Member Bios for 2018 - 2019

Member Bios for 2018 - 2019

MEMBER BIOS (2018-2019):

The 20 current members of the YMPG span the globe, comprised of students, professors, researchers, and practitioners - all with a diverse technical background. Each member is willing to serve as a resource for the younger (and all!) members in our profession, whether you have technical questions, are looking for advice as you start your career, or would like to just be friends. Please read about each member below and contact our committee members via email [email protected].  Also look for us on Geo-World!


Jean Potgieter

Jean Potgieter was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. After graduating from the University of Pretoria, he worked at two consulting engineering firms from 2013 to 2015. Initially for Rust Geotechnical Consultants and then for Jones & Wagener. During this period he worked on a range of geotechnical projects including tailings dams, foundation design, retaining walls and site investigations.

In 2016, Jean won a scholarship funded by Terra Strata to investigate the fundamental differences between designing retaining walls with simplistic and complex design methods.  He completed his Masters degree at the end of 2016.

Currently, Jean is employed by the University of Pretoria’s business arm, Enterprises, as a geotechnical consultant to Namdeb - a diamond mining operation on the west coast of Namibia.

During 2016, Jean participated in the IOM3 Young Person’s World Lecture competition in Brazil. In 2014, Jean was selected as the best young presenter to represent the South African member society at the iYGEC6 and 19th ICSMGE in Seoul, Korea, 2017.    

Jean currently resides in Pretoria. He enjoys public speaking, playing sport and is currently involved with triathlon.

Daniel John Avutia

Daniel is a Chartered Professional Civil/Geotechnical Engineer in the Renewable Energy, Mining & Infrastructure sectors and sits on the National (SAICE) and International (ISSMGE YMPG) Geotechnical Engineering committees. Daniel was elected as Chair for the 7th African Young Geotechnical Engineer Conference to be held in Cape Town, South Africa in 2019.

Daniel’s current role at Enel Green Power (EGP) as Civil Geotechnical Lead Engineer (Africa) entails primary focus on Geotechnical Engineering aspects in Solar and Wind projects. Daniel is involved in over 15 Solar and Wind Renewable Energy projects in both the African and Australasian continents. In a typical Solar or Wind Energy development Daniel contributes towards the entire project lifecycle, which stems from the pre-feasibility (Bankability) due diligence Geotechnical Investigations, preliminary and detailed Civil designs and culminates with the Civil construction support during execution.

Daniel’s individual awards include winning the Young Civil Engineer of the Year Award in South Africa in 2015, winning the National Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining Young Persons’ Lecture Competition representing Africa in Dublin, Ireland and being selected to represent Africa at the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) RockBowl competition in Montreal Canada in 2015.

In addition to Daniel’s local and international achievements and experience, he has published 6 technical publications on 4 Continents in the Infrastructure, Wind Energy and Mining fraternities. Daniel’s commitment to the engineering fraternity is exemplified by his guest lecturer appearances at the top universities on the African continent, namely University of Cape Town, University of Witwatersrand and University of Pretoria.

Billang Nyogog Serge Aurelien

Anas Attaelmanan



Ceres Chung

I am one of the three representatives of Asia Region in Young Member Presidential Group (YMPG). 

I have worked in geotechnical engineering industry since my graduation at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with Bachelor of Civil and Structural Engineering in 2007.  I mainly worked on private buildings jobs with deep excavation, and foundation design.

I have been involved in geotechnical projects in different countries/ cities, including Hong Kong, Mainland China, Ireland and Sweden.  The overseas experience broaden my horizon and and build up the connections with consultant and contractor in different parts of the world. 

I am always looking to build on my technical skills. I am also eager to share my experience with others in the industry.

Fei (Tiffany) Wang

Fei Wang is currently an Associate Professor of the Southeast University. She majors in Geo-environmental Engineering, and mainly focuses on Soil Mix Technology Stabilised/Solidified Contaminated Site Soils. She got her bachelor degree in Yangzhou University (China) in 2009. Later, she furthered her study in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), the research topic was the Significance of Metal Exchange in EDDS-flushing Column Experiments. After she graduated from HKUST, she worked for a company as an engineer for one year and was involved in the design of a number of projects. She got her PhD degree from the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. 

She is a member of Cambridge Philosophical Society, Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering, and Jiangsu Society for Environmental Sciences etc. In addition, she is a reviewer of Science and Technology Books, Elsevier; Journal of Hazardous Materials; Journal of Environmental Radioactivity; Journal of Environmental Management & Journal of Agricultural Science and Applications etc.

Aswin Lim

My name is Aswin Lim, and I was born in Pontianak, a capital city of West Borneo Province, Indonesia. I finished my bachelor degree in civil engineering at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan and got my M.S. and Ph.D. degree from Taiwan Tech. My research focus is deep excavation and numerical modelling for geotechnical problems.

My motivations to serve the YMPG as a committee member:

1. I have felt the benefit from ISSMGE Foundation and I realize that most of my colleagues do not know or do not care about ISSMGE. In my opinion, serving YMPG is an excellent option in order to promote ISSMGE within young geotechnical engineers.

2. In my humble opinions, Southeast Asia Young Geotechnical Engineers have not adequately exposed to the international activity compared to other regions. Meanwhile, most of the country in Southeast Asia are developing countries and many infrastructures are under constructing. I hope I could attract them to show up in the international activity to gain more experiences and build networking in international society. I believe the experiences and networking can benefit all parties.


Truong Hoang Minh

After graduating from Taiwan Tech in 2013 with a Master of Science, I have worked for Golder Associates in Singapore for almost 4 years. Have been involved in various industry projects such as design of foundation, deep excavation, tunnelling, land reclamation, and ground improvement. I have become a member of Geotechnical Society of Singapore since 2013.

I am currently undertaking my PhD at University of Wollongong, working for the Australian Research Council project in the field of ground improvement and stabilization for soft soils under heavy haul train loads.

I am passionate about geotechnical engineering and wish to be connected with the globally young geotechnical engineers and researchers.

David Buxton

I graduated from Canterbury University, Christchurch, NZ in 2006 with a BE Civil (Hons). From 2007 to 2016 I worked for Tonkin + Taylor, the largest geotechnical consultancy in New Zealand. Since mid-2016 I have been based in Whangarei, Northland, working for Hawthorn Geddes Engineers and Architects, a local consulting company of 25 staff including Geotech, structural, civil and architecture. I have a wide range of geotechnical experience including shallow foundations, piles, landslips, retaining walls, excavations and settlement.

I attended the 10th Australia New Zealand Young Geotechnical Professionals Conference (ANZ YGPC) in 2014 and found it a rewarding experience. I was then an organiser of the 11th ANZ YGPC in 2016 and attended the 6th International Geotechnical Engineers’ Conference (iYGEC6) in Seoul 2017. Young engineers conferences are rewarding - take any chance to attend you get.

Daniel King

I am a geotechnical engineering with Golder Associates in Melbourne, Australian. Following my undergraduate studies, I worked full-time for 4 years at Golder Associates, before returning to university to complete a PhD. I returned to full time work with Golder in 2017.

While at Monash Uni I presented at the 10th International Geosynthetic Conference in Berlin in 2014 and the 11th ANZ Young Geotechnical Professional conference in 2016, I was the postgraduate student representative for the Engineering Faculty Research Training committee and tutored a number of geotechnical subjects. I have been a committee member of the Australian Geomechanics Society for the past 4 years and chaired the organising committee for the 2016 and 2017 AGS Victoria Symposium.

I have nominated myself for the YMPG committee of the ISSMGE because I have an active interest in the geotechnical profession and hope to encourage young students and engineers to become involved with the ISSMGE.

Ashe Cooper

I am a graduate from the University of Auckland engineering school and joined Beca nearly three years ago. I have worked on a variety of infrastructure and land development projects as well as some of the smaller jobs for government agencies. I have found how incredibly simple yet complex the art of geotechnical engineering is (or black magic some people call it ha!). Outside of the technical stuff, I enjoy playing sports and do a wee bit of entrepreneurial stuff in my own time. At university I worked for Red Bull so have some experience with breaking into groups and getting people out of their comfort zones.



Fabio Tradigo

After graduating as a Structural Engineer at Politecnico di Milano,  I became Doctor of Philosophy in Seismic, Structural and Geotechnical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano with a thesis on soil-structure interaction (2015), developing solid numerical skills and experience in the field of Finite Element Analyses.

Since 2014 I’m working in Arup Milan office as a Senior Civil and Geotechnical Engineer, being involved in national and international projects, including preliminary to detailed design, assistance to general contractors for design and built, as well as due diligences. I am also involved with a number of research projects in collaboration with European universities.

In Arup, I am currently the geotechnical numerical skills representative for Europe, the responsible for Arup Italy research activities and I am leading Arup Italy BIM development in the geotechnical and infrastructure sector.

I am serving the YMPG committee because I believe an active well connected network of young professionals is key to strengthen the relationship between research and practice, to share experiences across the globe and to develop our discipline in the next years.

I am a father of two sons and a daughter, I am passionate about soccer, classical and rock music, good food, data and digital.

Hong Doan

Dr Hong Doan has ten years experience in geotechnical engineering, including over seven years in the offshore sector. This includes a wide experience as a practicing geotechnical engineer, working on projects related to foundation design and soil-structure interaction analysis, including advanced testing techniques and advanced numerical techniques for jackets, jack-up rigs, subsea structures and offshore wind turbines.

Current role of Principal Engineer at Subsea7, he is responsible for project management, commercial management, technical management, consultancy and supervision of engineering teams on a variety of projects across the project life cycle from business development, tendering through to delivery of projects and close out. Furthermore daily duties include business development, client relations, networking and mentoring newly hired engineers.

He teaches Civil Engineering graduates and Master’s students about advanced Geotechnics at ENPC Ecole des Ponts ParisTech and is invited speaker at Ecole Centrale Nantes. He provides also the technical training to a large spectrum of Clients at Client premises.

He is active member of CFMS’s group preparing the recommendation on foundation design for offshore wind turbine at French coast.

He was awarded in 2016 one of two French nominated participants for 25th European Young Geotechnical Engineers Conference, has authored 3 journal publications and over 10 communications at specialty conferences and congresses.

He holds a MBA degree from School of International Management Paris (2011).

Iulia-Consuel Prodan

Dr. Iulia Prodan is Assistant Professor at Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Structures. She graduated in 2009 as a civil engineer and defended her phd. thesis in geotechnical engineering in 2012. From 2014 to 2015 she was Visiting Professor at the Laboratory of Soil Mechanics at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland where she performed research activities in the area of energy geostructures. Her research interests center on: geo-energy structures, biotechnologies for soil improvement, environmental protection and soil behavior.

During her involvement in YMPG she aims to: a. contribute to the realization of a better connection between the young members involved in geotechnical engineering field in order to facilitate new and productive collaborations among them, b. to help increase the number of young members and their visibility among geotechnical engineering community.

North America

Ezra Yoanes Setiasabda (Tjung)

I am currently a PhD candidate in Geotechnical Engineering at University of California, Berkeley. I am primarily working on numerical modeling of cyclic behavior of sand using Material Point Method (MPM).

Originally from Indonesia, I earned my B.Eng in 2014 from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and M.S. in 2016 from University of California, Berkeley. Upon my graduation from HKUST, I worked at Arup Hong Kong on jobs including 27 m excavation at Repulse Bay and preservation of historical retaining walls at Central area. In the San Francisco Bay Area (California), I have worked at Rockridge Geotechnical on jobs including ground improvements using drill displacement column, and earthquake retrofitting and seismic upgrades.

This would be my first term as a Member of Young Member Presidential Group (YMPG). A little bit more about myself: I am a die-hard fan of Liverpool FC, enjoy classical music and love to read about philosophy and Christian theology.

Tugce Baser

Dr. Baser is a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Civil Engineering of University of Alberta. She holds a PhD degree in Geotechnical Engineering from University of California San Diego and previously at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her main research areas are unsaturated soils, fundamental multi-physics processes, engineering challenges, and implementation strategies for soil borehole thermal energy storage (SBTES) from renewable energy sources in the vadose zone, and coupled relationships of thermal and hydraulic properties of unsaturated soils. Other research interests include shallow geo-exchange systems, Trenchless technologies specifically Horizontal Directional Drilling, subsurface characterization, and sustainability assessment approaches.

Dr. Baser’s overall goals in geotechnical engineering profession and specifically in ISSMGE YMPG are to:

(a) engage students with the geotechnical engineering to increase the awareness of the profession

(b) enhance the knowledge in the area

(c) reach out young members to provide update and information to resonate

(d) connect young members with legends in the professional and academic community  

Dr. Baser is also currently serving as the Public Relations Committee chair of the Geo-institute Student Leader Council. For more information visit

Azucena Román

I am a Civil Engineer graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and I hold a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering Systems from the Technical University of Madrid. I have focused my professional career on geotechnical engineering studies as well as transportation network analysis and modelling. I have been widely involved in research activities in the last 8 years regarding geotechnical studies and foundation design for strategic infrastructure such as urban overpasses, tunnels and metro lines. I have also developed transit efficiency optimization models in a sustainable framework. My main areas of expertise are seismic soil-structure interaction for transit systems, networks modeling and simulation, traffic studies and sustainable mobility. I am currently a lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering at UNAM and I work at the Institute of Engineering at UNAM on my PhD research, building an integrated model to conduct seismic hazard assessments and vulnerability studies for urban transportation networks.

Lucy Wu

I graduated from MIT with a Bachelors of Science and Stanford University with a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering. I started my career in Hong Kong working in the private buildings industry, designing deep excavations and foundations. After working there for nearly 5 years, I moved back to the US and started working in the public infrastructure industry. I currently work for WSP in San Francisco. One of my main projects is the California High Speed Rail, which is the first high speed rail system in the country.

I was fortunate to be a part of the previous two terms of the YMPG and have been selected to continue the group as the Chair. I hope that our group can continue to serve as a voice for the younger members of the ISSMGE. Please read my aims for this term in the December 2017 edition of the Bulletin.


South America

Mario Terceros Arce

In 2015 and 2017, I have participated in the “Congreso Internacion de Fundaciones Profundas de Bolivia” (2nd  and 3rd CFPB) as a member of the organization board and field expositor. At that time I realized the scarcity of engineers interested in Geotechnics, but also realized the thirst of knowledge and curiosity of the young students a engineers, which motivated me to get involved with the ISSMGE. This year (2017) will be my second period serving the ISSMGE’s Young Member Presidential Group (YMPG), role I will enjoy with a lot of enthusiasm.

I earned my Bachelor of Science in the Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM, Mexico) in 2013. During a one year exchange program in the Technical University of Munich, my interest on Geotechnical and deep foundation engineer woke up. I took all the geotechnical courses of the program and afterwards I prolonged my stay in Germany in order to make an internship in BAUER Gmbh. Currently I am MSc. student in the Universidad San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca, Bolivia, while working in a foundation Engineering Company. My research focuses on the design of piled raft foundations for high-rise buildings and its economic benefits, focusing specially on the effect that the pile installation technology has (Expander Body on the toe of the pile, Drilled displacement piles and traditional cased bored piles) on the piled raft load-settlement behavior (“capacity”).

Personally I enjoy outdoor sports like mountain biking, running, climbing.

Mauro Giuliano Sottile

I was born and raised in Corrientes, Argentina. I carried out my studies there, at the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste. I earned my Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering in 2008, highly motivated and intrigued by soils complex behavior.

A year later,  I applied for a Fulbright Scholarship, and I fortunately got it. I had the chance to carry out a Master of Science at MIT, with Prof Andrew Whittle as my advisor. I had the opportunity to carry out laboratory and numerical research. I wrote my thesis in the implementation and evaluation of a elasto-visco-plastic constitutive model in Abaqus.

In 2016, I returned to Argentina and I am currently working at SRK Consulting Buenos Aires with Alejo Sfriso. In my current area, we mainly deal with numerical modeling applied to civil structures and we are currently working on a R&D programme which includes the development of constitutive models to be applied in Plaxis.

Vitor Pereira Faro

I am from Viseu, Portugal. I have a degree and a Master's Degree from the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and a Doctoral and Post Doctoral degrees from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Nowadays I am a Professor at the Federal University of Paraná, in Curitiba, Brazil.

I'm mostly working with soil-structure interaction, geotechnical modeling, slope stability and Geological-Geotechnical Risks, being the coordinator of some research projects. I'm also coordinating some extension projects, where I try to bring Geotechnics to society.

Part of Brazilian Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ABMS) board, where I am the treasurer of Paraná – Santa Catarina core, I am a passionate geotechnical engineer and wish to connect with geotechnical engineers and researchers around the world.