Obituary - Dan Eisenstein June 09


Dr. Zdenek Dan Eisenstein PhD, DSc, PEng, Professor Emeritus 1936 - 2009
Memorial Service
To commemorate and celebrate the life of Dr. Eisenstein, a memorial service will be held on Friday, September 4, 2009 at 10am at the Betlémská Kaple, Staré Mësto (Old Town), Prague, Czech Republic.
Friends and colleagues are kindly invited to attend and participate. The street address of the Betlémská Kaple is Betlémské námëstí 255/4, Praha 1 - Staré Mesto, 110 00 Prague. Click for information about the kaple and for a location map
Please direct confirmations and any enquiries or comments to Jana Eisenstein
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Dr. Zdenek Dan Eisenstein

Sadly, and quite unexpectedly, the industry has this week lost a top class promoter of tunnels and the underground space dimension. On Monday, June 1st, Dan Eisenstein died in Vancouver, Canada after a relatively short but intense battle with cancer.
Dan was well-known professional in the international industry, bringing confidence in particular to city planners and politicians with little experience and a wariness of developing tunnelled infrastructure, especially under dense urban areas. As Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at The University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada and as Past President of the ITA (International Tunneling Association) from 1992 to 1995, Dan's special brand of geotechnical and civil tunneling expertise was in demand the world over. Most recently he was a member of the expert advisory panel for the twin-bored tunnels excavated under the center of Vancouver for the Canada Line metro link to the city's international airport. As recently as early this year, Dan co-presented a presentation about the Canada Line with two colleagues to the January 2009 meeting of the BTS (British Tunneling Society) in London. Prior to that, he was instrumental in lifting a ban on any further tunneling for development of the Los Angeles metro, making way for recent progress and successful completion of twin running tunnels and an underground station on the Gold Line of the LA Metro into East Los Angeles(1).
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Also in Los Angeles, he promoted the use of closed mode EPBMs for controlled excavation of new tunnels for the East City Interceptor Sewer (ECIS). This was necessary after serious incidences of ground loss and surface settlement were experienced on the earlier NOS sewer project in the same area. Many suggested at the time that using closed-face EPBMs and extensive soil conditioning for optimum screw conveyor operation was akin to turning good ground into bad for the sake of having the method work, but it did provide assurances to the public utility owners and avoided extensive and expensive mitigation measures that might have been required otherwise.
As a native of former Czechoslovakia, Dan received his Undergraduate and Graduate Geotechnical education at the Czech Technical University in Prague between 1959 and 1965. Following a period of postdoctoral work in London in the UK, he accepted an academic position at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, in 1969, becoming a Full Professor in 1974 and a Professor Emeritus in 2001. From 1972 to 1983, Dan completed four Visiting Professorships in Brazil (twice), South Africa and Germany. In 1990 he became an Honorary Professor at Pontificia Universidade Catolica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and in 1991 he received an Honorary Doctorate from The Czech Technical University.
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Through his career, Dan's prime research and professional interest was soft ground tunneling, especially in urban environments and on this and other topics, he has published more than 160 papers and conducted more than 100 lectures and presentations worldwide. His awards include honorary doctorates from the Universities in Prague and Rio de Janeiro and no less than seven further achievement prizes in the field of tunneling and geotechnical engineering.
He was engaged as an expert advisor and consultant on more than 150 projects across the globe. Some of the more notable tunneling projects included the England-France Channel Tunnel, the Westerschelde tunnel in Holland, the Rio Subterraneo tunnel in Buenos Aires, the Copacabana Metro line in Rio de Janeiro, the City Link tunnels in Melbourne, the Edmonton LRT tunnels, the Mrazovka tunnel in Prague, the feasibility studies for the Gibraltar Straits tunnel, and the Canada Line Subway Tunnels, in Vancouver. Most recently, he was the Chairperson of the Tunnel Advisory Panel for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a member of the Peer Review Panel for the Toronto Transit Commission and an advisor for the New York MTA.
As a long-standing, active member of the ITA, he was elected Member of the Executive Council in 1987, First Vice President in 1989 and elected and served as the President from 1992 to 1995. At the ITA General Assembly and Congress in Sydney in 2002, Dan shared the open session podium with Sir Alan Muir Wood, also a Past President and lifetime honorary President of the ITA, who passed away in February 2009.
Dan is survived by his wife, Jana, their two daughters and sons-in-law, Alice and Dave Langston, and Jana and Paul Levett, and five adoring grandsons. His pragmatism about the art of tunneling will be missed.
1. The Challenges of Tunneling for the Los Angeles Subway
by Z. Dan Eisenstein, Geoffrey R. Martin, Harvey W. Parker,
Published by the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)


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