November 10, 2021

« All News

Rudolph Bonaparte Presented the 2021 Leslie A. and Dennis J. Drag Distinguished Lecture at the University of California, Los Angeles

Rudy Bonaparte, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, NAE, F.ASCE (Georgia) was invited by the UCLA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to present the 2021 Dennis and Leslie Drag Distinguished Lecture. The title of his talk was "Opportunities for CEEs to Contribute to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation." Rudy delivered his talk at UCLA's Mong Auditorium on Friday, October 22, 2021.

Rudy is a Senior Principal based in Georgia with 40 years of professional experience focused on geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering; contaminated site, waterway, and sediment assessment and remediation; and solid, hazardous, and low-level radioactive (LLR) waste disposal facility permitting and design. Rudy served as the President and CEO of Geosyntec for 20 years and now serves as Chairman of Geosyntec's Board of Directors.

Rudy's practice experience includes serving as: design engineer-of-record for a state-of-the-art LLR waste facility for the U.S. Department of Energy; design engineer-of-record for several power utility coal combustion residual (CCR) surface impoundment closures; feasibility study lead for the Berry's Creek Study Area (BCSA) contaminated sediment Superfund site and project director for the remedial design; design engineer-of-record for three major Superfund remediation projects; and project team member for the seismic hazard evaluation for siting of a State of Alaska, Anchorage Office Complex and evaluation of the seismic stability of several embankment dams. His project experience also includes engineering design of a large dredged sediment containment area constructed on soft, compressible foundation soil; design of soil and sediment remediation measures for a site along Green's Bayou, Houston Ship Channel; and technology pilot testing to chemically stabilize hexavalent chromium in harbor-front fill deposits of chromite ore process residuals (COPR).

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA strives to educate engineering leaders who can work in a multi-disciplinary environment to anticipate and address evolving challenges; develop and apply high-performance structural materials and systems; develop performance‐based earthquake engineering as a new paradigm for analysis and design of disaster‐resistant infrastructure; improve the reliability, performance, and disaster-resistance of water supplies, treatment processes, and distribution systems; create new engineering materials to improve the performance of infrastructure; characterize and mitigate natural and man-made hazards; improve fundamental knowledge of the interrelations between the built environment and natural systems; and develop the technological innovations needed to safeguard, improve, and economize infrastructure and society.

Lecture Abstract

The climate of California, the United States, and most of the world has warmed - and will continue to warm - with anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions being the primary factor in this warming. Societies are responding individually and collectively through a wide range of mitigation and adaptation initiatives. Much more will need to be done over the coming decades. This lecture begins with a brief review of climate change basics and the framing of climate change as a historic environmental and societal disruptor, with an emphasis on California. The lecture then describes areas of opportunity for civil and environmental engineers (CEEs) to contribute to both climate change mitigation efforts and projects being undertaken to help society adapt to the effects of climate change. Next, the lecture considers whether CEEs have a professional and leadership responsibility to help. The conclusion is that CEEs have a large and vital role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation, one that will last for decades, and a professional and leadership responsibility to contribute.

More Information

About the event: Dennis and Leslie Drag Distinguished Lecture: Opportunities for CEEs to Contribute to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation | CEE (
About the UCLA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering: About | CEE (
For consultation regarding climate change and civil and environmental engineering, contact Rudy Bonaparte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about Rudy: Rudolph Bonaparte (