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Past Steve and Sylvia Burges Endowed Lectures


Professor Emeritus Steve Kramer
UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Big, small, fast, slow: Geohazards I have known
Friday, May 20, 3:30-4:30pm, PDT
Alder Hall Auditorium


Our landscape is always changing — on different spatial and temporal scales — and many of those changes can have profound effects on individuals and communities. Earthquakes and landslides are some of the most widely known and publicized geohazards, but other hazards related to geologic materials and processes can also lead to severe damage and loss. Unlike buildings and bridges, the sources of geohazards are generally not visible until their effects reach the ground surface; as a result, society is surprised over and over by their occurrence. Over the course of the past 44 years, the speaker has been involved with the investigation of a number of geotechnical failures - from landslides that traveled 100 feet to one that traveled 1,000 miles, and from residential homes that moved an inch to a 650-ft high-rise that settled and tilted sufficiently to rate a story on 60 Minutes. This presentation will examine a variety of geohazards with examples from the speaker's career in geotechnical engineering research and practice and show how geotechnical engineers are dealing with them.


Professor Dorothy Reed
UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Reducing risk: Enhancing energy infrastructure resiliency
Thursday, February 27, 3:30pm
Alder Hall Auditorium


Civil infrastructure systems play an important role in community resilience. Often referred to as lifelines, these systems are comprised of about a dozen interdependent networks including electric power delivery, telecommunications, transportation, utilities and building support services. Modern society depends on these lifelines in order to function properly. In this talk, professor Dorothy Reed presents an overview of the resiliency of civil infrastructure with a particular emphasis on electric power delivery systems, based on research conducted individually and with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center of Excellence at Colorado State University. One of the major results of this research is a set of geo-based numerical models that allow for uncertainty analysis. Reed will show how these models can be employed in a human-centric bottom-up approach to improve the risk modeling of electric power delivery.


Professor David Stahl 
UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

The microbiology of the nitrogen economy 
Thursday, February 28, 3:30pm
Alder Hall Auditorium

Lecture Synopsis and Biography | Video


Image of Mark Benjamin

Professor emeritus Mark Benjamin
UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

In Search of the (Membrane) Holy Grail: A 20-Year Journey
Thursday, February 8, 3:30pm
Alder Hall Auditorium

Lecture Synopsis and Biography | Video

Image of Tim Larson

Professor Timothy Larson
UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Fine Particles in Seattle’s Air:
What, When, Where, Why and So What?
Thursday, February 16, 4-5pm
Mary Gates Hall, Room 389 


John Stanton

Professor John Stanton
UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Bridges- A Tale of Scale
Thursday, February 11, 2016, 4pm
Mary Gates Hall, Room 389

Biography and Lecture Synopsis | Video

Related video

At the virtual fall forum of the Structural Engineers Foundation of Washington in November 2020, professor John Stanton shared his vast knowledge of bridges and "revealed engineering mysteries to bring them to life for the technical observer."

Watch video


Dennis Lettenmaier

Professor Dennis Lettenmaier
Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles

Some Reflections on the Evolution of Hydrology over the Last 40 Years
Friday, February 27, 2015, 4:30pm
Kane Hall, Room 210

Biography | Lecture Synopsis | Video