Chairman appointed for ASCE External Review Panel for New Orleans levee breaches

University of Texas at Dallas President David Daniel -- who recently was named chairman of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) External Review Panel -- will host teleconference on topic Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. EST...

RESTON, VA, Nov. 17, 2005 -- A briefing will be held via teleconference to announce team members and the scope of work for the ASCE External Review Panel, commissioned as part of the federal response to investigate reasons for the New Orleans levee breaches during Hurricane Katrina.

The event, which will be Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. EST, will be hosted by David E. Daniel, Ph.D., P.E., president of the University of Texas at Dallas -- who recently was named chairman of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) External Review Panel.

Along with the ASCE external review panel, the New Orleans hurricane protection system investigation also includes an Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET), commissioned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and a National Research Council (NRC) independent review panel, convened at the direction of the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld also authorized ASCE to convene an external review panel to conduct continuing expert peer review of the work performed by IPET, and to report findings directly to NRC.

In October, ASCE sent a technical assessment team to New Orleans to gather data on the levee breaches caused by Hurricane Katrina. The team conducted onsite visual inspections of numerous levees, including the 17th Street Canal, London Avenue Canal and Industrial Canal levees.

ASCE (www.asce.org) is widely known for its infrastructure assessments and reports, including Building Performance Assessments of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Murrah Federal Building, and its technical assessments following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Founded in 1852, ASCE represents more than 139,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society.

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