Failure Presentations

Got Curiosity, Humility, and Honesty? – On Being an Effective Investigator of Geo-Failures”; Paper 73-1, Session No. 73: Forensic and Engineering Geology Case Studies: A Tribute to James E. Slosson; 2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting, October 29, 2007.

“The Geological Engineer as a Court-Appointed Expert: Retrieval of The Forbes Collection 0f Hawaiian Cultural Artifacts”; Paper 73-5, Session No. 73: Forensic and Engineering Geology Case Studies: A Tribute to James E. Slosson; 2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting, October 29, 2007.

“From Moist Through Damp, Wet, Saturated, and Inundated: The Role of Water in Geo-Failures”, MCLE Credit Course for the County of Santa Cruz, September 12, 2005.

“The Sea Cliff Incident: How a Surface Dimple Became a Catastrophic Pit”, Abstract in Program with Abstracts, 2004 Annual Meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Dearborn, MI.

“Tomato-Induced Sinkholes- Underground Construction Defects – Not ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’”, Abstract in Program with Abstracts, 2004 Annual Meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Dearborn, MI; and Dinner Presentation to San Francisco Section of Association of Engineering Geologists, Berkeley, CA, September 14, 2004 (with B. Mathieson and J. Burton).

“KISS and Cry:  the Woes Resulting from Over-Simplification in Site Characterization and Geo-Design,” Annual Conference of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Reno, Nevada, September 27, 2002.

“Lessons of the Failure Kind Arising from Professional Ignorance and Arrogance,” Annual Conference of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Reno, Nevada, September 25, 2002 (with J. Burton).

“Lessons of the Failure Kind Resulting from Ignoring Uncertainty,” Staff development seminar for Strategic Decisions Group, Palo Alto, California, September 20, 2002.

“The Comforts of Ignorance and the Benefits of Arrogance,” (or, Lessons of the Failure Kind/Lessons in Mischaracterizations for Geo-Professionals/Engineering Professionals), (often co-authored with J. Burton, PE, GE): Guest Lecturer, Mechanics of Materials Course, Dept. of Architecture, Univ. Washington, Dec 9, 2005; Distinguished Speaker Series, Department of GeoSciences, San Francisco State Univ., October 8, 2005;Guest Lecture for CE 290L Law for Engineers, Dept of civil Engineering, Univ. California at Berkeley, March 4, 2005; Technical and Professional Seminar to CST Ingenieure und Geologen, Aarau, Switzerland, June 28, 2004; Dinner Meeting Presentation to Annual Joint Dinner, Association of Engineering Geologists, American Society of Civil Engineers and Younger Members Forum, Reno, NV, March 18, 2004; Dinner Meeting of Association Of Engineering Geologists, Oakland, September 9, 2003; CE 290, Structural Performance and Failures, Department of Civil Engineering, Stanford University, April 29, 2002; Staff Development Seminar, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, Moccasin, California, May 15, 2002; CEE 254 Cost Estimating Seminar, Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering Group, Stanford University, CA, November 20, 2001; Engineering Department Staff of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco, CA, November 7, 2001; Joint Dinner Meeting of the Seattle Sections of American Society of Civil Engineers and the Association of Engineering Geology, Seattle, WA, September 20, 2001; Geo-Engineering Group of the Department of Civil Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, September 5, 2001; Geotechnical Section Senior Staff Retreat, CALTRANS, August 29, 2001.

“Forensic Investigation of the Sea Cliff Incident,” aka: “The Sea Cliff Incident; December 11, 1995, San Francisco, California”:  G471/G571 – Case Histories in Engineering Geology, Department of Geology, Portland State University, Oregon, April 2, 2008; Geosyntec Consultants, Portland Office, Luncheon Seminar, April 1, 2008; Geosyntec Consultants, Oakland Office, Lunch Seminar, March 27, 2998; Science Classes, Presidio Middle School, San Francisco, March 18, 2008; Noon Seminar, East Bay MUD, Oakland, California, April 10, 2006; Technical Seminar to R.W. Beck Consultants, Denver, CO, May 6 2004; Lecture to Alamo Elementary School, San Francisco, March 31, 2004; Guest Lecture to Health and Safety Seminar, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco, CA, March 11, 2004; Technical Seminar to Technical Services Group, Lihir Gold Mine, Lihir, Papua New Guinea, Feb 28 2004; Presentation to AA 252, Techniques of Failure Analysis, Stanford University, April 22, 2002; Engineering Bureau staff of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, June 27, 2001, San Francisco, CA; Joint Geology and Civil Engineering Colloquium, Technical University of Graz, Austria, May 3, 2001; Staff of the Water Pollution Control Department, Southeast Treatment Plant, May 24, 2001, San Francisco, CA.; Joint Civil Engineering/Geology Seminar, Department of Civil Engineering, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, November 8, 2000; Syncrude Canada, Ltd, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, September 19, 2000; CE294: Geotechnical and Environmental Failures, Department of Civil Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, April 1999; the Association of Engineering Geologists, Reno, NV, May 15, 1997; California Water Environment Association, CA, August 8, 1996; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, CA, May 13, 1996; Department of Geology, Imperial College, University of London, October 2, 1996; Institution of Civil Engineers, London, October 2, 1996; Cambridge University, Department of Civil Engineering, October 4, 1996; Water Research Center, Swindon, U.K., October 7, 1996; Various Public Groups in San Francisco, CA, April 11, 1996.

“The Sea Cliff Collapse,” Keynote Lecture to 2001 Claims Conference of Northern California, September 12, 2001, Sacramento, CA.

“The Benefits of Arrogance,” Lecture to CE287:  Performance and Failure of Structures, May 21, 2001, Department of Civil Engineering, Stanford University, CA.

“Forensic Investigation of the Failure of an Interceptor Sewer:  The Sea Cliff Incident,” Presentation in Session 6 Advanced Forensic Investigation of a Failed Trunk Sewer Interceptor, WEFTEC 2000 Conference, Water Environment Federation, Anaheim, California, October 16, 2000.

“Why Did the Titanic Sink?” Invited Presentation to Claims Conference of Northern California, Sacramento, California, September 15, 2000.

“Solving the Puzzle:  Explaining Forensic Investigations,” and “Communicating the Puzzle Picture:  From Hand Waving to Animations,” Presentations in CM101 Workshop of Forensic Puzzles and Pictures – Guidelines for the Resolution of Large Claims, Annual Conference of the Risk and Insurance Managers Society, San Francisco, CA, May 2000.

“Water, Water Everywhere… and Mostly It Causes Trouble:  The Role of Water in Civil Engineering Failures,” MCLE Short Course presented to Bledsoe, Cathcart, Pedersen, and Diestel LLP, San Francisco, California, November 2000; Lewis, d’Amato Brisbois and Brisgaard LLP, Los Angeles California, September 13, 2000 (with B. McDonald.);  Office of the City Attorney, City of Oakland, California, November 16, 2000; Office of the County Counsel, San Mateo County, CA, December 1999 (Exponent Civil Engineering staff).; presentation to the Golden Gate Chapter of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, CA, July 16, 1998 (with C. Snell).

“Black and White and the Big Gray Area in Between:  Ethical Problems for Civil/Structural Engineers,” Seminar for Ethics Analysis, Engineering Economics and Operational Research Center, the Decision and Ethics Center, Stanford University, California, May 23, 2000 (with B. McDonald)

“Whose Water Was It? – A Forensic Investigation into Whether Public Water Contributed to a Landslide,” Presentation, Bay Area Counsel Association Meeting, Capitola, CA, October 1999 (with S. Torres, C. Snell, and J. Meldrum).

“The Geological and Geotechnical Implications of Deeply Buried Asphaltic Concrete,” Presentation, 41st Annual Meeting of Association of Engineering Geologists, Salt Lake City, UT, September 1999.

“Acknowledging the Gap Between Soils and Structures:  A Benefit of Knowing What You Do Not Know,” Presentation, CE287:  Performance and Failure of Structures, Department of Civil Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, May 1999.

“On Becoming a Failure: Route to Success,” Recruitment Presentation, University of California, Berkeley, CA, February 1999.

“Puzzling Geo-Failures:  Forensic Investigations of the Geo-Something Kind,” and “Puzzling Geo-Failures,” presentations to: CE247:  Topics in Personality, Leadership and Negotiation, Department of Civil Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, January 1999; Geotechnical Engineering Group, Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, CA, February 18, 1998; Geotechnical Engineering Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, at Champaign-Urbana, IL, March 11, 1998; Department of Civil Engineering, Stanford University, CA, May 11, 1998.

“Unnatural Disasters:  Lessons that Facilities Managers Can Learn from Previous Building Failures,” Presented to the East Bay Chapter of the International Facilities Management Association, San Ramon, CA, January 14, 1998 (with B. McDonald).

“Three Perspectives on the Sea Cliff Incident, December 11, 1995,” Joint Meeting of ASCE/AEG, November 12, 1996, Berkeley, CA (with T. Cockburn and F. Rollo).

“Geoscience Déjà Vu:  Using Hindsight for Infrastructure Risk Assessment,” Annual Meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Brunswick, NJ, September 26, 1996.

“The Geological Engineer as a Failure Analyst,” Annual Meeting, Cordilleran Section Geological Society of America, April 23, 1996 (with B. Hilbert and J. Wren).