March 11, 2021

« All News

Lucas de Melo, David Espinoza, and Leticia Nocko Coauthored Powering Your Electric Vehicle for GEOSTRATA

Lucas de Melo, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, David Espinoza, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, and Leticia Nocko, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE, (Maryland), coauthored an article entitled “Powering Your Electric Vehicle” for publication in the March/April 2021 issue of GEOSTRATA.

Lucas de Melo is a Senior Principal Engineer based in Maryland with more than 20 years of experience in dams and mining related projects, geotechnical design and field studies, risk quantification, hazardous materials remediation; and in the design of coal ash disposal sites, solid waste management facilities, and capping systems for site closures.

David Espinoza is a Senior Principal Geoenvironmental Engineer based in Maryland focused on foundation design over soft soils, design of containment facilities (e.g., municipal solid waste, mining tailings, coal-combustion residuals), closure of containment facilities (e.g., tailing storage facilities) and more recently, financial evaluation of infrastructure investments taking into consideration physical risks such as climate change.

Leticia Nocko is a Senior Staff Professional based in Maryland with 11 years of experience in environmental geotechnics and environmental engineering. She has spent the last decade conducting research in environmental geotechnics, focusing on sustainability and alternative sources of energy, particularly extraction of thermal energy from landfills.

GEOSTRATA, the official bi-monthly magazine of the Geo-Institute, features articles written by and for engineering professionals. Articles cover the use of new technologies, construction techniques, business management, unique projects, and industry news along with providing leadership on educational, professional, and public policy issues, showcasing the unique role and contributions of the geoprofessional.

The Geo-Institute (G-I) is a specialty membership organization focused on geo-professionals and the geo-industry. It is one of the American Society of Civil Engineers' eight specialty Institutes.


Demand for lithium is rapidly increasing with the increased use of lithium-ion batteries, which are rechargeable and more efficient than traditional batteries. Most lithium is extracted through pumping brine from underneath salt flats in the Andes and storing it in wide but shallow evaporation ponds. When designing these ponds in harsh environments, focus must be placed on the selection of appropriate liner systems and cell layouts. The development of energy-efficient batteries has the potential to positively impact the environment and the lives of people around the world, but this can only happen if the technology is accessible to the average person. In order to increase access to lithium-ion batteries, the process through which lithium is extracted must be constantly optimized and innovated to minimize production cost and potential losses.

More Information

About Publication:
For consultation regarding geosynthetics, contact Lucas de Melo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about Lucas:
Learn more about David:
Learn more about Leticia: