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Keynote speakers announced for DFI conference

News | September 27, 2022 | By:

Three renowned experts are delivering keynote lectures at DFI’s 47th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, being held October 4-7, 2022, in National Harbor, Md.

Giovanni Bonita, Ph.D., P.E., P.ENG, P.G.

Giovanni Bonita, Ph.D., P.E., P.ENG, P.G., GEI Consultants, is presenting “An Underground Movement – Evolution of Ground Improvement Systems in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area.” Bonita is a senior vice president with GEI Consultants. His experience is in the areas of geotechnical and geostructural engineering, tunneling, hydrogeology, geophysics, groundwater and seepage and karst geology. He has close to 30 years of experience with complex underground structures, cutoff walls, underpinning, retaining systems, ground improvement, protection of adjacent structures, geological and geophysical investigations, and deep foundation systems.

Sissy Nikolaou, Ph.D., National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is presenting “A Glimpse Into the Geologic Splendor and Hidden Risks that Lie Beneath Washington, D.C.” Nikolaou serves as leader of the Earthquake Engineering Group in the Materials and Structural Systems Division in the Engineering Laboratory at NIST. Currently she is co-leading the geotechnical engineering project in the National Construction Safety Team investigation into the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium of 2021 in Surfside, Fla.

Sissy Nikolaou, Ph.D.

Kris Zacny, Ph.D., Honeybee Robotics, is delivering a presentation on “Space Mining Robots for Solar System Exploration.”  Zacny is vice president at Honeybee Robotics. His interests include space mining, drilling, and In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). He is also a principal investigator of TRIDENT ice mining drill on PRIME1 lander and VIPER rover missions to the moon.

Kris Zacny, Ph.D.

DFI ( is an international association of contractors, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, academics and owners in the deep foundations industry. Its multidisciplinary membership creates a consensus voice and a common vision for continual improvement in the planning, design and construction of deep foundations and excavations. More information on the DFI Annual Conference is available at

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