Richard (Rick) Sisson, Ph.D., P.E., P.Eng., is a Senior Geotechnical Engineer based in Knight Piésold’s Denver office. He is a geotechnical engineer with a master’s degree and doctorate degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied under Dr. James K. Mitchell, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Michigan State University.
He has 30 years of experience, much of it on challenging projects in mining, transportation, and heavy civil infrastructure. He has had technical responsibility for the geotechnical design of commercial and residential developments, and transportation, mining, and oil and gas projects in a wide variety of geologic environments across the Western United States and Canada.
He has a wide range of geotechnical design experience ranging from planning studies, due diligence, and feasibility assessments to detailed design and construction engineering. He specializes in geotechnical aspects of tailings and water storage facilities, slope stability assessment, and design of foundations and retaining structures.
He is familiar with expansive soils, collapsible soils, sensitive soils, stiff fissured clays, pre-sheared clay shales, peat, alluvial, colluvial, and glacial soils, loess, frozen soils and permafrost, and dredged materials. He have considerable experience with drilling and sampling, advanced in-situ and laboratory soil testing, geotechnical instrumentation, characterization of soft to very soft soils and non-Newtonian fluids, evaluation of fills placed underwater, earthwork and mass grading, mine water balances, frozen soils and permafrost, cold regions construction, hydraulic fracturing of soils, and unsaturated soil mechanics. He has performed engineering analyses of soil settlement and subsidence, internal soil erosion (“piping”), ground vibrations, earth pressures, slope instability and creep, groundwater infiltration, earthquake ground shaking, liquefaction, lateral spread, pavement systems.
He is a professional engineer in California, Colorado, Ohio, and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Society of Mining Engineers, the Colorado Association of Geotechnical Engineers, the Canadian Dam Association, and the Canadian Geotechnical Society.