Appendix D
Biographical Sketches of Committee Members

James K. Mitchell, Chair, is University Distinguished Professor, emeritus, in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to joining Virginia Tech in 1994, he spent 35 years on the civil engineering faculty of the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Mitchell’s research interests are in geotechnical engineering, with emphasis on soil properties and behavior, ground improvement, environmental geotechnics, and in situ testing. Much of his recent work has focused on the application of knowledge in these areas to waste landfills, waste containment barriers, and mitigation of seismic risk to earth structures. He is a widely known and well-respected leader who has received many awards for notable research achievements and for international contributions to engineering practice and education. He has served on several National Research Council (NRC) boards and committees dealing with geotechnical engineering and waste containment systems, including the Geotechnical Board (chair), the Committee for Noninvasive Characterization of the Shallow Subsurface for Environmental and Engineering Applications, the Committee on Subsurface Contamination at Department of Energy Complex Sites: Research Needs and Opportunities (vice chair), the Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering in the New Millennium: Opportunities for Research and Technological Innovation, and the Committee for Review of the Hanford Site’s Environmental Remediation Science and Technology Plan. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.


Lisa Alvarez-Cohen is the Fred and Claire Sauer Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in environmental engineering and science from Stanford University. Her current research interests include the biotransformation of contaminants in the subsurface and innovative methods for evaluating in situ bioremediation, including molecular biological and stable isotopic techniques. Dr. Alvarez-Cohen has served on several NRC committees related to subsurface contamination and remediation, including the Committee on Source Removal of Contaminants in the Subsurface and the Committee on In Situ Bioremediation. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.


Estella A. Atekwana is a professor at the Boone Pickens School of Geology at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. Previously she was a professor of geophysics at the University of Missouri, Rolla. She received her Ph.D. in geophysics from Dalhousie University. Her research focuses on tectonic studies and the application of near-surface geophysical monitoring techniques (gravity, magnetic, seismic, geoelectrical) to aquifer vulnerability, groundwater contamination, and remediation. She is also pioneering the field of biogeophysics using geophysical methods to examine microbe-mineral interactions and the effect of this interaction on the subsurface environment. Dr. Atekwana chaired the International Committee of the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society and recently completed a term as vice president for committees.


Susan E. Burns is an associate professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the faculty in 2004, she spent 7 years on the faculty at the University of Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the transport of air bubbles through saturated porous media, physical and chemical behavior of organic-exchanged soil minerals, and remediation of organic compounds using in situ treatment technologies. Dr. Burns received the Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2000. She is a board member of the U.S. Uni-



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Assessment of the Performance of Engineered Waste Containment Barriers Appendix D Biographical Sketches of Committee Members James K. Mitchell, Chair, is University Distinguished Professor, emeritus, in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to joining Virginia Tech in 1994, he spent 35 years on the civil engineering faculty of the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Mitchell’s research interests are in geotechnical engineering, with emphasis on soil properties and behavior, ground improvement, environmental geotechnics, and in situ testing. Much of his recent work has focused on the application of knowledge in these areas to waste landfills, waste containment barriers, and mitigation of seismic risk to earth structures. He is a widely known and well-respected leader who has received many awards for notable research achievements and for international contributions to engineering practice and education. He has served on several National Research Council (NRC) boards and committees dealing with geotechnical engineering and waste containment systems, including the Geotechnical Board (chair), the Committee for Noninvasive Characterization of the Shallow Subsurface for Environmental and Engineering Applications, the Committee on Subsurface Contamination at Department of Energy Complex Sites: Research Needs and Opportunities (vice chair), the Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering in the New Millennium: Opportunities for Research and Technological Innovation, and the Committee for Review of the Hanford Site’s Environmental Remediation Science and Technology Plan. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. Lisa Alvarez-Cohen is the Fred and Claire Sauer Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in environmental engineering and science from Stanford University. Her current research interests include the biotransformation of contaminants in the subsurface and innovative methods for evaluating in situ bioremediation, including molecular biological and stable isotopic techniques. Dr. Alvarez-Cohen has served on several NRC committees related to subsurface contamination and remediation, including the Committee on Source Removal of Contaminants in the Subsurface and the Committee on In Situ Bioremediation. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Estella A. Atekwana is a professor at the Boone Pickens School of Geology at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. Previously she was a professor of geophysics at the University of Missouri, Rolla. She received her Ph.D. in geophysics from Dalhousie University. Her research focuses on tectonic studies and the application of near-surface geophysical monitoring techniques (gravity, magnetic, seismic, geoelectrical) to aquifer vulnerability, groundwater contamination, and remediation. She is also pioneering the field of biogeophysics using geophysical methods to examine microbe-mineral interactions and the effect of this interaction on the subsurface environment. Dr. Atekwana chaired the International Committee of the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society and recently completed a term as vice president for committees. Susan E. Burns is an associate professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the faculty in 2004, she spent 7 years on the faculty at the University of Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the transport of air bubbles through saturated porous media, physical and chemical behavior of organic-exchanged soil minerals, and remediation of organic compounds using in situ treatment technologies. Dr. Burns received the Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2000. She is a board member of the U.S. Uni-

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Assessment of the Performance of Engineered Waste Containment Barriers versities Council on Geotechnical Engineering Research and a former member of the NRC Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering. Robert B. Gilbert is a professor in the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to his faculty responsibilities, he teaches short courses for geo-professionals on risk-based decision making and waste containment systems. He received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Gilbert’s research interests include performance reliability and risk management for geotechnical and geoenvironmental systems, waste containment, and site remediation. He chairs the Transportation Research Board’s Subcommittee on Reliability in Geotechnical and Pavement Engineering and is a member of the risk analysis and management committees of both the American Society of Civil Engineers Geo-Institute and the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. Edward Kavazanjian, Jr., is associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to moving to the university in 2004, Dr. Kavazanjian spent 20 years in engineering practice. He received a Ph.D. in geotechnical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Kavazanjian is recognized for his work on analysis and design of waste containment systems and on geotechnical aspects of earthquake engineering. He has served as engineer in charge of major infrastructure development projects involving up to $8.5 million in engineering services and $150 million in construction and as principal and co-principal investigator on geotechnical engineering research projects sponsored by the Department of Transportation, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He currently serves on the board of governors of the GeoInstitute of the American Society of Civil Engineers and as chair of the geoseismic concerns subcommittee of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Seismic Design of Bridges. W. Hugh O’Riordan is an attorney at Givens Pursley LLP in Boise, Idaho. Prior to entering private practice in 1980, he practiced law in the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior and served as deputy attorney general and chief of the Natural Resources Division for the state of Idaho. He received his J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law and an L.L.M. in environmental law from George Washington University. Mr. O’Riordan practices in the areas of environmental, natural resources, and administrative law and litigation. His practice focuses on environmental compliance and litigation, with emphasis on the Clean Air Act, the Toxic Substance Control Act, and cleanup of facilities. He is a frequent writer and lecturer on legal aspects of environmental and natural resources issues. He was a member of the NRC Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes and participated in an NRC workshop on barrier technologies for environmental management. R. Kerry Rowe is a professor of civil engineering and research director of the GeoEngineering Centre and vice-principal for research at Queen’s University. Prior to emigrating to Canada, he worked as a geotechnical engineer with the Australian Government Department of Construction. He received his Ph.D. in geotechnical engineering from the University of Sydney. Dr. Rowe’s research concentrates on landfill design, geosynthetics, and long-term performance of municipal waste containment systems. He has authored over 400 papers and books, including Barrier Systems for Waste Disposal Facilities. His research has been recognized with a number of awards, including the Canada Council’s Killiam Prize for Engineering (2004) and several medals awarded by geotechnical professional societies. He is past president of the Canadian Geotechnical Society and the International Geosynthetics Society and is currently president of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He is a fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering as well as professional societies in Canada, the United States, and Australia. Charles D. Shackelford is a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and director of the Rocky Mountain Regional Hazardous Substance Research Center at Colorado State University. He received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Texas. His research interests concern the flow and transport of hazardous liquids and contaminants through clay soils and geosynthetic containment barriers. Dr. Shackelford’s work on diffusion in containment barrier design was acknowledged in 1995 with the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He has been involved with several committees for the Geo-Institute of ASCE, including the environmental geotechnics committee (past chair and current member) and the Technical Coordination Council (member). He also was an elected board member of the U.S. Universities Council on Geotechnical Education and Research. Hari D. Sharma is a principal of Geosyntec Consultants, a private company that specializes in waste management, engineered barriers and synthetics, geotechnical engineering, and design, permitting, and construction quality assurance. He received his Ph.D. in geotechnical engineering from Purdue University. Dr. Sharma has over 30 years of experience directing field investigations, designing and managing landfills, conducting related remediation, and monitoring landfill construction in the United States and Canada. In addition to his practical work, he has published or presented papers on all aspects of landfills. His three books, including Waste

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Assessment of the Performance of Engineered Waste Containment Barriers Containment Systems, Waste Stabilization and Landfills: Design and Evaluation, and his recently published book, Geoenvironmental Engineering: Site Remediation, Waste Containment, and Emerging Waste Management Technologies, are widely used in industry and academia. For many years he served on the Environmental Geotechnics Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Nazli Yesiller is an independent consultant in San Luis Obispo, California. She was previously an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Wayne State University. She received her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin. Her research interests focus on nondestructive testing and image analysis of geosynthetics and soils, desiccation of barrier systems, and thermal performance of landfill systems. Dr. Yesiller is a member and officer of several committees of the American Society for Testing and Materials International, which are developing standards for materials ranging from geosynthetics to soils. She is also a member of the Geoenvironmental Engineering Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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