Introduction to Marine Site Characterization Course

Daniel Lanier
Owner and President, GEMS

Mr. Lanier started his career in 2000 as a staff geologist with MARSCO, Inc., and joined Geoscience Earth and Marine Services (GEMS) in August 2001.  During his time at MARSCO and GEMS, Daniel was involved in the field, laboratory, engineering, and geological phases of offshore geotechnical site investigations and geophysical data interpretations.  Mr. Lanier has extensive expertise interpreting side-scan sonar, swath multibeam bathymetry, multibeam backscatter, sub-bottom profiler, and 2D/3D seismic datasets.  He specializes in integrating geophysical and geotechnical data for the purpose of planning offshore field developments, pipelines, and geologic hazard avoidance/mitigation.  During the years, Mr. Lanier also worked as the offshore project leader designing, developing, and managing both high-resolution geophysical and geotechnical surveys. Daniel purchased GEMS in November 2017.

Earl Doyle
Shell Retired, Independent Consultant

Earl H. Doyle received his B.S.C.E. and M.S. Ocean Engineering degrees from the University of Rhode Island and retired from Shell Oil Company in Houston after more than 30 years of employment. At Shell he was responsible for the company’s deepwater geotechnical and foundation design activities. This included the integration of high-resolution geophysical data to a geological model from which development assessments were made. During his first 17 years, he was involved in geotechnical engineering research at Shell Development Company. While there, he was responsible for the development of the Remote Vane and the EDO deep tow system and its extensive use on the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. For his last 13 years, Doyle led the geohazard, geotechnical and foundation design efforts for several important structures, including the Xijiang structures offshore China, several shallow water Gulf of Mexico platforms and the Auger, Mars, Ram/Powell and Ursa Tension Leg Platforms (TLP’s). He has authored or co-authored more than 40 publications in the geotechnical and geoscience field. Doyle presently is a consultant in the area of geotechnical engineering and integrated geoscience studies and specializes in the design of pile foundations for TLP’s where he has designed pile foundations for more than half of the world’s installed TLP’s.

Kimberly Faulk
Business Development Manager/Sr. Marine Archaeologist, GEMS

Kimberly L. Faulk is a Project Manager and Senior Marine Archaeologist for Geoscience Earth and Marine Services (GEMS). She is the Chair Ex Officio of the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology (ACUA), a former member of the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) Board, the 2017 OTC Networking Chair, and Chair of the Houston SUT Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnical Committee (OSIG).  Ms. Faulk has over 17 years of experience working in littoral and deepwater environments around the globe on projects ranging from prehistoric canoes to WW II shipping losses, and from the arctic to the tropics.  She is a contributing scientist to the NOAA Okeanos Explorer missions (2012, 2014, and 2015), and co-organizer and instructor for SUT OSIG sponsored short courses (2011-2017).

Shawn Williamson
Permitting Supervisor for Gulf of Mexico Exploration, BHP Billiton Petroleum

Shawn Williamson is the Permitting Supervisor for Gulf of Mexico Exploration at BHP Billiton Petroleum in Houston, Texas.  He previously worked as a Geohazards Interpreter with BHP Billiton.  Prior to joining BHP Billiton in 2003, Shawn was a Geosciences Team Manager with Fugro GeoServices. He has over 20 years of petroleum industry experience and has performed shallow hazards assessments for offshore wells and field developments in the Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad, Venezuela, Brazil, Nigeria, Gabon, Angola, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Myanmar, and South China Sea.  While at BHP Billiton, he has participated in well planning teams for over 60 subsalt wells in the Gulf of Mexico.  He was responsible for planning, acquisition, and integration of the geophysical and geotechnical site investigation program for the Shenzi Field. Shawn is an active member of the Society of Underwater Technology serving as member of the Executive Board and member of the Houston Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics Committee.  He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Operators’ Geohazards Forum. Shawn holds a B.S. degree in Geology from Millsaps College and a M.S. degree in Geology from Texas A&M University.  He is a licensed Professional Geologist in the State of Texas.

Robert Little
Senior Advisor for Offshore Geotechnical Engineering and Geohazards, Chevron

Rob received his B.S. (Summa Cum Laude) and M.S. degrees in Civil Geotechnical Engineering from Texas A&M.  He worked as project engineer, project manager, senior consultant, and engineering manager for geotechnical consultancies before joining Chevron in 2010.  His primary areas of expertise are in development of offshore site investigation programs, design of offshore foundations and application of geotechnical engineering knowledge and methods in the evaluation of geologic hazards.  He has led offshore site investigations worldwide and has a broad experience in foundation design in a wide range of soil conditions.  Some of the more challenging design problems he has tackled include finite element modeling of subsidence and seabed displacements resulting from offshore production and mining, wave-induced seabed instability and mudflow effects on facilities in delta sediments, quantification of the risk of earthquake-induced slope failures and subsequent debris flow and turbidity current effects on infrastructure, and the effects on subsea facilities and well stability that can result from the dissociation of naturally occurring gas hydrates in the shallow seabed. Rob currently chairs API RG7 - ISO Panel 4, helping establish international standards for offshore foundation design of fixed and floating structures.

Dr. Zenon Medina-Cetina
Associate Professor, Civil, Petroleum, Ocean Engineering, and Geography at Texas A&M University

Dr. Medina-Cetina is Associate Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering, and Ocean Engineering at Texas A&M University, where he leads the Stochastic Geomechanics Laboratory @SGLtamu (2008 - Present). He is a Civil Engineer from the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan UADY Mexico (Soil Dynamics, 1994), and a Master of Engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico UNAM (Geostatistics, 1996). Dr. Medina-Cetina obtained a Masters of Science and a Philosophy Doctorate at The Johns Hopkins University (Stochastic Mechanics, 2001- 2006). He held a dual appointment at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute NGI in Oslo Norway (2006 - 2008), in the International Centre for Geohazards ICG and in the Computational Geomechanics Division CGD. His research and consulting interests in Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics include System's Mapping of Risk, Reliability and Sensibility Analysis; Probabilistic Site Characterization; and Uncertainty Quantification of Multi-Physics Geomechanical Processes. He was elected twice Chair of the SUT's Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics committee (OSIG), where under his leadership set OSIG's Vision and Mission, while working together with the most recognized leaders in Geology, Geophysics, Geotechnical Engineering, Geomatics, Metocean, and Marine Archaeology in the USA. Currently, he is Chair & President of the Society for Underwater Technology in the US (SUT-US).

Kerry Campbell
Principal Geoscientist, Fugro USA Marine, Inc

Kerry J. Campbell began his professional career in 1968 as a Research Geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey mapping glacial and Holocene deposits in New England.  Subsequently, he helped pioneer sea-ice and permafrost surveys in the Arctic using radar profilers.  For the past 40+ years, he has been a marine engineering geoscientist with Fugro and predecessor companies.  Mr. Campbell’s specific areas of expertise include interpretation of marine high-resolution seismic data for shallow hazard and engineering purposes for both shallow and deepwater sites scattered around the world, including sites offshore North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.  He has also helped pioneer integrated, multi-disciplinary studies of offshore geohazards and soils, the use of 3-D exploration seismic data for drilling hazards assessment and preliminary engineering-geologic assessment of deepwater areas, and assessment of gas hydrates as a potential geohazard.  Mr. Campbell is author or co-author of some 40 technical papers in geology, geophysics, and engineering geology.  He holds BS and MS degrees in geology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  He is a Registered Geologist, Geoscientist, or Engineering Geologist in Alaska, California, and Texas.  Mr. Campbell is currently Principal Geoscientist in the Houston office of Fugro Marine Geoservices, Inc.

Andrew Haigh
Geophysical Manager, Gardline Surveys Inc.

Andrew received his BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Geology and Materials Science from University of Sunderland (UK) in 1992.  Andrew worked as a Global Field Marine Geophysicist and then Offshore Survey Party Chief for 6 years, before becoming assistant Geophysical Manager for Gardline Surveys Ltd operations in the UK.  In 2000 Andrew accepted a position as Geophysical Manager with the goal to establish a geohazard interpretation consultancy service in Houston, Texas, which grew to presently employ over 25 professionals.  His experiences include extensive offshore marine geohazard projects of many types, from all oceans, and most countries with an active energy industry.  Andrew also leads a team of professionals in an educational outreach effort to schools and colleges across Houston and beyond with the aim of bringing industry experienced professionals into classrooms to disseminate knowledge to students and future industry professionals.

Dan Spikula
Senior Geotechnical Engineer, BP America Inc.

Dan Spikula is a Senior geotechnical engineer at BP America, Inc. The research he has performed is focused on soil behavior as an engineering material, integrated site investigation and interpretation of ground conditions, and slope stability, shallow foundations, deep foundations and pipelines. 


Dr. Victor Taboada
President and CEO, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute in Houston, Texas

Victor Taboada received his Ph. D. in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1995. His academic career has included teaching soil dynamics and Advanced Soil Dynamics at the Graduate School of Engineering, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He was Research Professor of the Institute of Engineering, UNAM (1995-2005), and Chairman of the Department of Soil Mechanics of the School of Engineering, UNAM (1996-2001). In 1986, he was Head of the Office of Construction License in Netzahualcoyotl City (with a population of 5 million people), State of Mexico, Mexico. He is president and CEO of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute in Houston, Texas. He has also had extensive engineering and consulting experience, including three years as visiting researcher in Geotechnical Offshore Studies at the Mexican Institute of Petroleum (1997-1999), and evaluation studies of the seismic response of soil deposit and seismic soil-structure interaction in the US, West Africa, Mexico and Venezuela. His main research and consulting interest lies in the field of Offshore Geotechnical Engineering and Soil Dynamics. The National Counsel of Science and Technology (CONACYT, Mexico), National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Army Corp of Engineer and Keller Latin America have supported his investigations. Recent work includes studies on dynamic properties of Bay of Campeche soils for seismic site response analysis, liquefaction of granular material on Centrifuge, the development of new procedures for the evaluation of earthquake-induce lateral spreading and identification of soil’s dynamic parameters for use in seismic response analysis.
Victor won the award of Exemplary Citizen in the world of the state of Sinaloa in research and technology from the State of Sinaloa, Mexico in 2013. The Gabino Barrera Award for his contribution to practice given by the Mexican Academy of Civil Engineers in 2003, and the Manuel Gonzalez Flores Award for his research on liquefaction, from the Mexican Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in 1998. He is member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics Committee of the Society for Underwater Technology in Houston, and the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). 
Victor has lectured extensively in Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, England, France, Thailand, Brazil, US and Colombia, including participation in short courses on seismic response of foundations in Mexico, US and Japan. He his author or co-author of 94 publications.

Bob Bruce
CGS Consulting, Retired

Bob Bruce has a B.S. Physics, Magna cum laude, and M.S. Physics, University of Illinois, extensive industry training in geology, geophysics and petrophysics, and post-graduate courses at University of Houston.  In over 40 years in the petroleum industry, he has been involved in exploration projects around the world.  He has taught courses in Porosity and Pore Fluid Prediction, Seismic Time-to-Depth Conversion, Well Logging, and Pore Pressure Prediction.  He has extensive experience in seismic velocity analysis and depth imaging. In addition, he has been involved in Geohazards Analysis and Deepwater Field Development for over 20 years.  He served 6 years on Environmental Protection and Safety Panel for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. (Now International Ocean Discovery Program), is serving on the AAPG OTC Technical Committee and is a former Chairman of the SEG Continuing Education Committee.

Jan Van Smirren
Oceanographer, Ocean Sierra LLC

Since graduating with a B.Sc. in Geology and Oceanography (1981) and M.Sc. in Oceanography (1982), Jan has gained over 35 years of experience in commercial oceanography, most recently as Managing Director of BMT Energy.  Prior to this he was Metocean Global Business Line Manager at Fugro where he was responsible for overseeing all meteorological, oceanographic and environmental activities.  Jan’s experience includes director level appointments in Holland, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with planning, management,  business development and operational responsibilities.  His oceanographic experience has seen him undertake studies in the North and South Atlantic, South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.  This has included both field measurement and monitoring system campaigns and the detailed analysis and interpretation of data.

Chris Hadley
Senior Engineer, Shell

Chris Hadley has a professional career spanning more than twenty five years, including the past seventeen years with Shell, and  has been involved in many aspects of marine geotechnics, foundation design and installation.  He has worked on projects in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia and in soil conditions ranging from soft clays to rock.   More recently, he has specialized in quantitative geohazard risk assessments and integrated site characterization of deepwater sites including Shell’s Gumusut-Kakap, Malikai and Stones developments.  He serves on the ASCE OTC committee and is a member of API Resource Group 7 on geotechnical engineering.  Chris has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Durham in the UK and is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas.

Jim Collins
Consultant, Retired from Marathon Oil Company

Jim Collins received his B.S.C.E from Louisiana State University and his M.S.E. from the University of Texas at Austin.  Mr. Collins worked for geotechnical consultant, Capozzoli & Associates, in Louisiana for 3 years between undergraduate and graduate studies.  He worked for Marathon Oil Company for 36 years on civil and geotechnical engineering construction projects, site geohazard assessments, and exploration and production drilling support.  Projects were located on five continents, onshore and offshore, and from 2,200 meters below sea level in the Gulf of Mexico to 1,800 meters above sea level in Kurdistan.  Offshore projects involved geophysical and geotechnical investigations for sites and pipeline routes, geohazard assessments, driven pile design, pile and well conductor driving analyses, platform installation engineering, foundations for subsea facilities, soil-structure interaction, soil-pipeline interaction, dredging works, and dredged-fill densification.

Jerry Sullivan
Operations Surveyor, BHP Billiton

Dr. Niall Slowey
Professor, Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University

Craig Scherschel
Structural Engineer, BP 

UT3 Issue 3 2019

UT3 is the online magazine of the Society for Underwater Technology. It is a new single authoritative source on subsea engineering for those that do not have time to look at the various subsea news sites.

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