‘Risk, Uncertainty, and Hard Decisions’ Course Set for RETC

Risk is a huge part of the tunneling market considering so much of the project is underground in uncharted territory. Even the most thorough investigation can leave unanswered questions that lead to difficult choices in planning, design, bidding and construction.

To address this problem, a short course – titled: “Risk, Uncertainty, and Hard Decisions” – is being held in conjunction with RETC. The course is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park on Sunday, June 23.

This course will spend the first two hours on background developed from classes and research and the remainder of the time will be facilitated panel discussions. We will cover how to better understand risk, uncertainties, and human behavior using models, case studies, and class exercises developed at Stanford as well as how to recognize the biases, opinions, and beliefs that keep us from making the best choices. Why do people have such different views of our “logical and rational” decisions and how do we improve critical thinking skills given random or high-risk uncertainties? The panelists will cover specific experience and examples from their projects and we will ask for audience participation regarding this subject matter.

Panelists include experienced contractors, engineers, consultants and owners that represent major projects including San Francisco Hetch Hetchy upgrades, King County tunnel work, Alaska Way tunnel, Seattle Sound Transit tunnels, and other subway projects.

The course instructor is Russell Clough, a third-generation underground worker who began his career as a miner in 1961, worked for various contractors, engineering companies, and spent 10 years as a tunnel contractor. He is a registered civil, geotechnical, and safety engineer. For the last 20 years he has been a professor at Stanford while also serving on over 60 dispute review boards. Clough has coordinated many industry panels covering issues and changes in our industry.

In addition, short courses are being offered on “Grouting in Underground Construction,” “Tunnel Lining Design,” and “Microtunneling Application.”

For more information, visit: http://www.smenet.org/docs/Meetings/2013/2013RETC_ShortCourses.pdf

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