June 1, 2012


Ethics session attendees participate in discussion on May 21 during EWRI Congress 2012

AAWRE hosted special engineering ethics and expert witness sessions on May 21-22, during the 2012 EWRI World Water and Environmental Resources Congress in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An engineering ethics session and a ‘To be an Expert Witness' sessions were offered as part of the specialty track sessions during the Congress week. These sessions provided all attendees a convenient opportunity to fulfill annual Professional Development Hour (PDH) Ethics requirements. The sessions were presented as interactive courses, with opportunities for small group discussions, which served as great opportunities for eighty engineers and professionals to freshen up and learn new perspectives on ethics and how to become an expert witness for legal cases.

The Ethics session was conducted by Brian Barkdoll, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE, a Civil & Environmental Engineering Professor at Michigan Tech University and the Expert session was conducted by David Williams, Ph.D., P.E., P.H., CFM, CPESC, D.WRE, M.ASCE, the President of DTW and Associates, LLC. Both Brian and David are founding Diplomates since 2005.

Dr. David Williams and DTW and Associates provides water resources engineering services as well as expert witness support. DTW and Associates provide services to public and private entities in the areas of hydraulics, hydrology, sediment transport analysis, fluvial geomorphology, stable channel design, and flood control design. It also conducts short courses in HEC-RAS (basic and unsteady flow), HEC-HMS, HEC-6, Riprap Design, Fluvial Geomorphology, and Stable channel design. Dr. Williams worked for 10 years at the Waterways Experiment Station for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg and has been working as a consultant for the past 20 years.

Dr. Brian Barkdoll has degrees from the Universities, of Akron, Cincinnati and Iowa. He has spent 4 years as an engineer for the U.S. Peace Corps in Nepal. Dr. Barkdoll's teaching interests include fluid mechanics, hydraulics, hydrology, sediment transport, contaminant transport, and water collection and distribution. His research interests are in sedimentation, scour, oxygen transfer, clay permeability, vortices, acoustics, stream restoration, dams and reservoirs, intakes, water distribution systems, international development, and environmental sustainability. Dr. Barkdoll is a member of the ASCE Sedimentation Committee and the Environmental Hydraulics Committee. He has won the Daniel W. Mead Award for Younger Members of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Chi Epsilon James M. Robbins Excellence-in-Teaching Award for the S.W. District.

Professor Barkdoll stated on his Ethics session:

“Engineers and Academicians consistently face decisions that have ethical implications associated with them. The safety of the public and the integrity of the institutions that we present are our primary concerns; however personal gain or time pressures may periodically challenge our commitments. This short course goes over such topics as what is the difference between a Code of Conduct and a Code of Ethics, some example Codes of Ethics for public officials, research and publishing ethics for academicians, and some rules of thumbs to help guide your decision making process when encountering ethically challenging situations. In addition, a refresher on basic engineering ethics topics that commonly occur will be presented and interesting scenarios on relevant topics will be discussed.”

Dr. Williams stated on his Expert session:

“In the litigious atmosphere of today, water resources professionals and/or their organization are often involved in civil suits. The professional are also often asked to be expert witnesses in civil suits as well as provide services for mediations. This interactive workshop presents advice on how to conduct business so as to minimize exposure to possible legal actions and what to expect when asked to participate in the legal process from the perspective of experienced expert witnesses. Also presented are discussions on ethical conduct, the role of the witness (expert or party to the case) in the legal process, what is expected behavior, how to handle one's self under pressure, and how to prepare for discovery, deposition and trial. Other topics will be presented that will help one be an ethical, effective, in control and credible servant of the civil action process.”

Both Brian and David will team again and plan to conduct three sessions on ethics and expert witness training at the 2013 EWRI Congress in Cincinnati.

Contact Brian
Contact David