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Haneberg Selected as New State Geologist, Kentucky Geological Survey Director

William C. Haneberg will become Kentucky’s 13th state geologist Sept. 1, 2016. An engineering geologist with a wide range of research, academic and applied experience, he will also serve as the director of the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS), leading KGS into the future of its mission to investigate Kentucky’s energy, mineral and water resources, and geologic hazards. Haneberg will hold a parallel appointment as a research professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.


Haneberg, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, has more than 25 years of experience as a university geology teacher, researcher and administrator in the office of the state geologist in New Mexico, and consultant. Since October 2011, he has worked in Houston for an American subsidiary of the Dutch geoscience and engineering firm Fugro N.V., where he is a senior consultant and quantitative geohazards group leader.


“I’m honored and excited to take on the challenge of leading an organization with such a distinguished history of service to the Commonwealth, and look forward to exploring new ways to partner with government agencies, universities, public interest groups and industry as we all work to continue making Kentucky a great place to live and work,” said Haneberg.


Haneberg earned a doctorate in geology from the University of Cincinnati in 1989. His expertise includes geologic hazard and risk assessment, geomechanics, structural geology, hydrogeology and the use of geologic information to support planning and policy decision-making. He is author or co-author of more than 160 technical abstracts and papers on topics ranging from deep-sea landslides to Himalayan glaciation. Haneberg received the 2006 Claire P. Holdredge Award from the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists for his 2004 book, “Computational Geosciences with Mathematica.” He was the 2011 Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer in Engineering Geology and is an elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America.


Haneberg fills a position vacated by former State Geologist and KGS Director Jim Cobb, who retired in July 2014, after serving in that capacity for 14 years. Cobb had been with KGS since 1980, when he joined the Coal Section to focus on Kentucky’s coal resources at a time when its importance was growing.


As a research institute of UK, KGS works to increase the understanding of the state’s geology and disseminate its research results to the citizens, communities, state agencies, businesses, and industries of Kentucky. The 178-year-old state survey employs 45 staff in sections focusing on energy and minerals, water resources, geologic hazards, mapping and geoscience information. Its main office is located on the UK campus, with a well sample and core library in Lexington and a satellite office at Henderson, in Western Kentucky.


“We are excited about the future of KGS under the capable leadership of Dr. Haneberg.  His experience and research capabilities will serve this important statewide Center and their mission well as they move forward as an invaluable asset of the UK Research Enterprise” said Lisa Cassis, UK's vice president for research.