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RIZZO's Senior Technical Leads Have Significant Consulting Experience Covering Multiple Engineering Disciplines, And Thus Bring An Exceptional Level Of Technical Insight And Understanding To Our Project Work.
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John Osterle, P.E.


Mr. Osterle has worked as an engineering consultant for over 35 years on a variety of civil, hydraulic, geotechnical and structural engineering projects. He is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of dam, levee and flood protection engineering. During his tenure, Mr. Osterle worked on some of the largest dam rehabilitation projects in the U.S. and overseas including Taum Sauk Dam, Saluda Dam, Bagnell Dam and Wyaralong Dam. A registered professional engineer in 19 states, Mr. Osterle received his M.S. and B.S. in civil engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University. He is the vice chair of environment and sustainability committee for United States Society on Dams (USSD) and has authored several technical papers, developed training workshops, and participated in panel discussions on topics in his areas of expertise.

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Nishikant Vaidya, Ph.D., P.E.


Dr. Vaidya, RIZZO's senior lead for advanced engineering projects, has more than 40 years of experience in structural design for both fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, commercial and industrial structures, dams, and equipment and piping installations. He is a recognized expert in the field of seismic isolation for nuclear power plants. Dr. Vaidya has participated in and led standards development efforts for the American Concrete Institute, the American Institute of Steel Engineers, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. His fields of specialization include the analysis and design of hardened structures, soil dynamics and stability of foundation materials, stress analysis, earthquake engineering, and shock and vibration analysis.

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Richard Quittmeyer, Ph.D.


Dr. Quittmeyer has more than 35 years of  experience in seismology and seismic hazard studies for nuclear power plants, nuclear waste repositories, dams and reservoirs, and various other major civil projects. He has managed and provided technical integration and peer-review for hazard studies following Senior Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee (SSHAC) Level 1, 2, 3, and 4 guidelines. He has also managed and provided technical integration for large-scale site characterization projects and has prepared licensing applications for submittal to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and to international nuclear regulatory agencies. Dr. Quittmeyer has also supported the United States Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) as a subject matter expert.


Enrique Bazan-Zurita, Ph.D., P.E.


Dr. Bazan-Zurita has more than 40 years experience in civil, structural, seismic, and geotechnical engineering analyses related to power plants, dams, bridges, buildings, industrial towers, and foundations, including particularly extensive experience in seismic and geotechnical engineering aspects of nuclear power plants, coal and natural gas plants, hydropower plants, electrical substations, and earth and rockfill dams. At at the National University of Mexico, prior to his tenure with RIZZO, Dr. Bazan-Zurita conducted and supervised research on seismic analysis and design of structures, structural and foundation design for industrial facilities, structural optimization, seismic resistance of existing buildings, and post-earthquake site inspections and evaluations. 

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James Hays, P.E.


Mr. Hays serves as RIZZO's chief structural engineer.  He has over 40 years of consulting experience and has developed an extensive background in the analysis and design of industrial and commercial facilities and related equipment. His structural mechanics background includes seismic time history and response spectrum analysis; analysis of hydrodynamic load effects; harmonic response analysis for both mechanical loads and environmentally-induced vibrations; linear and non-linear finite element stress analysis of plates, shells, vessels, walls, and coupled soil-foundation models; heat transfer and thermal stress analysis; and advanced numerical techniques and analytical mathematics.

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Jeffrey Kimball


Jeffrey Kimball, RIZZO's senior seismologist, has more than 35 years of experience in the evaluation and characterization of natural hazards and the design of critical facilities to resist hazards. Prior to joining RIZZO, Mr. Kimball served as a senior technical specialist for the United States Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and the United States Department of Energy. At the Department of Energy, Mr. Kimball led the preparation of standards and guides to define the requirements and procedures for the analysis of natural hazards. He is also well-versed in nuclear facility regulations and the guidance associated with nuclear power plant design and evaluation, and is a recognized expert in ground motion modeling and probabilistic seismic hazard analysis.

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K. Michael Cline, P.G.


Mr. Cline is RIZZO's chief geoscientist. He has nearly 45 years professional experience in the assessment of geologic hazards for nuclear facilities, dam projects, and major population centers. He has specific technical expertise in the interpretation of high-resolution geophysical survey data, paleoseismic trenching, and the evaluation of seismic sources for probabilistic fault displacement and seismic hazard analyses. Mr. Cline also has experience in resource and mine feasibility investigations for precious and base metal prospects, and has led the development of environmental assessments for large scale mining projects. Mr. Cline currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and represents RIZZO in the western United States.

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Daniel Barton, P.E.


Mr. Barton is RIZZO's chief civil engineer. Mr. Barton has more than 30 years of experience in civil, geotechnical, and environmental engineering, including design, licensing and permitting, and construction support for power generation facilities, water and wastewater infrastructure, industrial facilities, and institutional and commercial developments. His specific civil engineering expertise includes hydraulic analysis and design, stormwater management and design, and environmental evaluation. Mr. Barton has managed numerous infrastructure projects for RIZZO, including responsibility for scope, schedule, budget, and quality assurance and quality control.


Rolando Benitez, P.G.


Mr. Rolando Benitez is RIZZO's chief engineering geologist. He has more than 20 years of expertise in coordinating multidisciplinary teams in both geotechnical foundation characterization and oil exploration and production. Mr. Benitez has led both field- and office-based investigations for nuclear power plant license applications, including structural and stratigraphic, physiographic, and geomorphologic studies. Mr. Benitez has also led grouting programs for dam construction and rehabilitation projects, and has served as project manager, field team leader, and lead geologist for numerous infrastructure and mining-related site geotechnical, geological, petrophysical, geophysical, and mining investigations.

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