CEGE geotechnical faculty group grows

Posted: September 12, 2022

The Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering (CEGE) is pleased to welcome two new members to the geotechnical engineering faculty group. Patrick Bassal, PhD and Min Liew, PhD will begin their appointments as assistant professors on January 1, 2023.

Patrick Bassal headshot
Patrick Bassal

Dr. Bassal earned a PhD in geotechnical engineering from the University of California, Davis, an MS in geoengineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS in civil engineering from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

He is a licensed civil engineer and worked as a geotechnical consultant with Amec Foster Wheeler (now Wood, Inc.) in Oakland, CA and WSP in New York, NY, where he primarily contributed to the geotechnical and seismic designs and rehabilitations of transportation facilities, coastal structures, and nuclear plants. He is an active member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), as well as the ASCE Geo-Institute’s Continuing Education Committee and Innovative Technologies and Tools Task Force.

Professor Bassal's research investigates the influence of geologically-informed subsurface variability for (1) evaluating the stability and resilience of geosystems (e.g., earth dams, embankments, bridge foundations, tunnels) subjected to natural hazards, and (2) improving geotechnical site characterization practices.

Min Liew headshot
Min Liew

Dr. Liew holds a PhD and MS in civil engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a BS in civil engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include permafrost and cold regions geotechnics, climate change-related geohazards, and climate-resilient and sustainable civil infrastructure.

Liew’s expertise includes numerical modeling of multiple physics fields (e.g., thermal, hydraulic, and mechanical), laboratory and field testing, seismic and sensing methods, data synthesis, and survey. She has authored over 20 refereed publications. Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Transportation.

In announcing the hirings, Dr. Allison MacKay, Professor and Chair of CEGE, noted the timing of their appointments, which coincides with new leadership at the college and university level.

"These searches come at an exciting time when the University and the College of Engineering are under new leadership, with a bold vision to spread opportunity more widely through academic excellence and a culture of inclusiveness," she stated.

She praised Bassal and Liew's records of scholarship and service and noted that the new faculty's recent work, both in the laboratory and in the field, would afford the new faculty members the "opportunity to complement existing department strengths around climate alterations and resilience, public health exposure of the built environment, energy systems management, and data collection and analytics."

Learn more about CEGE's Geotechnical Engineering group.


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