Geo-Risk 2017

Denver, Colorado | June 4-7, 2017


Honor Lectures

Sunday, June 4, 2017
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Welcome Keynote Lecture
Suzanne Lacasse Lecturer

Gregory BaecherGregory B. Baecher, Ph.D., M.ASCE, University of Maryland

“Bayesian Thinking in Geotechnics”

Dr. Gregory B. Baecher is Glenn L. Martin Professor of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland.  Dr. Baecher was a member of the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET) that performed the risk analysis for post-Katrina New Orleans, and is a consultant to the water resources sector on risk and safety. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the author of four books on risk related to civil infrastructure.

Monday, June 5, 2017
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Opening Keynote
Wilson Tang Lecturer

Gordon A. FentonGordon A. Fenton, Ph.D., P.Eng, P.E., M.ASCE, Dalhousie University

“Future Directions in Reliability-Based Geotechnical Design”

Dr. Fenton is a Professor cross-appointed to the Civil Engineering and Engineering Mathematics Departments at Dalhousie University. His research interests include probabilistic modeling of geotechnical systems and the development of geotechnical reliability-based design codes and has authored over 140 peer-reviewed papers. He is currently Chair of the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code Foundations and Geotechnical Systems Subcommittee, chair of the National Building of Canada (NBCC) Task Group on Reliability-Based Geotechnical Design, a member of the NBCC Standing Committee on Structural Design, and a member of the NBCC Task Group on Climatic Loads. He is also the North American Managing Editor for the international journal Georisk, past chair and current member of the ASCE Geo-Institute Risk Assessment and Management Committee, and vice-chair of the ISSMGE Engineering Practice of Risk Assessment and Management Committee. For his research efforts, Dr. Fenton was selected by the Canadian Geotechnical Society to deliver the Cross-Canada Lecture Tour in the fall of 2015, by the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering to deliver the CHBDC lecture tour in Eastern Canada in the spring of 2016, has received the C. Allin Cornell Award from the International Civil Engineering Risk and Reliability Association, the Thomas C. Keefer Award from the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, the George Stephenson Medal from the Institution of Civil Engineers, UK, the Gzowski Medal from the Engineering Institute of Canada, and was elected a Fellow of both the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Engineering Institute of Canada. His research work is summarized in his textbook Risk Assessment in Geotechnical Engineering, Wiley (2008).

Invited Speakers

Monday, June 5, 2017
1:30 – 2:00 pm
Keynote Lecture

Dennis E. BeckerDennis E. Becker III, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, Golder Associates Ltd.

“Geotechnical Risk Management and Reliability Based Design: Lessons Learned”

Dennis E. Becker is a Senior Geotechnical Engineer and Principal of Golder Associates with 30 years of national and international experience covering all aspects of geotechnical engineering on numerous large scale civil engineering and resource development projects. Dr. Dr. Becker is the Leader of the International Ground Engineering Group in Golder Associates and is a registered professional engineer in the Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He also serves on technical committees of the Canadian Standards Association, the National Building Code of Canada, the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code, and the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), being extensively involved with the development and implementation of limit states design for foundations. In 1994, Dr. Becker was awarded the Canadian Geotechnical Colloquium (a prominent commissioned work and award given by the Canadian Geotechnical Society), and in 1996 he was elected as Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC). In 1998, Dennis was recognized for his technical capabilities and contribution to geotechnical engineering by being selected to do the Cross-Canada Lecture Tour, a prestigious lecture tour that is presented across Canada. In 2001, he was awarded the G.G. Meyerhof Award by the Canadian Geotechnical Society for his foundation engineering involvement on the Confederation Bridge. In 2004, he was awarded the EIC Canadian Pacific Railway Engineering Medal. In 2010, the EIC awarded Dennis with the Julian C. Smith Medal for “engineering achievement in Canada”. Also in 2010, the Canadian Geotechnical Society awarded Dennis the R. F. Legget Medal, their most senior and prestigious award for the development of techniques to geotechnical issues of national concern. Read More (PDF)

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Keynote Lecture

Brian SimpsonBrian Simpson, OBE, FREng, Ph.D., FICE, Eur. Ing, Arup Fellow, Arup Geotechnics

“Eurocode 7 and Robustness”

Dr. Brian Simpson is an Arup Fellow, a principal of Arup Geotechnics and an Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham, UK. He completed his PhD in Cambridge in 1971—one of the first applications of finite element analysis to the highly non-linear behavior of soils. Since then, he has worked on a wide range of geotechnical and ground-structure interaction problems, maintaining particular interests in numerical modelling, retaining structures, foundations and tunnels. He presented the BGA Rankine Lecture in 1992 and a State-of-the-Art report on Geotechnical Analysis and Design at the 2009 international conference of ISSMGE. Since the early 1980’s, he has been involved in the development of Eurocode 7 (Geotechnical Design), having been a member of its drafting panels and vice-chairman of the CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) committee on Eurocode 7 (SC 7). He has authored two commentaries on Eurocode 7 and several papers on various related issues. He is the current chair of ISSMGE Technical Committee TC 205 on safety and serviceability in geotechnical engineering. In 2004-5 he was one of the expert witnesses called to the Public Enquiry in Singapore following the collapse of the Nicoll Highway Station during construction.

Tuesday, June 6, 2016
9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Keynote Lecture

Steven G. VickSteven G. Vick, P.E., Consulting Geotechnical Engineer

“Dam Safety Risk: From Deviance to Diligence”

Throughout his career, Steven G. Vick has focused on applying risk-based methods to geotechnical practice, beginning with graduate studies at MIT where he probabilistically characterized geologic conditions for tunneling simulations. Later, he helped pioneer risk-based methods in dam safety with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and other damowners in Canada, Norway, and the US, while also adapting risk assessment to safety and environmental risks in the mining industry. His use of subjective probability in many of these applications culminated in the publication of Degrees of Belief: Subjective Probability and Engineering Judgment that explores the relationships among uncertainty, inductive processes, and engineering practice. In 2011, Vick delivered the Cross-Canada Lecture on Risk Assessment and Public Policy for the Canadian Geotechnical Society. He has been an independent geotechnical consultant for over 30 years and is currently engaged in technical review and failure investigations.

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Keynote Lecture

John W. FranceJohn W. France, P.E., D.GE, D.WRE, M.ASCE, AECOM

“Risk Analysis Is Fundamentally Changing the Landscape of Dam Safety in the United States”

Mr. France is a registered professional engineer, who is currently a Vice President and National Dam Technology Leader for URS Corporation. He has over 35 years of consulting engineering experience, during which time he has worked on hundreds of civil engineering projects. For the past 25 years his professional career has been focused on dam engineering and dam safety services. During his career, Mr. France has been the owner’s engineer at the time of serious dam safety incidents at three dams, and he has both prepared EAPs and reviewed existing EAPs for a number of dams. He has served on expert consultant review boards for dam safety projects for the Bureau of Reclamation, the Corps of Engineers and BC Hydro.

Jennifer L. WilliamsJennifer L. Williams, P.E., AECOM

Ms. Williams is a registered professional engineer with AECOM in Denver, where she has worked as a geotechnical engineer for about 20 years. She received her Civil Engineering undergraduate degree from Colorado School of Mines and geotechnical master’s degree from University of Colorado. The majority of her professional career has focused on dam safety risk analyses, inspections, and rehabilitation design and construction. She has served in a variety of risk assessment roles including risk analyst, facilitator, and estimator for private and federal dam owners and regulators.

1:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Keynote Lecture

C. Hsein JuangC. Hsein Juang, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, Clemson University

“Assessing Soil Liquefaction and Effect Using Probabilistic Methods”

Dr. Charng Hsein Juang received his B.S. and M.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 1974 and 1976, respectively, from National Cheng Kung University and Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 1981. He joined the faculty of Clemson University in 1982 and has been with Clemson University ever since. Dr. Juang teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses in geotechnical engineering. Among his favorite courses are Geotechnical Engineering, Foundation Engineering, Reliability, and Fuzzy and Neural Approaches in Civil Engineering.Dr. Juang past research work dealt with slope stability, soil-buried pipes interaction, soil and rock properties, pile foundations, fuzzy sets and uncertainty modeling in geotechnical engineering. His current research work deals with liquefaction, site characterization, braced excavation, reliability and probabilistic methods in geotechnical engineering, and fuzzy and neural network applications in geotechnical engineering.Dr. Juang has received a number of awards and honors. He was proud to be selected by his students through Chi Epsilon for Outstanding Teacher Award in 1985. Among his awards and honors are the Outstanding Research Paper Award by the Chinese Institute of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering (1976), the TK Hseih Award by the Institution of Civil Engineers of the United Kingdom (2001), the Clemson University Board of Trustees Award for Faculty Excellence (2002), election to ASCE Fellow (2007), and appointment to Chair Professor at National Central University, Taiwan.

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Keynote Lecture

Armin W. StuedleinArmin W. Stuedlein, P.E., M.ASCE, Oregon State University

“Performance of Structures Founded in Spatially-Variable Soil: A Probabilistic SSI Framework”

Armin Stuedlein is an Associate Professor at Oregon State University in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering. His research has been published in over 60 technical publications and focuses on the performance of ground improvement methods, reinforced soils, and soil-structure interaction assessed using full-scale experiments, and numerical and statistical simulations. Professor Stuedlein has been recognized for his work in the field with the 2013 DFI Young Professor Paper Award and the 2015 Associate Editor of the Year Award for the Journal of Geotechnical and Geo-Environmental Engineering.


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