Robert Kayen

Robert Kayen
Adjunct Professor
Senior Scientist, U. S. Geological Survey
Office 417 Davis Hall
Phone (510) 316-3596

Office Hours:

Wednesday, 4-5 pm., 417 Davis Hall, UC Berkeley.

CE70 –  ‘Engineering Geology’ (3  units)

CE174 – ‘Engineering Geomatics’ (3  units)

L&S70c –  ‘Living on the Edge: Understanding Uncertainty, Hazard, and Risk’ (3 units)

CE281 – ‘Graduate Program Engineering Geology’ (Graduate, 4 units)


I teach in the Geosystems Program in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,  University of California Berkeley.   After decades of research collaborations with UC, I recently retired from the United States Geological Survey.  Prior appointments included teaching at UCLA and Kobe National University, Kobe, Japan.

My research interests are in the fields of earthquake geotechnical engineering, Terrestrial Laser Scanning-LIDAR, Structure-From-Motion geomatics, engineering geophysics, marine-geotechnics, and marine methane hydrate stability. I am one of the founders and a long-time steering committee member of the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance activity ( I am the editor of a multi-volume U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper Series on ‘Earthquake Hazards of the Pacific Northwest Coastal and Marine Regions’.  

Many years ago, I was a serious Yosemite rock climber, ski mountaineer, and runner when cartilage was plentiful and joints were young.




University of California, Berkeley, California, Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, 1993.

Dissertation Title: Accelerogram-energy approach for prediction of earthquake-induced ground liquefaction

Graduate Advisor:  James K. Mitchell


University of California, Berkeley, California, M.S. in Civil Engineering, 1989.

California State University, East Bay, California, M.S. in Geology, 1988

Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, B.S.C.E. Double Major Civil Engineering & Geology, 1981.