COGGE Members




MARTIN W. McCANN, Chair, is president of Jack R. Benjamin and Associates, Inc. and is also a consulting professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University. At Stanford, he is a former chair of the National Performance of Dams Program, which created a national network to report dam safety incidents and to archive this information for use by the geotechnical and seismic engineering communities. Dr. McCann’s professional background and research have focused on probabilistic hazards analysis including hydrologic events, risk assessment, reliability and uncertainty analysis, and systems analysis. He has been a consultant to several government and private sector groups in the U.S. and abroad and has served on three NRC committees including the Committee on Integrating Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience. Dr. McCann received a B.S. in civil engineering from Villanova University and an M.S. in structural engineering and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Stanford University.

SCOTT A. ANDERSON, is a principal geotechnical engineer at BGC Engineering in Golden Colorado. He has wide ranging geotechnical design and construction experience in the transportation, water resources, mining, and pipeline industries. His experience includes earthwork—retaining structures, foundation design and construction, and ground modification techniques. He is experienced in remote sensing, geophysical and drilling site characterization, and the determination of soil and rock properties and design parameters. He has provided oversight and review of design and construction as well as contributed to research and deployment of training and new technology in many areas of practice. Prior to joining BGC Engineering, Dr. Anderson was the Geotechnical Services Team Leader for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Recource Center from 2008 to 2017; and prior to that, he held geotechnical leadership roles for the Federal Lands Highway Division of FHWA for 6 years. Dr. Anderson had roles of staff geologist to senior consulting engineer for Woodward Clyde Consultants and URS Corporation from 1984 to 1991, coincident with his graduate work, and full time from 1995 to 2002. Dr. Anderson was an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Hawaii from 1991 to 1995. He is a licenced professional engineer in HI, UT, and CO. Recently, he was awarded the FHWA Engineer of the Year in 2014, he was the recipient of the K.B. Woods Award in 2016 from the Transportation Research Board for contribution to the design and construction of transportation facilities, and he served as the 2017 Jahns Distinguished Lecturer for the Association of Engineering Geologists and the Geological Society of America, providing lectures contributions on geohazards, risk, and advancing developments in engineering geology. Dr. Anderson has been the recipient of National Science Foundation and other research funding, has served as FHWA liaison for numerous National Cooperative Highway Research Program projects, and has been an Advisory Panel member for the US DOT (RITA). Dr. Anderson holds a B.A. and M.S. in engineering geology from the Unvieristy of Colorado, Boulder and Colorado State University, respectively. He received an M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

SHOBHA BHATIA is a Meredith Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University. Dr. Bhatia’s research experiences include soil liquefaction, soil characterization through image analysis, soil and geotextile filters, soil erosion and geosynthetics. More recently, Dr. Bhatia has focused her research efforts on the application of geosynthetics and natural materials in waste and sediment processing, fly ash containment, road construction, and erosion control. She has been extensively involved in engineering education. She has taught numerous courses in soil dynamics, seepage and earth dams, sediment management, ground improvement and the role of women and minorities in engineering. She is the co-founder/co-director of Women in Science and Engineering at Syracuse University since 1999, and she is also a founding member of the Women in Engineering Leadership Institute whose mission is to provide support including training, mentoring, and networking opportunities in academic leadership for women engineering faculty in the U.S. She has made significant impact on social justice centered on the use of natural materials in developing countries and the empowerment of women in engineering and science. For example, Dr. Bhatia was awarded a grant from NSF to evaluate the technical, political, and cultural aspects of the use of natural erosion control materials (coir and jute) in India. In 2015, she received a national Women in Engineering ProActive Network University Change Agent award for her impact on diversity and inclusion in engineering. She received her undergraduate and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from IIT Roorkee University, India and her Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

JONATHAN D. BRAY is the Faculty Chair in Earthquake Engineering Excellence at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bray is a registered professional civil engineer and has served as a consultant on several important engineering projects and peer review panels. He has authored more than 300 research publications on topics that include liquefaction and its effects on structures, seismic performance of earth structures, earthquake ground motions, and earthquake fault rupture propagation. He leads the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association. Dr. Bray is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and has received several honors including the Peck Award, Joyner Lecture, Huber Research Prize, Packard Foundation Fellowship, and NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. He earned his B.S. from the U.S. Army Military Academy, his M.S. in structural engineering from Stanford University, and his Ph.D. in geotechnical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

DEREK ELSWORTH, NAE, is a professor in the Departments of Energy and Mineral Engineering and of Geosciences and the Center for Geomechanics, Geofluids, and Geohazards at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Elsworth has expertise in the areas of computational mechanics, reservoir geomechanics, flow and transport in porous media and rock mechanics with application to geothermal energy, the deep geological sequestration of radioactive wastes and of CO2, and the behavior of fractured reservoirs. He has served DOE as an expert elicitor for near-field and altered zone processes at Yucca Mountain (1997-98) and as consultant to the Nulcear Waste Technical Review Board on the Consequences of Igneous Intrustion at Yucca Mountain (2001-03). He received his B.S. in engineering geology and geotechnics from Portsmouth Polytechnic, his M.S. in engineering rock mechanics from the Imperial College London, and his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

WILLIAM H. HANSMIRE, NAE, Is a senior vice president in WSP's Geotechnical and Tunneling Technical Excellence Center in Los Angeles with expertise in project managment, and geotechnial and tunnel engineering. His 40-year career has encompassed roadway, heavy rail, transit, water, and wastewater projects—mostly tunnels. He is the underground design manager for the Los Angeles Metro Regional Connector Transit Corridor Project—a 2-mile tunnel with 3 underground transit stations connecting two existing light rail lines in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. He holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is a licensed professional engineer in several states. He is an emeritus member of the TRB Committee on Tunnels and Underground Structures and a member of ASCE (fellow) and the NAE.

W. ALLEN MARR, JR., NAE, is the founder and chief executive officer of Geocomp Corporation, one of the United States’ foremost providers of real-time, web-based performance monitoring of civil engineering structures, particularly large infrastructure projects. Among his technical contributions during his 45-year professional career are the development of techniques for monitoring the stability, movement, and pressure in earthwork projects using sensors, wireless communications, automated analysis, and visualization of data. By applying these techniques, Dr. Marr enabled full-scale construction projects to be built more safely and efficiently and at a lower cost. Dr. Marr and his Geocomp colleagues also developed and use the concept of Active Risk Management to help clients identify and proactively manage risks associated with construction and operation of infrastructure. Over the past 30 years, he has consulted on a number of major projects in the United States and abroad including Boston’s Central Artery Tunnel, Dulles International Airport, the new World Trade Center, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Eastside Access and 2nd Avenue Subway, and projects in The Netherlands, Japan, Venezuela, and Korea. Dr. Marr has widely published in professional journals, edited 5 books, and serves on the committees and boards of a number of professional societies. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his “innovative applications of numerical methods, risk analysis, advanced laboratory techniques, and field instrumentation to geotechnical engineering and construction.” In 2018 he serves as president of the ASCE’s Academy of GeoProfessionals. Dr. Marr received a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of California at Davis and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

JAMES K. MITCHELL, NAS/NAE, is currently University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a consulting geotechnical engineer. Prior to joining Virginia Tech in 1994, he served on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he held the Edward G. Cahill and John R. Cahill Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering until the time of his retirement in 1993. Concurrent to his tenure at UC Berkeley, he was Chairman of the Civil Engineering Department from 1979-84 and Research Engineer in the Institute of Transportation Studies and in the Earthquake Engineering Research Center. His primary research activities focused on experimental and analytical studies of soil behavior related to geotechnical problems, admixture stabilization of soils, soil improvement and ground reinforcement, physicochemical phenomena in soils, environmental geotechnics, time-dependent behavior of soils, in-situ measurement of soil properties, mitigation of ground failure risk during earthquakes, and sustainability aspects of earthwork construction. He has authored more than 400 publications, including the graduate level text and geotechnical reference Fundamentals of Soil Behavior. A licensed civil engineer and geotechnical engineer in California and professional engineer in Virginia, Dr. Mitchell has served as chairman or officer for numerous national and international organizations including chairman of the U.S. National Committee for the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering and vice president of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. He chaired the National Research Council’s (NRC) Geotechnical Board (1990-1994) as well as three NRC study committees and served as a member of several other NRC study committees. His awards include the Norman Medal, the Walter L. Huber Research Prize, the Terzaghi Lecture Award and the Outstanding Projects and Leaders Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1976 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1998. Dr. Mitchell received a B.C.E. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and S.M. and Sc.D. degrees in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

MATTHEW PIERCE is President of Pierce Engineering and a Senior Associate with Itasca Consulting Group, Inc. Dr. Pierce has over 20 years of experience in the geomechanical analysis of underground and open pit mines with specific expertise in the estimation of rock mass properties and the analysis of caving and collapse potential, fragmentation, subsidence, ore recovery and infrastructure stability. He has also developed specialized numerical modelling tools for the study of rock mass response from tunnel-scale to mine-scale and from the onset of acoustic emissions through to yield, fragmentation, collapse, and gravity flow. He received his B.S. in geological engineering and his M.S. in mining engineering from the Queen’s University in Canada, and his Ph.D. in mining engineering from the University of Queensland in Australia.

ELLEN M. RATHJE, is the Warren S. Bellows Centennial Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and senior research scientist at the UT Bureau of Economic Geology. Her expertise is in the areas of seismic site response analysis, engineering seismology, seismic slope stability, field reconnaissance after earthquakes, and remote sensing of geotechnical phenomena. Dr. Rathje is a founding member and current co-chair of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association, and she was a member of the board of directors of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute from 2010-2013. She is the principal investigator for the cyberinfrastructure for the NSF-funded Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure and co-PI for the Center for Integrated Seismicity Research at the Bureau of Economic Geology. She has been honored with various research awards including the 2018 William B. Joyner Lecture Award from the Seismological Society of America and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the 2010 Huber Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). She was named a fellow of the ASCE in 2016. She received her B.S. degree in civil engineering from Cornell University in 1993 and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994 and 1997, respectively.