January 2021

Climate Change, Geotechnical Engineering, and Geohazard Assessments in Cold Regions

Status: Advanced registration is now closed. Please email Tasha Booth at [email protected] for inquiries.
Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Time: 8:15 AM–8:30 AM: Registration 
8:30 AM–12:30 PM: Webinar
Location: Webinar
Presenter: Lukas Arenson, P.Eng., Dr.Sc.Techn. ETH,
Principal Geotechnical Engineer, BGC Engineering Inc.
Credit: 4 Formal Continuing Education (CE) Hours
Cost: Engineers and Geoscientists BC Registrant Early Bird Price: $169.00 + GST = $177.45 until Jan 12, 2021

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Registrant Regular Price: $259.00 + GST = $271.95

Non-Registrant Price: $259.00 + GST = $271.95

Student Price: $129.50 + GST = $135.98
Please Note:
  • Student Price is eligible for participants in Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Student Program
  • If you are not an Engineers and Geoscientists BC registrant, and you do not already have an existing account, please proceed to creating a new account to create a profile before completing your event registration
  • For webinar sessions, the webinar login instructions will be made available 3 business days prior to the webinar date
  • A minimum number of registrations are needed by January 12, 2021 to proceed with this seminar. Please register early to avoid cancellation
  • All prices are subject to applicable taxes
Contact: Tasha Booth | Professional Development Coordinator
Direct: 604.558.6653
Toll Free: 1.888.430.8035 ext.6653
Email: [email protected]
Not only in Provinces and Territories north of 60° are geotechnical designs and geohazard affected by cold regions and permafrost, but also many areas in British Columbia are subject to impacts from cold climates or are affected by permafrost, in particular within BC's mountain regions. As climate is changing, historic records may no longer be representative for future behavior, making designs and assessments that rely on the past unreliable. In particular the glacial and the periglacial environments are changing at fast rates.

In response, some hazards disappear (e.g., lack of ice falls in response to rapid glacier retreat), but new ones may form, such as instabilities due to glacial debuttressing or increased potential for glacier lake outburst floods, as new proglacial lakes form. In addition, permafrost, which in BC is typically discontinuous and warm, is expected to degrade further and disappear with time affecting foundations and slopes. During this webinar, an introduction to permafrost science and engineering will be provided, challenges related to geotechnical engineering and geohazards in cold regions, including mountain permafrost, are discussed and approaches presented on how to incorporate climate change projections into a geotechnical design or geohazard assessment.

Course Outline

  • What constitutes cold regions engineering
  • Introduction to permafrost (characteristics, distribution, landforms)
  • Frozen soil mechanics
  • Foundation design concepts in cold regions
  • Site investigations
  • Glacial and periglacial geohazards
  • Climate change and geotechnical design in cold regions
  • Overview of climate change vulnerability assessments

After Attending the Course, You Will be Able to:

  • Understand the unique challenges related to geotechnical designs in permafrost, with specific focus on mountainous terrain;
  • Understand frozen soil classifications;
  • Advise on site investigations in areas where permafrost may be present;
  • Appreciate how climate change may impact geotechnical design;
  • Provide conceptual ideas for the protection of permafrost;
  • Understand that historic processes may no longer be representative for future behavior; and
  • See how geohazards in mountainous terrain may change in the future.

Target Audience

  • Geotechnical engineers
  • Geological engineers
  • Geoscientists
  • Transportation engineers
  • Mining engineers and geoscientists
  • Designers and consulting engineers and geoscientists
  • Planners, municipalities, and provincial officers


Lukas Arenson, P.Eng., Dr.Sc.Techn.ETH

Principal Geotechnical Engineer, BGC Engineering Inc.

Lukas is a Geotechnical Engineer with specific expertise in frozen soil mechanics, permafrost engineering, periglacial risk assessments, and geothermal modelling. He received his PhD in civil engineering at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He has worked on infrastructure and mining projects in Arctic and mountain permafrost, and on the stability of frozen slopes in North America, the European Alps, the South American Andes, and Asia. He has been involved in consulting and research work related to preventing permafrost degradation, re-establishing pre-construction thermal regimes after constructions, accelerating the consolidation of mine waste tailings, and cold climate heap leaching. He has studied effects of climate change on northern infrastructure as part of various projects including climate change vulnerability assessments. Lukas has taught permafrost engineering courses at universities and for industry and published various scientific publications on topics related to cold regions engineering. He is currently the president of the Canadian Permafrost Association and was chair of the Cold Regions Engineering Division of the Canadian Geotechnical Society. Further, Lukas is an Adjunct Professor at the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Manitoba. He was the recipient of the Troy L. Péwé award in 2003 and was awarded the Roger J. E. Brown Memorial Award from the Canadian Geotechnical Society in 2010 for his contributions to permafrost science and engineering.

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