Julien F. Cohen-Waeber
Julien Cohen-Waeber, Ph.D., P.E., P.G., C.E.G.
Managing Engineer
Civil Engineering
Oakland

Dr. Waeber has over 10 years of experience in geotechnical engineering and engineering geology, in North and Central America and Europe. He specializes in the assessment and mitigation of geologic hazards, construction support and characterization of weak and chaotic rock masses. Dr. Waeber has extensive experience with evaluation and design of dams, roadways, landfills, commercial development, pipelines, and natural and manmade slopes. He also has deep experience with the application of remote sensing technologies including continuous GPS, InSAR and LiDAR, particularly for landslide hazard assessment.

Dr. Waeber has a broad background in geo-engineering and is well versed in the evaluation of cause and origin of failures, risk assessment, mitigation alternatives, and proactive technical reviews of design and construction documents. He is experienced with topics including landslides, slope creep, slope stability, rockfall, expansive soils, sensitive soils, peat, weak rock, chaotic rock, surface fault rupture, mass grading, retaining structures, slope stabilization measures, foundation design and construction methods. Dr. Waeber is also particularly skilled in methods of surface and subsurface investigation and characterization, including remote sensing, geotechnical instrumentation and monitoring, geologic and hazard mapping, logging of subsurface borings, earthwork and construction observation, site history analysis and geotechnical laboratory testing of soils. He brings with him valuable experience from projects related to recovery of buried stolen cultural artifacts, expansive soils, seasonal flooding, embankment dam failure and landslide failures. He has also evaluated, designed and monitored up to 350 ft tall rock and soil cut slopes and rockfall hazard mitigation measures for landfill and quarry sites, considering both static and seismic conditions. He has performed dam type and siting studies, inspection and monitoring of existing dams, and dam removal planning. He has performed feasibility studies for a proposed oil pipeline (700 km long) and deign of various waste water systems. He has designed retaining walls, shallow foundations and basements for stadium, commercial development and parking garage projects. He has performed geologic hazard assessments and alignment studies for highway development in tropical environments as well as pavement and widening design for various road improvement projects. He has also provided geotechnical construction support, observation, quality control, quality assurance, inspection and testing for commercial developments, retaining walls, and large diameter water transmission systems.

Dr. Waeber's doctoral research focused on spatiotemporal behavior of seasonal landslide deformation, using InSAR and GPS remote sensing technologies to track ground surface displacements. During his studies, he served as a graduate student researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Waeber also served ten semesters as the teaching assistant for graduate and undergraduate courses in engineering geology, geotechnical engineering, geology, petroleum geology, and geotechnical earthquake engineering.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2018
  • M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2006
  • B.S., Engineering and Geology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2003
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2016

    Jane Lewis Fellowship Recipient, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2013

    Marliave Scholarship Recipient, Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, 2013

    National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 1999

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Civil Engineer, California, #72447

Licensed Professional Geologist, California, #8528

Certified Engineering Geologist, California, #2547

LANGUAGES

  • French
  • Spanish

Publications

Cohen-Waeber J. Spatiotemporal Patterns of Seasonality in Landslide Deformation from InSAR and GPS, Ph.D. thesis. University of California, Berkeley, 2018.

Cohen-Waeber J et al. Spatiotemporal Patterns of Precipitation-Modulated Landslide Deformation from Independent Component Analysis of InSAR Time Series, Geophysical Research Letters, February, 2018.

Cohen-Waeber J et al. The Performance of Structures Subjected to Surface Fault Rupture during the Mw 6.0 South Napa Earthquake, California, USA, 6th International Conference on Earthquake and Geotechnical Engineering, Christchurch, New Zealand, November, 2015.

Bray J et al. Geotechnical Engineering, in M6.0 South Napa Earthquake of August 24, 2014, EERI Special Earthquake Report, October 2014.

Bray J, Cohen-Waeber J, Dawson T, Kishida T, and Sitar N. Editors, Geotechnical Engineering Reconnaissance of the August 24, 2014 M6 South Napa Earthquake, Report of the NSF-Sponsored GEER Association, California Geological 43 Survey, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, and U.S. Geological Survey, GEER Association Report No. GEER- 037, Version 1: September 15, 2014.

Cohen-Waeber J et al. GPS instrumentation and remote sensing study of slow moving landslides in the eastern San Francisco Bay hills, California, USA. 18th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Paris, France, September, 2013.

Cohen-Waeber J et al. GPS and Remote Sensing Study of Slope Movement in the Berkeley Hills, CA. Research Letter, 2013 Geo-Congress on Stability and Performance of Slopes and Embankments III, San Diego, CA, March, 2013.

Zekkos D et al. Characterization of a Weak Rock Mass and Geoengineering Analyses for a Canyon Landfill in Northern California, 6th International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering, Arlington, VA, August, 2008.

Seed RB et al. New Orleans & Hurricane Katrina: IV - The Orleans East Bank (Metro) Protected Basin, ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering Vol.134(5), 762-779, 2008.

Seed RB et al. Investigation of the performance of the New Orleans Regional Flood Protection Systems during Hurricane Katrina: Lessons learned, Geo-Denver Congress, Geo-Institute, ASCE, Denver, CO, February 2007.

Seed RB et al. Investigation of levee performance in Hurricane Katrina: The New Orleans drainage canals, Geo-Denver Congress, Geo-Institute, ASCE, Denver, CO, February 2007.

Seed RB et al. Investigation of the Performance of the New Orleans Flood Protection Systems in Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, Independent Levee Investigation Team: Final Report, July 31, 2006.

Proceedings, Presentations, and Published Abstracts

Cohen-Waeber J, Burgmann R, Sitar N. Characterization of Precipitation Induced Slow Moving Landslide Displacements by InSAR and GPS Tracking in the Eastern San Francisco Bay Hills, California, USA. Invited Presentation, Geology Minerals Energy Geophysics Science Center Seminar, United States Geologic Survey, Menlo Park, California, May 2015.

Cohen-Waeber J et al. Geotechnical Engineering Reconnaissance of the August 24, 2014 M6 South Napa Earthquake, California, USA, Presentation, Annual Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Scottsdale, Arizona, September 2014.

Cohen-Waeber J, Burgmann R, Sitar N. Characterization of Precipitation Triggered Landslide Displacements by InSAR Observation in the Berkeley Hills, CA. Presentation, Annual Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Seattle, Washington, September 2013.

Cohen-Waeber J, Burgmann R, Sitar N. GPS Instrumentation and Remote Sensing Study of Slow Moving Landslides in the Eastern San Francisco Bay hills, California, USA. Presentation, Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, California, December 2012.

Cohen-Waeber J, Burgmann R, Sitar N. GPS Instrumentation and Remote Sensing Study of Slow Moving Landslides in the Eastern San Francisco Bay hills, California, USA. Presentations, Annual Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, September 2011, 2012.

Cohen-Waeber J, Medley E. The Importance of Mentor/Protégé Relationships in the Careers of Two Geological Engineers, Presentation, Annual Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2012.

Cohen-Waeber J. What Students Need to Know About Careers in Engineering – On the Maturation of Baby Elephants: A Geological Engineering Perspective, Invited Lectures, Civil Engineering 98, University of California, Los Angeles, February/May 2009-2011.

Cohen-Waeber J. Geology and Geomorphology, Invited Lectures, Annual Range and Natural Resources Camp, Society for Range Management, Elkus Youth Ranch, Half Moon Bay, California, June 2008-2018.

Cohen-Waeber J, Bro A. The Mechanical Advantages of Shrink Wrapping Weak Rock Core, Presentation, Annual Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 2008.

Cohen-Waeber J, Medley E, Zekkos D. Incorporating Depth-Varying Geologic Strength Index Values to the Characterization of Weak Rock Masses in Northern California, Presentation, Annual Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Los Angeles, California, September 2007.

Prior Experience

AECOM, Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Water Resources Department, 2014-2016

Independent Consultant in geological and geotechnical engineering, 2009-2018

Geosyntec Consultants, Engineer, 2006-2009

Willdan Geotechnical, Staff Geologist, 2003-2005

Société Alpine de Géotechnique, Engineering Intern, May-September, 2002

Professional Affiliations

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Chair)

American Society of Civil Engineers (member)

American Geophysical Union (member)

Northern California Geologic Society (member)

Project Experience

Assisted court appointed expert witnesses on several litigation projects in California, Idaho and Hawaii. The disputes related to the performance of foundations in expansive soils, the impact of seasonal flooding on a wildlife reserve and surrounding properties, analysis of an embankment dam failure, analysis of landslides and the stability of lava tubes. These projects included the design and execution of an extensive laboratory testing schedule to determine the expansive nature of a site’s soils to evaluate and compare the testing methods of three separate agencies and the recovery of 83 stolen Hawaiian cultural artifacts within lava tube caves, which had been sealed by rock and concrete barriers.

Responsible for significant portions of dam development, retrofit, replacement and removal projects. As part of the San Clemente Dam Removal project, Monterey, California, Dr. Waeber was responsible for monitoring of the existing dam left abutment in relation to an active landslide and assisted in finding suitable and economic rock sources for construction of weirs and step pools in the new river re-route channel. As part of the proposed development of a new 110,000 acre/ft reservoir in Norther California, he was responsible for the preliminary geologic reconnaissance, site investigation planning and a dam type and sitting study. As part of the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, California, he performed peer reviews of Franciscan rock mass characterization, slope cut and reinforcement design, and dam foundation mapping. He also provided reconnaissance, stability assessment and improvement design recommendations for construction access roads.

Responsible for the geologic investigations, laboratory testing of soil samples and design analyses for a variety of transmission systems, including storm drains, sewer lines, oil pipelines. Responsibilities generally included the complete investigation, laboratory testing and engineering characterization of soil properties. A highlight from these projects is a remote feasibility study for a 700 km long petroleum transmission system across the North Caspian Basin, Kazakhstan, which included a literature and satellite image review, cost estimating, and preparation of recommendations for investigation.

Responsible for the geologic investigations, laboratory testing of soil samples and design analyses for a variety of roadway projects, including pavement evaluations, and alignment studies. Responsibilities included pavement section and subgrade investigations, laboratory testing, and development of proposed roadway improvements and pavement design. One of these projects was a landslide hazard assessment and alignment feasibility study for a 13 km long new highway construction through dense tropical forest with tar-sands and oil seeps on the island of Trinidad. His responsibilities included a remote landslide investigation using LiDAR, followed by a field mapping effort, the development of alignment and cut slope recommendations and landslide and oil seep mitigation measures.

Responsible for complete rock and soil slope investigations and design for landfill expansion cells and quarry reclamation projects. Responsibilities included planning and execution of engineering geologic investigations and testing, characterization of soil and rock mass engineering properties and static and seismic design of up to 350 foot tall cut slopes including rock fall hazard assessments and catchment system design. For long-term stability and site development planning, performed analysis and quality control of investigation data and design analyses during development through careful monitoring programs and provided rock and soil stockpile management assistance. Also provided geologic mapping of as-built excavated rock and soil, cut and fill slopes for water district record of landfill cell development.

Assisted engineers and contractors through a variety construction observation, monitoring and support projects, including the development of commercial buildings, construction of cantilever and MSE walls, mass grading and excavation, fill placement, gravity pipeline installation, water retention ponds, river embankment scour mitigation measures, ski lift systems and clay and rock borrow source determination. One project involved the development of special design considerations necessary to mitigate subsurface conditions including the presence of unconsolidated bay deposits, radioactive steel slag landfill, and intensely weathered sandstone bedrock. Other highlights include construction support for 72 inch diameter pipeline cut and cover operation with braced excavations through restricted access areas and with micro-tunneling segments; and construction support for ski lift systems on rock cliffs and steep slopes in the French Alps.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2018
  • M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2006
  • B.S., Engineering and Geology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2003
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2016

    Jane Lewis Fellowship Recipient, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2013

    Marliave Scholarship Recipient, Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, 2013

    National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 1999

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Civil Engineer, California, #72447

Licensed Professional Geologist, California, #8528

Certified Engineering Geologist, California, #2547

LANGUAGES

  • French
  • Spanish