2024 SFGI Officers

Chair – Pawan Kumar, Arup

Vice Chair – Jenna Fontaine, Langan

Treasurer – Leslie Ramirez, Langan

Secretary – Ashim Gajurel, Delve Underground

Email Coordinator – Rica Chen, Arup

Event Coordinator – Conner Sudol, Keller North America

Student Outreach Coordinator – Jessy Nepolien, Langan

Website Coordinator – Mahsa Jerdi, Arup

Rev: Feb 13, 2024




























































San Francisco Geo-Institute

San Francisco Geo-Institute (SFGI)

For the latest announcements regarding events, dinner meetings, and news, please visit the SFGI LinkedIn Group or sign up for email updates. If you are interested in learning more about SFGI, check out our past events.

About Us

The Geo-Institute (G-I) is a specialty membership organization focused on geo-professionals and the geo-industry. It is one of American Society of Civil Engineers’ eight specialty Institutes. Similarly, SFGI is the local specialty chapter mirroring the goals and purposes of the G-I. The purpose of SFGI is to locally promote an interest in and the general advancement of engineering knowledge in the fields of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, and related earth sciences.

Our geo-professionals work to improve the built environment, prevent the loss of life and property from natural and man-made hazards, and construct sound and reliable engineered facilities and structures.


ASCE GGB and SFGI Joint Event
Thursday,May 30th, 2024
5:30 – 8:30 PM PST

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Remote Sensing Application in Geotechnical (& Civil) Engineering


Amit Gajurel, Jhih-Rou Huang and Dr. Dimitrios Zekkos


$20 – General admissions
Free – EBMUD/Government employee

Presentation Overview

The first part of the presentation will discuss the use of SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) within the realm of geotechnical & civil engineering which has gained renewed interest in the last decade. Initiated by an introduction to SAR and InSAR, the talk will go through the fundamental principles and capabilities of these technologies. Attention will then be turned to the examination of historical instances where SAR and InSAR have been utilized in geotechnical projects, showcasing their practical applications. The current practices in data acquisition and processing specific to SAR/InSAR will be thoroughly discussed, providing insights into current state-of-practice. Challenges in the application of these technologies will also be discussed, highlighting the technical, and non-technical obstacles in its application. A forward-looking perspective where future advancements and potential utilizations of SAR and InSAR in geotechnical engineering will be explored, setting a foundation for ongoing development, innovation, and field application. This session is an invaluable opportunity for professionals seeking to deepen their technical understanding in this cutting-edge area of application of radar remote-sensing in geotechnical engineering.
Earthquakes or hurricanes may trigger hundreds to thousands of landslides, which can damage infrastructure and cause casualties and economic loss. However, the geotechnical engineering field has not fully leveraged the lessons that can be learned from such disasters. The second part of the presentation will discuss artificial intelligence (AI) approaches for ground failure detection, monitoring, and mobility assessment that better leverage the large populations of landslides that take place following natural disasters. The results of a comprehensive analysis of the semi-automatic landslide detection algorithms in detecting landslides quickly and on a large scale will be presented, and a “ranking of importance” of the parameters that primarily affect the results will be provided to assist engineers and scientists on deciding what factors to prioritize to get a reliable landslide detection model efficiently. Furthermore, this presentation will present a simple mechanistic approach for landslide mobility assessment calibrated against numerous landslides. Mobility assessment is an essential component of landslide risk assessment because landslide runouts may severely impact communities downhill. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of autonomous remote sensing-based monitoring systems’ role in responding to natural hazards.


Amit Gajurel
Amit Gajurel, a PhD Candidate and certified drone pilot at Texas A&M University, specializes in remote sensing and machine learning applications in geotechnical engineering. He has contributed to several research projects, including infrastructure monitoring using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data, automated inspection of flood control systems, and emergency operations enhancement. Amit, who previously worked as a Geotechnical Engineer at Terracon Consultants, Inc., will join AECOM in the similar role in August 2024. He is also an active member of various national committees, including the Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Geotechnical Instrumentation and Modeling and Geospatial Data Acquisition Technologies, and ASCE-GI’s Committee on Innovative Technologies & Tools in Geotechnical Engineering.

Jhih-Rou Huang
Jhih-Rou Huang is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Her multidisciplinary experience covers geotechnical engineering, data science, and remote sensing. Her graduate research focuses on monitoring natural hazards and infrastructure failure using remote sensing and AI-based techniques. She is pursuing her Ph.D. (2024) and obtained an M.S. (2020) in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Dimitrios Zekkos
Dimitrios Zekkos is a Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor at UC Berkeley. His research, which involves innovative experimental and computational methods, focuses on various aspects of engineering, including infrastructure resilience and geotechnical engineering. He has received several prestigious awards, including the Outstanding Innovator Award from the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering and the ASCE Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award.

EBMUD Training Room
375 11th St
Oakland, California

Thursday, May 30, 2024
5:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Networking
6:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Dinner
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm: Presentation


**Send us an email at to get involved!**