Dr. Bechtel is geophysicist/geologist, and a world-renowned expert on sinkholes. But not just sinkholes; bedrock conditions, caves, water pollution, and all issues related to karst terranes. Dr. Bechtel has 25 years of experience in the engineering/environmental industry, as well as faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, and Franklin and Marshall College, and is an appointed member of the International Karst Commission. Dr. Bechtel has been an expert in dozens of sinkole or karst-related cases - often related to causes of sinkholes and/or water problems.
Dr. Bechtel also has expertise and courtroom experience in the Marcellus Shale (and hydrofracking), seismology, seismic hazards, vibration monitoring and analysis, subsidence, soil creep, landslides, rockfalls, non-destructive evaluation of earthen dams and levees, subsurface utility locating and marking, and corrosion of underground structures. He has used non-destructive geophysical subsurface imaging to locate buried weapons caches and other evidence, as well as human remains (e.g. in missing persons cases or to confirm the presence of burials in cemetery plots).
For the past 12 years, Dr. Bechtel has also been involved in cutting edge research into detection of landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO), improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and other explosive remnants of war (ERW).
Dr. Bechtel has been recognized as an expert by numerous courts in about a dozen states, and has never had a successful challenge to his qualifications.
Areas of Expertise
- Civil Engineering
- Construction Damages
- Construction Site
- Environmental Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering
- Hydrology & Groundwater
- Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
- A: B.Sc., Haverford College, 1982
M.Sc., Brown University, 1984
Ph.D., Brown University, 1989
Registered P.G. (Professional Geologist), 1992
- Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
- A: International Karst Commission, appointed member
International Association of Hydrogeologists Journal, appointed Associate Editor
Geological Society of America
American Geophysical Union
Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Engineering and Environmental Geophysical Society
Engineers Without Borders
- Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
- A: Adjunct Graduate Professor, University of Pennsylvania, 2000-present
teaching in geology, geophysics and geocomputation
Visiting Full Professor, Adjunct Full Professor, or Visiting Scholar, Franklin and Marshall College, 2009-present
teaching and research in environmental geology, UXO and mine clearance
- Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
- A: No
- Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
- A: More than 50
- Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Karst Geology and Hydrology (sinkholes, caves, rock pinnacles, water pollution)
Marcellus Shale (and hydrofracking)
Rock Falls (e.g. onto highways)
Traffic and Blasting Vibration
Disturbance of burials or mistaken burials in cemeteries
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
- A: Approximately 40%
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
- A: Approximately 60%
- Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
- A: Approximately 30
- Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
- A: August, 2009
- Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
- A: More than 20
- Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
- A: More than 20
- Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
- A: More than 18
- Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
- A: All of the above
- Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
- A: $155
- Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
- A: $155
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
- A: $225
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
- A: $225
- Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
- A: Travel at $100/hour
Driving mileage at $1.50/mile
Per dia (if necessary) at $200/night
Airfare, reproduction, binding, etc. at cost plus 10%
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