Decorated Earthquake and Geotechnical Engineer Honored as Fellow

February 10, 2017


Faiz I. Makdisi, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, principal engineer with SAGE Engineers Inc. in Oakland, CA, with over 39 years of specialized experience in geotechnical and earthquake engineering, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.

Makdisi has been actively involved in studies of the seismic behavior of earth and rock fill dams and embankments. He developed and published (with the late Prof. H. Bolton Seed) widely used simplified procedures for estimating the dynamic response and permanent deformations in earth and rock fill dams. Recently, he has been involved in development of seismic design criteria, evaluation of seismic stability, and design of alternative remedial measures for more than 25 embankment dams.

He has authored and coauthored many papers dealing with the seismic stability of dams and with various aspects of earthquake ground motions and seismic design criteria for critical facilities. He is a recipient of ASCE’s 1977 Norman Medal for coauthoring a paper on the analyses of the slides in the San Fernando Dams during the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. As a member of a team of technical advisors to the Los Angeles District, Corps of Engineers, on the design and construction of Seven Oaks Dam in California, he was a co-recipient of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief of Engineers’ Design and Environmental Honor Award for 2002.

Makdisi taught short courses on the seismic stability of dams at the 2008 Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics Conference in Sacramento, CA, and at the 2013 International Committee on Large Dams Conference in Seattle. He has presented lectures at ASCE seminars and workshops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Oakland, and Seattle, as well as lectures at the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Davis, and at Stanford University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, and Virginia Tech. He was invited to present a keynote lecture on the seismic stability of embankments and slopes at the session on slope stability at the Geo-Denver 2000 conference of ASCE’s Geo-Institute. He also presented a lecture on seismic design criteria for dams at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Dam Safety Workshop, held in Portland, OR, in 2001.

He is a member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the Earthquake Committee of the United States Society on Dams, and serves on the ASCE 1 Committee involved in updating the Standard for Geotechnical Analysis, Design, Construction, Inspection, and Monitoring of Nuclear Safety-Related Structures.

Makdisi received his bachelor of engineering degree in civil engineering from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in geotechnical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

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