experience in modeling, planning, and controlling complex subsurface flow and transport phenomena. Broad background in conceptual and computational-numerical modeling of fluid flow and solute transport in saturated and unsaturated porous and fractured formations, including multiphase and non isothermal flows. Developed stochastic models to account for uncertainty in heterogeneous media. Taught graduate courses in groundwater hydrology and geostatistics. Developed Intelligent Control applications for optimal management of various complex natural and industrial systems. Reviewer for major journals and books. Professional Engineer (Alberta).


Dr. George Zyvoloski, Ph.D.

Field of Expertise: HydrogeologyShlomo Orr

With more than 40 years of experience, Dr. George Zyvoloski is renowned for being the original creator and primary developer of the FEHM computer code and responsible for the subsurface flow components of the software. During his employment at LANL (Los Alamos National Laboratory), FEHM has been continuously developed and has been at the state of the art in subsurface flow and transport.

He has been an early developer of the Control Volume Finite Element Method (CVFE) and has developed methods for coupling CVFE methods for flow and transport with traditional FE methods for stress and displacements. Additionally, he has developed algorithims for reducing the active of variables in coupled subsurface physics problems.

His most most recent work has been to develop coupled multi-fluid and mechanical stress models (THM) for geothermal energy extraction, enhanced geothermal systems, carbon sequestration, kerogen extraction from oil shale, and methane extraction from hydrates.


John Quaranta

John D. Quaranta, Associate Professor Ph.D. P.E.

Field of Expertise: Transportation

West Virginia University
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. John Quaranta is an Associate Professor in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at West Virginia University. Dr. Quaranta's research focuses on improving dam safety from mineral extraction effects on critical infrastructure including dams and reservoirs; and investigating alternative reclamation approaches for large-scale land sustainability. Dr. Quaranta teaches courses covering soil mechanics, earthwork design, seepage, geosynthetics, and soil testing.


Louis Fourie

Louis Fourie, BSc (Hons), P.Geo., Pri.Sci.Nat.

Field of Expertise: Geological Modeling

Owner & Principal, Terra Modelling Services Inc.

With nearly 18 years of experience in multiple commodities, from diamonds to potash, in multiple locations, from Southern Africa to Western Canada, Louis brings a wealth of experience to the table. Louis has had extensive experience in the modeling of mine expansion through geological modeling and geostatistics.