Gauen Rhys Alexander, MS, PE

Doctoral Candidate, Civil Engineering

President, Graduate Student Government


Gauen Alexander is a graduate research assistant at the Colorado School of Mines University Transportation Center for Underground Transportation Infrastructure (UTC-UTI).  Gauen has previously supervised a commercial geotechnical laboratory and worked as a consulting engineer.  Gauen has broad experience in geotechnical engineering including working on issues of material characterization, slope stability, landfill design, foundation design, mass grading, quality control/quality assurance, and management of earthwork projects.  Gauen’s research at Mines is in the area of underground space planning, design, and construction.

Gauen’s current research focuses on investigating methodologies for early-stage feasibility studies of transportation tunnel projects. This work is being funded by grants from the US Department of Transportation and Colorado Department of Transportation. The project is using the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels on I-70 in Colorado as a case study to evaluate probabilistic back-analysis; development of risk-based metrics of excavation and support design based on uncertain geologic information; development of a ranking system for comparison of alternative alignments, excavation methods, and support systems; and impacts of parallel and skew bores on existing infrastructure.

Aside from his research, Gauen is the president of the Graduate Student Government (GSG) at Mines.  Gauen enjoys the opportunity to participate in the continued growth and improvement of Mines, and is an advocate for the rights and needs of graduate students.




  • BS in civil engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham (2015)
  • MS in civil engineering, University of California, Los Angeles (2016)
  • Doctoral candidate, Colorado School of Mines, advisor Marte Gutierrez (current)
  • Licensed professional engineer in California

Current Research

  • Probabilistic Engineering Feasibility Study of Tunnel Alignment Selection and Tunnel Design
    • Doctoral studies at Mines under the advisement of Dr. Marte Gutierrez
    • US DOT Grant No. 69A3551747118
    • CDOT PO number 471001372
    • Conduct probabilistic back-analysis of the EJMT case study to calibrate numerical model parameters and determine existing factor of safety as baseline.
    • Formulate a methodology to rank each combination of portal locations, alignment, cross-section, rock mass classification, and idealized tunnel support.
    • Develop metrics of estimated support requirements for a tunnel which are independent of a specific support system or excavation methodology.
    • Perform numerical modeling to validate design of new tunnel sections including interactions with existing tunnels and sections with squeezing ground conditions.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Geosyntec Consultants
    • Senior staff engineer, July 2017 – December 2017
    • Staff engineer July 2016 – July 2017
    • Performed engineering analyses including retaining wall design, slope stability analysis, and liquefaction susceptibility.
    • Applied advanced computational tools including Octave, DEEPSOIL, SLAMMER, and Geo-Studio to evaluations of ground response analysis and slope stability.
    • Managed construction oversight for earthwork projects with QA/QC budgets up to $100,000.
    • Performed geotechnical investigations from initial site reconnaissance and proposal through geotechnical recommendations and reporting.
    • Collaborated with a multi-disciplinary team of engineers and scientists to create a $75 million dollar engineering evaluation / cost analysis for a hazardous waste landfill under consent decree with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Wrote portions of the work while assembling several parts into a cohesive whole. Performed veneer stability, waste settlement, Newmark displacement, and cost estimate calculations. Peer reviewed percolation, landfill gas emissions, and soil loss calculations.
    • Developed a new Octave / MatLab tool to perform linear least squares regression to triaxial shear data for probabilistic, strain-dependent, and non-linear analyses of geostructures. Presented results in poster form at annual internal conference.
    • Developed an input/output processing algorithm for the USEPA HELP3 model to allow pre- and post-processing of climate and percolation data in Octave / MatLab.
    • Evaluated and compared percolation through evapotranspirative, RCRA prescriptive, and RCRA alternative covers for landfill design.
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    • Teaching assistant, CEE 128L Soil Mechanics Laboratory, September 2015 – June 2016
    • Taught and supervised triaxial shear, sieve analysis, Atterberg limits, Proctor compaction, consolidation, and expansion index testing by undergraduate students.
    • Graded lab reports and homework providing advice, feedback, and constructive criticism.
    • Received positive evaluations from students for helpfulness and effectiveness.
  • Cardo ATC / ATC Associates
    • Laboratory supervisor, 2014 – 2016
    • Laboratory technician, 2012 – 2014
    • Performed sample analyses of soils, bituminous compounds, and concrete according to ASTM and AASHTO specifications.
    • Collected samples and performed on-site testing in the field.
    • Prepared and reviewed daily laboratory reports.
    • Managed laboratory records, calibrations, and certifications.
    • Implemented and maintained laboratory quality systems and procedures.
    • Prepared laboratory reports in MS Excel, Humboldt, and Bentley software.
    • Provided drafting support for a team of engineers and geologists.
    • Trained and directed junior technicians in laboratory procedures.
    • Spearheaded projects in laboratory analysis of soils for slope stability, dam design, and other geotechnical and geoenvironmental projects.
    • Researched physical properties of various cementitious mixtures of fly ash, gypsum, lime, and flue gas discharge water from various coal-fired power plants to find beneficial reuse possibilities or capability for placement in zero-liquid-discharge landfills.


Colorado School of Mines
Civil Engineering Department
Coolbaugh Hall Room 110
1012 14th Street
Golden, CO 80401
mobile 949.351.1386