Geotechnical Society of Edmonton

NEWS 2016

Posted September 1, 2015 (Updated April 6, 2016)

Event: May 16 2016

GSE 2016 AGM: Dr. Norbert Morgenstern - The Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach

Location: The Westin

Time: 5:30pm Registration, 6:00pm Dinner, 6:45pm AGM and Presentation

Cost: $35 Members, $45 Non-Members, $10 Students

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The Mount Polley tailings storage facility (TSF) in British Columbia breached in August 4, 2014. The loss of containment was sudden, providing no warning, and when the pond elevation was approximately 2.3 metres below crest elevation. Following the breach, the Government of British Columbia, through the Ministry of Energy and Mines, together with the Williams Lake Indian Band and the Soda Creek Indian Band, established an independent expert investigation and review panel to investigate and report on that breach. The scope of the panel included the identification of the causes and mechanisms of failure, operational and managerial practices that may have contributed to the failure, and any changes that could be considered to reduce the potential for future such occurrences. Dr. Norbert R. Morgenstern, Chair of the panel, will discuss some of their findings related to the scope of the panel.

Norbert R. Morgenstern Ph.D. P.Eng. FRSC, FCAE, University Professor (Emeritus) of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta. Dr. Morgenstern graduated from the University of Toronto and obtained his D.I.C. and Ph.D. from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London (1964). He joined the staff at Imperial College as a Research Assistant in 1958 and Lecturer in 1960. Dr. Morgenstern returned to Canada in 1968 as Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alberta and was awarded the distinction of University Professor in 1985. Dr. Morgenstern has received many awards in recognition of his work in the field of geotechnical engineering. He has served as President of the Canadian Geoscience Council, the Canadian Geotechnical Society and, the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Engineering Institute of Canada and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. He is a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a Foreign Member of the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering and, a Foreign Fellow of the Indian Academy of Engineering. Dr. Morgenstern is a Member of the Alberta Order of Excellence and the Order of Canada and has received honorary degrees from the University of Toronto, Queen's University, and the University of Alberta.

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