Professor Arnold Dix

Highly collaborative and supportive, working closely with his clients and colleagues on every project to ensure the very best results and outcomes.

Professor Arnold Dix prides himself on finding technical and regulatory solutions to complex, novel and mission critical challenges in underground spaces.

By combining highly accomplished technical and legal expertise (Professor in Engineering and of Counsel White & Case) his problem solving is both pragmatic and appropriate from a corporate risk perspective.

Arnold’s focus is upon pragmatic and ethical outcomes – not merely process and procedure. He provides risk mitigation and disaster response advice in complex technical, scientific, political, religious and engineering contexts. He is recognized as an advocate, independent expert and world authority in these areas.

At the operational level he regularly provides advice and “in field” services on fitness for purpose, including design concept review, commissioning, procedures and operational readiness. His special expertise is focused on construction safety, operational safety, operations, environment, refurbishment and security – to more technical issues associated with the actual safety performance from an operational safety perspective.

Arnold Dix holds appointments on dispute avoidance boards and tender evaluation panels for a range of projects around the world.  His unique skill set of law and engineering provide his with keen insights and ability to simplify not only right from wrong but decipher truth from fiction to ensure a pragmatic and real outcome to difficult matters. He is highly regarded by his peers as one of the leading independent experts on underground infrastructure, buildings and transportation risk.

Arnold advises on the peculiar risks associated with underground construction from geotechnical investigations, selection of the best techniques and equipment, to selecting the most appropriate contractual arrangements, fire and life safety and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Professor Dix’s special interests are in the underground and transportation infrastructure – from construction risk (including contractual, fire safety and insurance issues) to more technical issues associated with the actual safety performance from an operational safety perspective.

In 2020 Professor Dix joined with Lord Robert Mair and the Honorable Peter Vickery QC to form Underground Works Chambers. The Founding Members of Underground Works Chambers offer a unique range of combined specialist expertise to manage the risks and provide a safer contractual space in which the works can be carried out to successful completion and operation. Between them they hold qualifications in technology, engineering and construction law, science, civil and geotechnical engineering and in underground construction works. They adhere to the high standards of professional conduct of their respective professions.

Professor Dix sat as Australia’s delegate on the Tunnel Safety Committee of PIARC (World Road Association) and was the appointed task leader (2008+) for the review of underground fixed firefighting systems. He also chaired the working group on air quality in the underground from 2003 to 2008 and is a joint author or reviewer of many of PIARCs key fire, operational and tunnel risk publications. Professor Dix is currently a member of PIARCs risk working group and alternative fuels working group.

At the operational level Arnold was invited by the United States to serve on the prestigious United States National Fire Protections Underground Road and Rail Committees (130 & 502) which underlie the safety standards for a large proportion of the world’s underground road and rail systems. Arnold has held his committee roles on the two most important road and rail tunnel fire safety standards for nearly 20 years and is one of the NFPAs accredited teachers internationally on these standards.

Arnold is recognised in the United States of America as a subject matter expert in fire related matters. He provides advice to the Federal Highways Administration and Colorado Department of Transport. In June 2022 Arnold was awarded the NFPA highest award for NFPA committee contribution to the standards of the Special Achievement and Committee Service Award in recognition and appreciation of distinguished service to the NFPA in the development of NFPA codes and standards.

In 2008 the British Tunnelling Society invited him to present the prestigious bi-annual Harding Lecture on contemporary world tunnelling issues. In that year he was also invited by the European Parliaments’ STOA (tunnel safety committee) to give evidence on tunnel safety matters (Brussels) at the EU Parliament as a subject matter expert.

In March 2011 Arnold was awarded the Alan Neyland Australasian Tunnelling Society bi-annual award for excellence in tunnelling (tunnel fire safety) and his contribution to fire safety in the world. This is the highest honour for tunnelling professionals in Australia.

Arnold’s interest in alternative fuels is reflected in his membership of NFPA hydrogen task group for vehicles since 2017, and his appointments to the new energy carriers committee of PIARC. In his disaster investigator capacity, he has investigated catastrophic CNG bus fires (both above and below ground) and provided confidential advice to government and transport operators on both regulatory reform and the most appropriate engineering responses to high pressure gas related fires in public transportation.

His work is mostly confidential, always complex, and usually involves high levels of ethical conduct in an underground context.