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Vale: Richard Jewell and John Neilson

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We at ATC Williams are saddened to note the recent passing of two long time colleagues. Both will be missed.

Richard Jewell

After a career as a lecturer and Associate Professor at The University of Western Australia, Richard “retired” to the work of establishing the Australian Centre for Geomechanics (closely associated with the university) in 2000. Since then he has been intimately involved with managing the Paste Conferences, and the production of two editions of the Paste and Thickened Tailings handbooks. As long time contributors to these conferences and handbooks, a number of the staff at ATC Williams got to know Richard well as a great communicator and organiser.

Richard passed on 28th September 2020. He was 87 but always looked younger.


John Neilson

John spent much of his working life at the Geological Survey of Victoria ending up as head of the Engineering Geology Section. He had a continuing understanding and interest in the Yarra Delta sediments, and many will know John as a contributor and co-editor of the Engineering Geology of the Melbourne. Those “in the know” credit him with being closely involved in the naming of the Coode Island Silt and the Fisherman’s Bend Silt. (In the geotechnical world these classify as clays, but John, being a geologist, classified based on particle size, not plasticity). John had a “second life” as a consultant and remained active and interested in professional societies.

John passed away on 17th October 2020 at the age of 90. He was one of nature’s true gentlemen.