Risk in Geotechnical Practice: Geotechnical Judgment

by W. Allen Marr, P.E., Ph.D., (F.ASCE), Founder and CEO of Geocomp Corp in Acton, MA., wam@geocomp.com.

Serial Information: Geo-Strata —Geo Institute of ASCE, 2020, Vol. 24, Issue 1, Pg. 30-35

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: People use judgment in every aspect of their lives. We rely on our judgments to make decisions that can have consequences from small to large on ourselves and on others, sometimes with life-threatening outcomes to many others. Geotechnical engineers resort to frequent use of their professional judgment to progress in their work. We often find ourselves explaining: "We gathered and evaluated all the data, completed our analyses and assessments, and had some gaps in our information and results, so we used our engineering judgment to develop our recommendations." Just what are we doing when we use "our engineering judgment?"

Subject Headings: Geohazards | Data analysis | Geotechnical engineering | Data collection | Computing in civil engineering


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