A Berkeley Short Course

A two-day short course: Thursday & Friday 20-21st May 2021 (LIVE) & Recorded

Where: Online via ZOOM platform

This course is completed. If you would like to be notified of future versions of this course, please add your e-mail by clicking on the link below

why this course

The pace of technological innovation and scientific progress has led to new technologies to monitor civil infrastructure and the environment. These technologies provide, in many cases, unprecedented opportunities for sensing and understanding of the way civil infrastructure responds to natural hazards, environmental stressors such as climate change, and human activities.

This 2-day online short course improves on the very well received January 2021 version of the course (see feedback here).

The course will provide a review of some of these technologies that are about to, or are already impacting the way we design, maintain, or operate geo-infrastructure and the way we manage risk. The instructors have significant expertise in the technologies presented and will outline the principles of operation and the advantages and disadvantages, as well as share examples of projects and case histories where these technologies have been successfully implemented.

Short Course Participant Survey Results (January 2021)


Dimitrios Zekkos, PhD, PE

University of California at Berkeley (short course lead)

Robert Kayen, PhD

USGS and University of California at Berkeley (instructor)

Kenichi Soga, PhD, FREng, FASCE, FICE

University of California (instructor)

Kenneth Johnson, PhD, CEG, PE

WSP USA (instructor)

Course Objectives

The objective of this course is to introduce a wide range of new technologies for geo-infrastructure monitoring and how they fit in a geotechnical engineer’s toolbox. Specific course objectives:

  1. Introduce the concepts of digital twins and the new observational method

  2. Understand the principles of operation of each technology and its advantages and limitations

  3. Review examples of applications of the technologies in actual geotechnical projects

  4. Provide guidance on how one could implement these technologies in engineering practice.

course outline

Part 1: Introduction and The Big Picture of Geotechnical Infrastructure Monitoring

    • Introduction – Welcome

    • Review of Current and New Technologies and Hierarchy– Digital Twins and data management frameworks – New Observational Method

    • Means for Sensing

      • Satellites

      • Aerial

      • Terrestrial

      • UAV

      • In-situ

Part 2: New Technologies for geotechnical monitoring: Remote and non-contact Sensing

  • UAVs and Optical data collection

  • Structure-from-Motion

  • LiDAR


  • Data Analysis using 3D models

  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

  • Infrared - Principles and Applications

Part 3: New Technologies for geotechnical monitoring: Embedded Sensing

  • Wireless Sensing applications – Principles and Applications

  • The ShapeArray

  • Distributed Fiber Optics

Part 4: Conclusion

Putting it all together–how to optimize your design using monitoring data


By registering to the course you can get the course content in two ways:

  1. Live (synchronous) from 9:00 to 17:00 Pacific time on May 20-21 2021

  2. Recorded lectures that will remain available for two weeks after the Live version of the course. This is expected to facilitate particularly participants in different time zones. Additional office hours have also been arranged early in the morning a week after the short course for questions from participants (see agenda)

In addition, the course includes significant time for discussion and consultations in joint rooms and break-out rooms with the instructors.

AGENDA OF DAY 1 (download Agenda file here)

DAY 1 – Thursday May 20 2021

Part 1: Introduction and The Big Picture of Geotechnical Infrastructure Monitoring

8:00-8:15: Introduction – Welcome (Zekkos)

8:15-8:45: Why Monitor? (Soga)

Part 2: New Technologies for geotechnical monitoring: Remote and non-contact Sensing

8:45-9:15: RTK GPS (Kayen)

9:15-10:15: LiDAR (Kayen)

10:15-11:15: UAVs (Zekkos)

11:15-12:15 - 1 hr break – discussion - chat

12:15-13:15: Optical data collection & Structure-from-Motion (Zekkos)

13:15-14:15: Case Histories with 3D Data Analysis (Zekkos)

14:15-14:45: Setting the threshold and limit levels of monitoring (Soga)

14:45-15:45 Case History Dive-in: Tunnel Monitoring 1 (Johnson)

15:45-16:15 Public Discussion (optional)

16:15-17:00 Office Hours & Consultations (in breakout rooms -optional)

AGENDA OF DAY 2 (download Agenda file here)

DAY 2 – Friday May 21 2021

8:00-9:00 Welcome. Public Discussion (optional)

Part 2: New Technologies for geotechnical monitoring: Remote and non-contact Sensing (Continued)

9:00-10:00: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) (Kayen)

10:00-10:30 : Case History: SAR application (Kayen)

10:30-11:15 UAV-based Infrared – Principles & Applications (Zekkos)

11:15-11:45 Case History Dive-in: The Edenville Dam Failure Characterization (Zekkos)

11:45-12:30 break – public Discussion

Part 3: New Technologies for geotechnical monitoring: Embedded Sensing

12:30-13:30 Fiber Optics and the role of distributed sensing (Soga)

13:30-14:00 Case History Dive-in: Soil-pile interaction monitoring (Soga)

14:00-15:00 ShapeArray TM (Johnson)

15:00-15:30 public Discussion

15:30- 16:30 Wireless sensor network (Soga)

16:30-17:00 Case History Dive-in: Deep excavation and tunnel monitoring (Soga)

Part 4: Conclusion & Public Discussion

17:00-17:30 Putting it all together & Introduction to Digital Twins (Zekkos)

17:30-18:00 Public Discussion (optional)

18:00-19:00 Office Hours & Consultations (in breakout rooms -optional)

Thursday May 27 2021 (A week later)

8:00-9:00: Open Discussion with Instructors

This session is optional and provide additional interactions with instructors for all short course participants who participated live (synchronous) or watched some of the session recordings (asynchronous)


  • 14 hrs of online lectures – Available for real-time during the course delivery as well as non-real-time (i.e., asynchronous). Registered participants will be able to view the presentations for an entire week following the completion of the course through a password-protected website.

  • 700+ course slides

  • Recommended Technical literature for each specific technology/theme

  • Office hours (instructors available for discussion in break-out rooms at the end of each day of course delivery, as well as a week later)

  • Certificate of attendance by the Short Course Organizer

  • Certificate for 8 PDH hours


The cost of this two-day course is $985. A limited number of spots are available for students after coordination with the short course leader.

A 10% reduction in cost is provided for 3-4 registrations and a 20% off for 5+ registrations (if paid at the same time during course registration).

Refund Policy: Course registration can be fully refunded based on requests made until May 7 2021.


Course Registration is completed.


For questions related to this short course, please contact the short course leader Prof. Dimitrios Zekkos (