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AEG Foundation
Robert E. Tepel
About: Directors & Staff - Robert E. Tepel

Robert E. Tepel graduated from California State University, Los Angeles, in 1962. After post-graduate studies, he began a career as an engineering geologist with the California Department of Water Resources (1964-1969). He was assigned to the design exploration team for Cedar Springs Dam, at which site an active fault had been discovered in the foundation. This began a career-long interest in the effects of faults, active or not, on foundation design for water resources infrastructure. He worked in private industry from 1969-1977, for a small consulting firm specializing in earth dams. He was principal field investigator for the Buffalo Creek Dam failure of February 26, 1972, which killed 125 people and devastated the communities along Buffalo Creek in West Virginia. He moved to the Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Jose, California, in 1977, as Engineering Geologist, and retired in 1999. He was responsible for dam safety monitoring and landslide investigations. One of the District’s water treatment plants is on a creeping landslide, and the District’s Coyote Dam is built across the trace of the actively creeping Calaveras fault. Robert E. Tepel is a past president and Honorary Member of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists. He has maintained an interest in the public policy aspects of applied geology throughout his career and retirement. In 2001, he was appointed to the California State Mining and Geology Board and served until 2012. He served on the board of the AEG Foundation from 2005 to 2011, and returned to the board for another term beginning in 2016.