Peter McBean
Joint Managing Director

Peter’s role as Joint Managing Director of WGA allows him to continue his passion for engineering by engaging in and leading many flagship projects across the business. Over his 30 years’ experience as a consulting structural engineer, Peter has fostered an expert capability in structural dynamics and earthquake engineering. In additional to design activities, Peter is an active Australian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Force Engineer.

Following the devastating Christchurch earthquake of February 2011, Peter spent two weeks within the city, providing structural engineering advice to the Australian USAR response team whilst experiencing over 200 after-shocks. For this work he was awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal by the Australian Government.

Peter’s experience in Christchurch was both personally and professionally life changing. He describes the environment like “being on a post-apocalyptic  movie set” and the unnerving silence whilst walking across the rubble in search of people. What was a vibrant and bustling city, had the majority of its buildings and culturally significant architecture destroyed.

The first hand experience of witnessing the devastation in Adelaide’s sister city has cemented Peter’s purpose in the field of seismic engineering. He has been instrumental in changing industry focus, and reinforcing the critical responsibility and accountability of engineers to deliver built environments that adequately consider the potential impact of earthquakes in their design.

A visual record of this devastating event has been shared by Peter to mentor the WGA team and presented to Government, peers, architects, councils and communities, to highlight the hazards we face and the importance of implementing seismic design principles. This has been evident in his role as Structural Engineering Design Director for the new Royal Adelaide Hospital. The $1.85b project is the first building in Australia to be fully compliant with the intent of recent changes made to Australian Standards, requiring buildings with a post disaster role to remain operational following a moderate to severe earthquake.

He is a Fellow of The Institution of Engineers Australia, a Chartered Professional Engineer, and has held a number of professional advisory and industry roles including his current appointment as National President for the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society and his appointment as the Seismic expert on the Engineers Australia National Infrastructure Advisory Panel. Peter is also a member of Standards Australia Code Committee BD-006-11, which is responsible for Earthquake Actions in Australia, AS1170.4 and the BD-002 Code Committee responsible for AS3600 “Concrete Structures”. This standard is currently being extensively updated to reflect seismic design changes arising from the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission in New Zealand. Peter is co-authoring these design changes.

Peter has additionally authored many journal articles and conference papers on seismic design and recently co-authored the Steel Reinforcement Institute of Australia's new publication Guide to Seismic Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Buildings in Australia. The Guide won the 2015 CIA National Award for Excellence in the Technology category. 

Peter’s project experience includes:

  • New Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Flinders University Student Hub
  • Burnside Village Redevelopment
  • O-Bahn City Access Project
  • Defence Infrastructure Panel
  • Rundle Place