Geotechnical Society of Edmonton

NEWS 2009

Posted September 29, 2009 (Updated October 1, 2009)

Event: October 13, 2009

GSE: AEG/GSA 2009 Jahns Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. Edmund Medley - Of Elephants, Earthquakes, Caves and Hot Rock- Recent Geological Engineering Adventures

Location: Woodvale Facility (Mill Woods Golf Course)

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm

$20 Members, $30 Non-members, $5 Students (including year membership)

The audience from the speaker's perspective:Photo of the attentive 3D audience.

The Lecturer, a Civil Engineer/Engineering Geologist, describes the technical background of a Geological Engineer in the context of elephants. The broad technical skills sets of most Geological Engineers are excellent for the two-way translations of geology and engineering. Three recent case histories provide examples: A summary of the Geological Engineering observations from a reconnaissance commissioned to observe damage resulting from the October 2006 Hawaii earthquake; the very challenging Forbes Cave project in Hawaii, a rare story of a geopractitioner consultant becoming very dirty as a Court-Appointed Expert advising on lava tube cave stability and recovering a buried collection of unique Hawaiian cultural artifacts; and, the Geological Engineering insight required for overall geoengineering characterization of terrain hazards at the Lihir gold mine in Papua New Guinea, located in a geothermally active, collapsed volcanic caldera.

Dr. Medley will also be giving a presentation on the U of A campus during the evening of October 13. Details regarding this event can be found on this page.

Edmund Medley, PhD, PE, CEG, F.ASCE is the 2009 Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer in Engineering Geology. The selection committee for this award is composed of representatives of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) and the Engineering Geology Division of the Geological Society of America (GSA). The intent of the partially-funded Lectureship is to encourage student and professional awareness of engineering geology through a series of lectures presented across North America during the award year. The award was established in 1988 to commemorate Professor Jahns (1915-1983), who had an influential and diverse career in academia, consulting and government. Details on the life and career of Professor Jahns are presented at (Jahns Lectures page).

Dr. Medley is a Senior Consultant in the Oakland, California office of Geosyntec Consultants, international consultancy renown for innovative solutions to geoengineering and environmental problems. Dr Medley started his career in the Applied Earth Sciences in 1969, and now has over 30 years of unusually varied international experience in geotechnical and geological engineering consulting, mineral exploration prospecting, failure investigation, project management, litigation testifying, academic research, teaching, and lecturing. He has an international reputation for his pioneering research into the engineering and geological characterization of bimrocks (block-in-matrix rocks), complex geological mixtures of rock and soil such as melanges, fault rocks, weathered rocks, tills, and colluvium. (Most of his professional contributions are at freely available at

Dr. Medley also has experience evaluating geotechnical/geological engineeering vulnerabilities and the causes of civil engineering failures, and has provided testimony for attorneys, insurance companies, contractors, and municipal clients. Projects include investigation of major landslides, rockfall hazards, expansive/collapsing soils, tunnel failures, coastal erosion, sinkholes and other ground movements in California, Nevada, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Guam, and Papua New Guinea. Dr. Medley has authored/co-authored about 50 professional contributions, and presented well over 150 professional and academic lectures, Short Courses and MCLE Credit courses. He is licensed as an engineer and geologist in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom.

In 1978, Dr. Medley was the first recipient of the Aro A. Aho Memorial Medal for Excellence in Geological Engineering. He was the AEG Marliave Scholar in 1993, awarded for outstanding scholarship in Engineering Geology and Geological Engineering. He was the San Francisco AEG Section Membership Committee Chairman between 1991 and 1993 and the San Francisco Section Short Course Chairman between 1995 and 1996. He has been a member of GSA for many years.

Contact Dr. Medley directly to arrange lectures: and (510) 285 2722. Dr. Medley offers several Lectures, as summarized below and at (Jahns Lectures page).


c/o. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
7th Floor, Danadeo Innovation Center for Engineering
9211 - 116 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta
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