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Wed, May 08


Park Town Hotel

Geomorphic Processes Short Course with Dr. Wayne Savigny

The SGG is honoured to host Dr. Wayne Savigny for a two-day short course that focuses on a review of geomorphic processes that have most influenced the landscapes of Canada. The short course runs from 8AM to Noon on May 8th and 9th. There are no short course activities planned in the afternoons.

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Geomorphic Processes Short Course with Dr. Wayne Savigny
Geomorphic Processes Short Course with Dr. Wayne Savigny

Time & Location

May 08, 2024, 8:00 a.m. – May 09, 2024, 1:00 p.m.

Park Town Hotel, 924 Spadina Crescent E, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3H5, Canada

About The Event

Short Course Schedule:

The short course will run from 8 AM to Noon on May 8th and 9th. There are no short course activities in the afternooons of either day. A lunch will be provided for attendees at the conclusion of the short course on May 9th. 

Please provide your vehicle license plate to reception to obtain free parking in the hotel lot/parkade.

Short Course Content: 

A generation of young professionals were inspired by outstanding Saskatchewan practitioners like Earl Christiansen, Jack Mollard and Carl Sauer, to name a few. These men were blessed with uncanny abilities to imagine processes that emplaced soils, their distributions and properties, and they were experts at building geo-models for communities of engineering and geoscience professionals.

In an effort to walk this path, the course begins with reviews of geomorphic processes that have most influenced the landscapes of Canada; topics like periglacial climate, ice physics and glacier flow, glacier hydrology, glaciations of Canada, glacial deposition, meltwater flow and meltwater deposition. These explain the array of sediment types and attendant stratigraphy and sedimentology of soils across Canada and most high-latitude countries around the globe.

You may be saying to yourself that all this geoscience sounds too simple for a two-day seminar. Indeed, the less background one has in geology, the easier the subject seems. The reality is that Geotechnical Engineers often fail to adequately consider the genesis of soils as it influences the distribution, variability and nature. The late Glenn Urquart, a distinguished litigator and co-founder of the firm Singleton Urquhart LLP, put it succinctly, “… most litigation risk affecting construction is simply getting out of the ground …” In short, engineers often overlook the need for a site-specific geo-model to inform their investigation, design, construction, and operational practices.

The process review blends-in an array of case histories. Examples are drawn from the mining, pipeline, and civil / municipal sectors. They illustrate the breadth of process understanding needed to build geo-models suitable for geotechnical engineering design purposes. The course is not intended to make participants experts. Rather, it is designed to illustrate the breadth of imaginative thinking needed to build geo-models.

The case histories are drawn from across Canada and a few international locations. They are derived from the presenter’s career-path, which has been dominated by solving ground problems for engineers that viewed geology as simple and wished to fast-track their projects to analysis and design tasks. The project examples range in scale from thousands to billions of dollars and span the 1970s to present.

About Wayne:

Dr. Savigny has more than 50 years experience in the overlapping fields of geology and engineering. He specializes in the interpretation of geology as it influences engineered developments with applications to the oil and gas, hydro electric, mining, pipeline, municipal/industrial development, and transportation industries. Much of his experience has focused on geohazards such as landslides, soil erosion, fault rupture, permafrost, karst, and river erosion, particularly in high relief terrain. He has developed and implemented methodologies for the systematic identification and rating of geohazards, and for their risk management; and, has coordinated multi-disciplinary teams of consultants and industry representatives in developing strategies to investigate and manage complex geohazards involving high risk costs. The work has taken him throughout Canada and to many countries in Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. He has also been retained as an expert for review panels, arbitration, mediation and litigation matters, inquests, and public hearings in Canada, United States, Argentina and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Savigny is a recipient of the UBC Teaching Excellence Award. Recognitions from the Canadian Geotechnical Society include the Thomas Roy and Roger J.E. Brown Memorial awards for outstanding contributions to Engineering Geology and Permafrost in Canada; 2005 Cross Canada Lecturer; and Associate Editor of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal. He is recipient of the Vancouver Geotechnical Society lifetime achievement award. His professional work as a member of a large multidisciplinary team has been recognized with a Government of Canada Award of Excellence. He was elected a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada in 2011.


Participants of this course will receive a certificate of attendance to claim the hours as an APEGS CPD verifiable formal activity.

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