The B.C. Government, in conjunction with the Soda Creek Indian Band and the Williams Lake Indian Band has appointed an expert review panel of renowned geotechnical experts to lead the investigation into the Mount Polley tailings pond facility failure on August 4, 2014.
Norbert (Nordie) Morgenstern (Chair)
Norbert Morgenstern is a well-recognized leader in the field of geotechnical engineering and has extensive experience in dam engineering (having worked on over 140 dam projects worldwide). Nordie is recognized as a distinguished university professor (Emeritus) of civil engineering at the University of Alberta where he previously held the role of chair of the department of civil and environmental engineering. He has released over 330 publications in the field of engineering. He is heavily involved in the engineering community having held the role of Member, Chair, Vice President, or President on an extensive list of technical committees worldwide, and has received a plethora of honours and awards throughout his career.
Dirk van Zyl
Dirk J. A. Van Zyl has more than 30 years’ experience in research, teaching, and consulting in tailings and mined earth structures. During that period, he was a faculty member for 13 years at four universities in the U.S.A. and Canada. For the last ten years, much of his attention has been focused on mining and sustainable development. Dirk has been involved internationally in many mining projects which covered the whole mining life cycle, from exploration to closure and post-closure, in a large range of climactic and geographic environments. His present research is in the area of the contributions that mining makes to sustainable development, as well as the application of life cycle assessment to mined earth structures.
Steven G. Vick
A leader in the field of dam engineering, Steve Vick is a geotechnical engineer and internationally recognized review consultant who has worked with various engineering firms, project proponents and governments. In addition to extensive experience working on projects located in B.C., Vick has wide-ranging experience in both technical review and forensic investigations, including chairing the investigation of the Omai tailings dam failure for the government of Guyana and participating in the investigation of the New Orleans levee failures that occurred during Hurricane Katrina. Vick has written two books, including Planning, Design, and Analysis of Tailings Dams, which is the only text of its kind that has remained in print for over 30 years and is familiar to most experts in the field. Vick has released numerous other publications related to dam safety and various aspects of risk analyses throughout his career and also speaks on the subject frequently—his most recent keynote lecture was entitled “The Consequences of Tailings Dam Failure”. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from MIT.