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Geotechnical Dam Levee Safety Contracting Construction Expert Witness

Is prepared to opine and give testimony in the following topics

Geotechnical Engineers, Geologist, Core Drillers, Dam Safety Program Manager, Levee Safety Program Manager, Lead Civil Engineer, Construction Contracts, Field of Soils Mechanics, Earth Construction, Subsurface Investigation, Instrumentation, Development Of Risk Reliability Analysis Support Risk Informed Decisions Dam Safety Modifications, Hydro Fracturing, Earth Embankments, Drilling Plans, Large Reservoirs, Locks, Dams, Power Houses, Hydropower Navigation Projects, Geological Investigation, Area Dike Raising, Offshore Breakwaters


Expert Witness No. 32

Work Experience

United States Army Corps of Engineers (06/15/2014 to Present)

Chief Geotechnical & Dam Safety Section; Geotechnical, Environmental, & HTRW Branch; Engineering Division; Mobile District.

I am currently the Chief of the Geotechnical and Dam Safety Section for the Mobile District, USACE.  I supervise a staff of twenty-two (22) including geotechnical engineers, geologist, core drillers, Dam Safety Program Manager, and Levee Safety Program Manager.  I am responsible for insuring high quality products are produced by the section and administration requirements are met.  I provide staffing recommendations to high authorities and conduct recruitment actions to support the District’s mission.  I provide technical expertise on geotechnical engineering, contracting, construction, and dam/levee safety issues.

United States Army Corps of Engineers (12/15/2013 to 006/14/2014)

Lead Civil/Geotechnical Engineer
Kabul, Afghanistan
Pay Grade; GS 0810 13
Hours per week; 64

I performed the duties of the Lead Civil Engineer and Lead Geotechnical Engineer for the Transatlantic Afghanistan (TAA) District Headquarters.  I was on a TDY assignment of 6 months that ended in June of 2014.  I was handpicked to perform this dual role by the Chief of Engineering of TAA.  I provided guidance and recommendation to the District in the mission to construct a sustainable infrastructure for the Afghanistan National Army and National Police.  I was responsible for ensuring that contract documents are complete, correct, and fulfill the purpose of the Operation Enduring Freedom mission.  On a daily basis, I consulted project managers, construction representatives, and senior managers on topics in which I am considered an expert. Attend weekly meetings with Chief of Engineering to report project status, workload, and design issues. Review design submittals, construction submittals, and requests for information for compliance with contract and applicable codes and criteria. Write scope of work and develop Request for Proposal packages for various projects. Perform BCOE (Biddability, Constructability, Operability and Environmental) reviews on design package and specifications relating to civil/geotechnical issues and their coordination with other disciplines.  I have helped establish a program that streamlined the process of re-procuring construction contracts to complete critical facilities.  Due to the quantity of work in the TAA district, a minimum 64-hour work week is required to maintain schedules. 

I was a member of the team of engineers chosen to conduct an assessment of the design and construction of the Ministry of Defense Headquarters & Garrison facilities in Kabul Afghanistan.  This assessment was presented to the US Secretary of Defense and solidifies the valuable role USACE is performing in theater.  I was responsible for making critical recommendation that will ensure complete and usable facilities. (Commanders coin in March 2014)

United States Army Corps of Engineers (9/27/2011 to 09/09/2012, 11/03/2012 to 12/15/2013-present)

Lead Geotechnical Engineer
Mobile, Alabama United States

I was the Lead Geotechnical Engineer for the Mobile District Headquarters Geotechnical and Dam Safety Section in the Engineering Division. I am a registered professional engineer in the state of Alabama.  I have a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of South Alabama (ABET accredited university).  

I am responsible for the final geotechnical design and specifications of all military and civil works projects in the Mobile District.  I am responsible for reviewing and the completion of studies and reports produced by the geotechnical section.   I am considered the subject matter expert in the field of soils mechanics, earth construction, subsurface investigation, and instrumentation for the Mobile District.  I am responsible for voicing the concerns and solutions to the District’s geotechnical issues.  I am responsible for ensuring the designs, recommendation, and reports/studies produced by the geotechnical section are within established methodologies and practices of geotechnical engineering and adhere to engineering principles and concepts accepted by USACE.  I am responsible for engaging with other disciplines (engineers, project managers, environmental specialist, construction, and operation specialist) and Divisions in determining the proper contract vehicle to execute projects/services and ensure the technical portion of the contracts meet the requirements of the particular contract vehicle. 

 I supervise and lead the engineers and interns in the geotechnical section.  I am responsible for reviewing all technical documents that are produced by the geotechnical engineers of the section for quality and completeness to fulfill the requirements of the USACE policy and guidance.  I am responsible for creating and managing workloads, budgets, and schedules within the geotechnical group to ensure that obligations are met. I have performed Agency Technical Reviews and assisted other districts geotechnical engineers in the development of risk and reliability analysis to support risk-informed decisions for dam safety modifications, issue evaluations, and periodic assessments.

 I have deployed OCONUS to Panama, Haiti, and Colombia in response to natural disasters and construction issues in which my expertise was required. I have served as the geotechnical representative for the Mobile District levee safety team as well as the geotechnical lead for the Mobile District Base Development Team.  I have responded to natural disasters inside the Mobile District. 

My role as Lead Geotechnical engineer has granted me the opportunity to involve myself with the Mobile District Core Drill Unit, which is the technical center of excellence (TCX) for Subsurface Investigation & Exploration for USACE.  I have promoted the Mobile District Core Drill Unit whenever possible to colleagues around USACE.  I was on the peer review team for the Engineering Technical Bulletin for drilling into earth embankments with concerns of hydro-fracturing.  I have developed drilling plans for installation of instrumentation on earth embankments that impound large reservoirs and present high risk.

Being part of the engineering section responsible for Dam Safety, I am responsible for maintaining the instrumentation data, annual report writing, and overall communication with project personnel for several navigation locks, dams, and power houses within the Mobile District portfolio of dam and levee projects.  I am involved with the overall Dam Safety Program and have participated in multiple Dam Safety Table Top exercises that involved all Divisions of the District.  I have participated in several annual and periodic inspections of locks, dams, and power houses that evaluated the performance of the infrastructure projects.  I have designed and produced a construction contract to remediate high risk  safety issues at the Allatoona project.  

Last year I saw a short coming in the current process of instrumentation data being delivered to the District Office by the project’s personnel.  I traveled to the project and conducted a one day exchange of information session with the project manager, lock operators, and staff that record and transmit the instrumentation data.  The successful outcome of the session was my further understanding of the project and their understanding of the importance of the data they delivered to the Dam Safety Program.  I intend to expand the exchange of information sessions to all the Projects and District staff in the future.  I have lead Periodic Inspection Teams and conduct Periodic Assessment reviews for hydropower and navigation projects.

I have been involved with several complex projects that required extensive geotechnical and geological investigation, testing, analysis, that resulted in successful projects for the District and customer.  I have worked on teams to develop unique solutions to a project that would have been deemed a failure without our efforts (La Palma Pier, Panama).  I have lead a team that took a concept plan and delivered a product that was almost half the initial budget and produced a more sustainable project (Confined Dredge Material Disposal Area, Pascagoula, Mississippi).  I have lead a team that innovated the construction process of raising dikes composed of dredged material, promoted cooperation between Operations Division and Engineering Division, and stream lined the Civil Works Review Process to weeks instead of months (Triple Barrel Disposal Area Dike Raising, Pascagoula Mississippi).  Each of these projects required coordination efforts within the Mobile District, State and Federal Agencies, USACE Districts, Military Commands, and Foreign Governments.  

 I have experience with meeting with high level Officials, Chiefs, Commanders, and other influential people.  I have been involved with the decision making process that determined aspects of the US State Departments policy in a foreign country (Haiti).  I have communicated complex concepts and plans to Military Commanders (Panama) and to diplomats (Colombia).      

I am well versed in USACE military and civil works programs as well as the Support for Others mission that assists federal agencies (NASA, FEMA, EPA). I have worked with several other Districts to implement the proper use of the Unified Facility Criteria(s) and USACE engineering manuals.  I have participated in Geotechnical and Geology Community of Practice conferences.  I have consulted with other Federal Agencies (FBI, ATF) on the means and methodology of remediating sink holes within their facilities.
I am well experienced with the unique soil and geological conditions that are present in the southeast US. I have experience with working in very different environments from karsts limestone in northern Alabama to coral limestone in south Florida.  I have experience with the very soft materials along the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the relatively firm sands on the Florida panhandle.   I have developed comprehensive drilling and testing plans for designing multistory buildings and offshore breakwaters.  I have worked on a contaminated site in an industrial area that required an extensive safety plan which included constant air monitoring.  I have worked in marine environments atop a floating platform.  I have the unique experience of having been involved and an instrumental contributor to several Mobile District projects that incorporated the coordination and support of many Divisions within the District to produce the desired product for the customer.

United States Army Corps of Engineers (12/24/2006 to 03/27/2011)

Civil Engineer 
Mobile , Alabama United States

I served as the project architect/engineer for numerous civil works projects across the
Mobile District. Projects include: Slope Stability project at Allatoona
Lake in Northern Georgia and Bayou Caddy marsh nourishment close to the
Louisiana/Mississippi border. I became very familiar with USACE Civil Works review process including Agency Technical Review and Internal Technical Review processes while working with other districts from Texas to Florida. I gained experience working with the many different types of professionals on
environmentally sensitive projects. I worked on dredging, resource management area,
and dam safety projects. I became versed in the type of contracts that the Corps of Engineers
uses to acquire services from AE firms and service providers.

I was a member of numerous dam safety inspection teams including; Demopolis Lock
and Dam, and Bankhead Lock and Dam. I was the lead geotechnical engineer for the Mobile
District Levee Safety Program. I have conducted levee screenings and have contributed to periodic inspections.

I have served as the geotechnical engineer for numerous high profile military projects
that have unique soils conditions that required me to make technical decisions to
determine the most efficient and effective design. Von Braun Phase III at Redstone
Arsenal is an 833,000 square foot six-story building that is in a karst environment and
has groundwater issues. The Squad Operations Facility at Hurlburt Field is in close
proximity to a contaminated groundwater plume and has organics in the sub-soils. The 7th
Special Forces Complex on Eglin AFB Reservation is an enormous complex consisting of thirty individual building and a four-mile access road, which was built in an unimproved area that was previously used as a bombing range. The Joint Strike Fighter Complex at Eglin AFB has very loose soils beneath the foundation of hangers and multistory training building. Each of these projects presented challenges that were overcome through in-depth research and diligent analyses.

United States Army Corps of Engineers (12/26/2004 to 12/24/2006)

Civil Engineer Intern

Duties; After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, I was promoted to a Department of the Army Internship. My responsibilities included organizing drilling operations, writing technical reports and foundation reports, and editing specifications. I reported to the technical leader on the results of my calculations, contents of the reports, and drilling plans.
While working with core drill crews as an engineer in charge of different projects, I gained valuable perspective and experience while developing leadership skills. I had to utilize effective communication skills to relay information to the drill crews working under me, promoting cooperation, flexibility and more effective soils investigations. I gained a more complete understanding of what skills are needed to take a project from conception to construction complete.

United States Army Corps of Engineers (06/06/2001 to 12/26/2004)

Engineering Student Trainee

Duties; I began my career with the Army Corps of Engineers as a Cooperative Education student in the Geotechnical and Dam Safety section. During my three and a half years in this position, I worked with engineers on a variety of projects in many different capacities. I primarily input field data from soils investigations and water management projects into our electronic database. I became familiar with the day-to-day operations of the section and the network system used to store project data. I learned to utilize computer programs such as Micro Station, Project Wise, and various other programs
necessary for working with the Army Corps of Engineers.
During this time, I was able to take advantage of opportunities to travel and engage in fieldwork. I received regular assignments to work with core drill crews performing sub-surface investigations. I assisted as a drill helper and later advanced to a field inspector by my senior year. Working in the field as a team member allowed me to gain valuable perspective of the importance of effective communication between engineers in the office and the crews working under their direction.

Geotechnical Engineering and Testing (08/15/2000 to 06/01/2003)

Laboratory Technician
Mobile, Alabama United States

Duties; While attending the University of South Alabama as an engineering student, I alternated semesters in my cooperative education program with USACE and Geotech Engineering. Working in the soils lab allowed me to become very familiar with the various tests that geotechnical engineers use to design foundation and earthwork projects. My responsibilities included acting in a supervisory role over other technicians, training new personnel, and ensuring that testing deadlines were met. I gained an understanding of and appreciation for the quality of testing reports provided by commercial laboratories.

Baskerville Donovan Inc. (07/01/1999 to 08/14/2000)

Construction Inspector
Mobile, Alabama United States

Duties; As a construction inspector, I was charged with assuring that projects were being built according to design plans and specifications by the construction contractor while under the supervision of a senior inspector. I made daily logs of construction activities, I verified as-built measurements, and acted as a liaison between the project engineer and the contractor.

University of South Alabama (08/01/1999 - 12/14/2004)
Mobile, Alabama
United States
Degree; Bachelor of Science - Major; Civil Engineering
GPA; 2.54 Semester Hours; 141
Description; Specific Courses and Course hours in major;
Special Topic Geotechnical Eng................2hrs
Water-Waste Water Treatment Design....3hrs
Civil Engineering Design Environmental.....4hrs
Reinforced Concrete Design.....................3hrs
Geotechnical Engineering.........................3hrs
Transportation Engineering......................3hrs
Design of Steel Structures.......................3hrs
Hydraulic Engineering...............................3hrs

Additional Information
Profesional Engineer licenses (6/23/2009)
Engineering Intern (01/01/2008)

Additional Training;
Action Officer Development Course (AODC), December 2004
Soil Structural Interaction, Feb 2005
40 Hr. OSHA/RCRA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Training, February
2005, Refresher Courses in 2006, 2007, and 2008
Intern Leadership Development Course (ILDC), March 2005
Geosynthetics for Beginners, June 2005
Slope Stability Analysis, June 2005
Earthwork Construction Quality Verification, January 2006
Dam Safety, March 2006
Unified Soil Classification and Soil Density Control, March 2006
Pavement Drainage Design and Construction, April 2006
Shear Strength, June 2006
Roller Compacted Concrete Short Course, June 2008
Earth Dam Construction, RMC, November 2013
Shear Strength of Soils, November 2013

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