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Dr. Michael Kavanaughsab presenter logo
Dr. Michael Kavanaugh

Senior Principal
Geosyntec Consultants

Dr. Kavanaugh is a senior principal with Geosyntec Consultants in the Oakland, CA office with four decades of consulting experience. His areas of expertise include hazardous waste management, site remediation with particular focus on groundwater remediation, industrial waste treatment, risk and decision analysis, fate and transport of contaminants in the environment, water quality management, water and wastewater treatment, potable and non-potable water reuse, and strategic environmental management.

In addition to his consulting practice, Dr. Kavanaugh has completed several invited assignments with the USEPA and the National Research Council (NRC), the operating arm of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. In 2003, Dr. Kavanaugh co-chaired an EPA sponsored committee addressing the issue of groundwater restoration in the presence of organic liquid contaminants. Dr. Kavanaugh has also chaired two NRC committees addressing the challenges of groundwater restoration, with the most recent report, “Alternatives for Managing the Nation’s Complex Contaminated Groundwater Sites”, released in 2013 focused on strategies to address the most difficult contaminated sites.

Dr. Kavanaugh is a registered chemical engineer in California, and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He is certified in three specialty areas, site remediation and hazardous waste management, water and wastewater treatment and sustainability. He is also a consulting professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. He has a Ph.D. in civil/environmental engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from Stanford and UC Berkeley, respectively. For his contributions to water quality and hazardous waste management, Dr. Kavanaugh was elected into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 1998.

Using Virtual Data Sets to Evaluate Approaches for Conceptual Site Model Development and Remediation Design at DNAPL-Impacted Sites
The SERDP DIVER (Data Information Value to Evaluate Remediation) project has developed a series of three virtual data sets (VSDs), which represent hypothetical DNAPL-impacted sites of varying complexity. Decision maker (DM) teams, made up of some of the industry’s most experienced practitioners, conducted virtual investigations of these VSDs, using post-processing algorithms designed to mimic a variety of investigation tools and sample types. Conceptual site models (CSMs) developed by the DM teams, based on their virtual investigations, were compared to true values known from VSD simulations to compare strategies, refine best practices and establish expectations for the accuracy of CSMs for DNAPL-impacted sites. In addition, DM teams submitted enhanced in-situ biodegradation (EISB) designs that were implemented using the numerical model DNAPL3D-RX, and their performance was evaluated to identify key CSM attributes. Results of the virtual investigation and remediation, as well as analyses related to the value of information will be discussed.

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