February 24, 2022

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Rudy Bonaparte Delivers Spring 2022 Hyatt Distinguished Lecture at Georgia Tech

On February 17, 2022, Rudolph Bonaparte, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE., F.ASCE, NAE, (Georgia) delivered the spring 2022 Kenneth Hyatt Distinguished Lecture to the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology In his talk, "Civil and Environmental Engineers as Leaders in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation," Rudy made the case that Civil and Environmental Engineers (CEEs) have a crucial role to play in addressing climate change, both in mitigating (reducing) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through contributions to projects involving energy transition, improvement of the nation's energy transmission grid, and emission reductions in the transportation and building sectors, and in helping society adapt to climate-related impacts such as sea level rise, prolonged drought, and more extreme weather.

He argued that CEEs who are graduating in the next few years have clear responsibilities in relation to climate change, since their careers span the years when human actions will "determine the ultimate severity of climate change impacts on our world."

"You're going to be in the thick of it," he told them. Acting to address climate change, he said, is a direct fulfillment of the engineering code of ethics, and as such, should be the responsibility of all CEEs. His lecture went on to make this case, laying out steps new and early career CEEs should consider, including advocating for funding of programs, encouraging smart practices from employers, educating and working with project owners, and, most importantly, developing their own skills to address the issue.

Rudy went on to enumerate discrete, practical engineering skills and subjects that, in his view, new CEEs should consider essential, given the reality of climate change.

"Climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts will spur countless projects that will need CEE contributions and leadership. These projects will create exciting career opportunities for many of you," Rudy told the students. He concluded by telling them, "You can make a real difference for good. As civil and environmental engineers, you have a responsibility to do so."

In addition to serving as Geosyntec's CEO for 20 years, Rudy is presently a Senior Principal and the company's Board Chair. His areas of focus include geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering; contaminated site, waterway, and sediment assessment and remediation; and solid, hazardous, and low-level radioactive waste disposal facility permitting and design. Rudy believes in service to the profession, routinely authoring papers, book chapters, and government reports, in addition to serving on editorial boards. The recipient of many awards, including the Lifetime Achievement in Engineering Award from the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers, Rudy is also Professor of the Practice at Georgia Tech, where he co-teaches the course, "Global Engineering Leadership."

The Hyatt Distinguished Leadership Speaker Series, hosted by the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, brings a leader to the Georgia Tech campus every fall and spring to share their insights with students and the wider community. It is made possible by the support of Georgia Tech alum Kenneth Hyatt. The Series helps fulfill the mission of the school, which is to empower students to be leaders in systems-level thinking and technical innovation to define and solve complex problems in the interface of built, natural, and social systems while serving Georgia, the nation, and the world.

More Information

Learn about the Hyatt Series and watch Rudy's presentation: https://ce.gatech.edu/hyatt
About the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering: https://ce.gatech.edu
For consultation regarding engineering, remediation, permitting, and design, contact Rudy at RBonaparte@Geosyntec.com
Learn more about Rudy: www.geosyntec.com/people/rudolph-bonaparte