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    Dr. Fenton

    I am a professor in the Departments of Engineering Mathematics and Civil Engineering at Dalhousie University.

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About Me

Who Am I?

Gordon A. Fenton, Ph.D. (Princeton), P.Eng., FEIC, FCAE, M.ASCE, is a Professor in the Engineering Mathematics and Civil and Resource Engineering Departments at Dalhousie University. His research interest is the development of reliability‐based civil engineering design codes. He is Managing Editor of the journal "Georisk", chair of the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code Foundations Committee, chair of the Canadian National Building Code Task Group on Geotechnical Design, and member of the Canadian National Building Code Standing Committee on Structural Design. For his research, he has received the G. Geoffrey Meyerhof Award (2020), the C. Allin Cornell Award (2015), the Thomas Keefer Medal (2011), the George Stephenson Medal (1994), the Gzowski Medal (1986), Editor's Choice in the Canadian Geotechnical Journal (2017), Best‐paper‐of‐the‐year in Georisk (2014), and elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Engineering Institute of Canada. He is co‐author of the textbook "Risk Assessment in Geotechnical Engineering", Wiley (2008).



M.Eng. in Civil Engineering 1984

Carleton Univerity
Thesis Title: "Differential Movements and Stresses Arising in Masonry Veneers of Highrise Structures"


Work Experience

Professor 1999 - pres.

Department of Engineering Mathematics, Cross-appointed to Civil Engineering, Dalhousie University.

Visiting Professor 2019

Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

Visiting Professor 2015

ARC Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Science and Engineering, University of Newcastle, Australia.

Visiting Professor 2011 - 2012

Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

Vistint Professor 2004 - 2005

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.

Associate Professor 1994 - 1999

Department of Applied Mathematics, Technical University of Nova Scotia.

Assistant Professor 1990 - 1994

Department of Applied Mathematics, Technical University of Nova Scotia.

Consulting Engineer 1990

Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Inc.

  • Structural design
  • Development of design-oriented computer programs
  • Session lecturer at Carleton University

Research Assistant 1986 - 1989

Princeton University

  • Development and evaluation of simulation techniques and application to random media
  • Conditional simulation of correlated random series

Research Engineer 1990

Carleton University, Department of Civil Engineering, Ottawa, Canada.

  • Reinforced masonry code development
  • Design and setup of research projects
  • Supervision of graduate students
  • Supervision of masonry research projects
  • Development of reinforced concrete handbook


Teaching Experience

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor 1990 - pres.

Dalhousie University, in the Department of Engineering Mathematics
Developing and teaching undergraduate courses in Probability and Statistics, Computer Programming and Numerical Methods. Introduced and taught graduate level courses in Risk Assessment and Management, Random Field Theory, and the Finite Element Method. Also developed and taught graduate level courses in Linear Regression, and Numerical Linear Algebra. Directed studies at the graduate level have also been offered in Time Series Analysis.

Sessional lecturer 1990

Carleton University
For the course Mechanics of Deformable Bodies in the Dept. of Civil Engineering.

Assistant in Instruction 1987

Princeton University, Civil Eng.
For the course Design of Structures, involved the development of interactive instructional computer programs written in BASIC for PC’s with graphics screens.

Assistant in Instruction 1981 - 1983

Carleton University, Civil Eng.
For the courses Reinforced Concrete Design and Prestressed Concrete Design, involved office hours, marking, and instruction.



Reply to the discussion by Huang on “Probabilistic seismic slope stability analysis and design 2020

GA Fenton, J Burgess, DV Griffiths Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 1-1

Quantifying Hydraulic Conductivity Spatial Variability For A Cement-Based Solidification/Stabilization (S/S) Remediation Project: A Case Study 2020

GA Fenton, CB Lake, R Liza Canadian Geotechnical Journal


G Esposito, GA Fenton, F Naghibi Canadian Geotechnical Journal

Characterising Site Investigation Performance in a Two Layer Soil Profile 2020

M Crisp, M Jaksa, Y Kuo, GA Fenton, V Griffiths Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering

Optimal geotechnical site investigations for slope design 2019

R Yang, J Huang, DV Griffiths, J Meng, GA Fenton Computers and Geotechnics 114, 103111

Probabilistic stability analyses of layered excavated slopes 2019

D Zhu, DV Griffiths, GA Fenton Geotechnique Letters 9 (3), 161-164

Probabilistic Analysis of Shallow Passive Trapdoor in Cohesive Soil 2019

D Zhu, DV Griffiths, J Huang, Y Gao, GA Fenton Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering 145 (6), 06019003

A method for generating virtual soil profiles with complex, multi-layer stratigraphy 2019

Georisk: Assessment and Management of Risk for Engineered Systems and Geohazards

Quantitative Risk Assessment of Individual Landslides 2019

J Huang, DV Griffiths, G Fenton

Worst-Case Spatial Correlation Length in Reliability Analysis of Excavated Clay Slopes 2019

D Zhu, DV Griffiths, GA Fenton



G. Geoffrey Meyerhof Award 2020

from the Canadian Geotechnical Society for outstanding contribution to soil mechanics and foundation engineering in Canada.

Editor’s Choice 2017

by the Canadian Geotechnical Journal for the 2017 paper “Target geotechnical reliability for redundant foundation systems”

Outstanding Paper Award 2016

from the journal Computers and Geotechnics for the paper “Probabilistic infinite slope analysis”

Selected by the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers to deliver the CHBDC lecture tour in Eastern Canada in the spring of 2016. 2016

Selected by the Canadian Geotechnical Society to deliver the Cross-Canada Lecture Tour in the fall of 2015. Delivered lectures in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, Moncton, Halifax, and St. John’s. 2015

CERRA C. Allin Cornell Award 2015

presented to the person with the most outstanding contributions to the science and/or application of risk and reliability theory to civil engineering once every four years at the International Conference on Applications of Statistics and Probability in Civil Engineering (ICASP12, Vancouver, 2015).

Became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. 2013

Thomas C. Keefer Medal 2011

Received from the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering for the paper entitled “A method to assess risk reduction when utilizing geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) with compacted soil liners” (published in the Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 48(1), 2011).

Received the Dalhousie Faculty of Engineering Teaching Award 2009

Dalhousie Undergraduate Engineering Society Professor Appreciation Award 2004

The George Stephenson Medal 1994

Received from the Institution of Civil Engineers, United Kingdom, for the paper entitled “Seepage beneath water retaining structures founded on spatially random soil” (published in Géotechnique , 1993).

The TUNS Annual Award for Teaching Excellence, Technical University of Nova Scotia 1993

Each year one teacher at TUNS is selected for this award by the student body. Also was nominated for the TUNS Annual Award for Teaching Excellence, Technical University of Nova Scotia in 1991, 1992 and 1994.

John von Neumann Supercomputer Fellowship, held at Princeton University 1988

The Gzowski Medal Aug 2013

Awarded annually by the Engineering Institute of Canada for the best paper of the year on a civil engineering subject, “Differential movements and stresses in high­rise masonry veneers: Analysis,” published in the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering

Get in Touch


Dept. Engineering Mathematics,
Dalhousie University, O’Brien Hall
5217 Morris St., Rm 201
Halifax, NS, B3J 1B6