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Melissa (Missy) Setz, PE

Missy Setz is a Senior Engineer based in Georgia with more than 10 years of professional experience focused in the areas of geotechnical, civil, and dam safety engineering.

Missy Setz is a Senior Engineer based in Georgia with more than 10 years of professional experience focused in the areas of geotechnical, civil, and dam safety engineering.

Missy supports clients with dams, levees, and hydraulic structures in need of material characterization in the field and/or laboratory, geotechnical evaluations, and construction oversight. She has been involved in over a dozen dam-related projects and has developed expertise in subsurface investigations and geophysical surveys of earthen and concrete dams, management of laboratory testing programs of dam materials, oversight and inspections of dam construction, installation of geotechnical instrumentation in and around dams, and evaluation of dam safety performance for dams constructed in karst environments.

Notably, Missy has served as the Dam Safety Instrumentation Monitor at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Boone Dam cut-off wall construction site, where she was responsible for real-time monitoring of more than 300 instruments - vibrating wire piezometers, survey monuments, slope inclinometers, and various other gauges and instruments - installed throughout the embankment and concrete dam to evaluate dam performance in response to construction and environmental loadings. Missy also worked as part of the Geosyntec team supporting the Expert Panel tasked to assess the technical causes of the rupture of Feijão Dam I in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Her role involved organizing and evaluating data and information, which were used by the Expert Panel to identify what triggered the failure of Dam I and why it occurred when it did.

To advance the state of the practice, Missy continues her participation in groups such as the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Geo-Institute, and the US Society on Dams (USSD). Missy has volunteered with the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) team in South Carolina and Tennessee to document infrastructure conditions after extreme events.  and currently serves on the Embankments, Dams, and Slopes committee and the Outreach and Engagement committee of the ASCE Geo-Institute. Missy is the Chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Geological Engineering Board of Visitors where she provides career counseling and presents technical lectures about her experience to undergraduate and graduate students.

Contact Missy Setz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +1-608-697-5889

Career Summary of Melissa (Missy) Setz, PE

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  • Specialties: Dam Safety Engineering, Geotechnical Field & Laboratory Investigations, Instrumentation Installation, Monitoring & Evaluation Techniques, Geohazard Characterization and Mitigation
  • Practice Areas: Civil Infrastructure, Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Waste Management
  • Disciplines: Geology
  • Education: M.S., Geological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013; B.S., Geological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012; B.S., Geosciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012; B.S., Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012
  • Registration: Georgia Professional Engineer, PE043992

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