ACEC Awards Julia Frazier 2017 Woman in Engineering Award

Cesare, Inc. (Cesare) is proud to announce that the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC) has honored Ms. Julia M. Frazier, P.G. with the 2017 Outstanding Woman in Engineering award for her leadership in the field of geology and her work on the “Geologic Hazards Study” for Boulder County, Colorado.

After a catastrophic flood devastated the Front Range of Colorado in 2013 (Boulder County being one of the most affected areas), there was over $2 billion worth in damages to properties, dwellings, and public infrastructure. In 2016, the Boulder County Land Use Department (BCLUD) took a proactive step towards understanding and addressing the impacts of floods and other natural hazards. Ms. Frazier worked with the BCLUD to better characterize and understand the potential extents and impacts of geologic hazards, and to develop enhanced mapping and predictive tools to be used to guide future land use decisions and prioritizations.

Geologic hazards, especially those driven by extreme precipitation events, were the primary focus of the study. Ms. Frazier worked with the BCLUD’s planning department on a regular basis through the course of the project, led an educational workshop for planners on geologic hazards impacting Boulder County, and helped to clarify and improve geologic and geotechnical report guidelines and expectations. Ms. Frazier also partnered with TerraCognito GIS, Inc. to improve existing geologic hazard maps available for Boulder County. Susceptibility maps and GIS datasets for landslide, rockfall, debris flow, and steeply-dipping heaving bedrock were provided to Boulder County.

Countywide geologic hazard datasets were developed based on a high resolution LiDAR terrain model using a statistically robust, data-driven modeling technique. This innovative approach is anticipated to become a model used by other Colorado municipalities to protect their communities against future losses. Land use departments across Colorado can benefit from updating and maintaining their geologic hazard inventories and mapping tools using the best available data, and by working with geoscience professionals familiar with their region of Colorado.