Alan Krause, CEO of firm that designed new Panama Canal to speak in Discover Science Lecture Series

Mackay School of Mines grad to talk on trade, technology and environment

Alan Krause, CEO of firm that designed new Panama Canal to speak in Discover Science Lecture Series

Mackay School of Mines grad to talk on trade, technology and environment

Alan Krause, chairman and CEO of MWH Global, whose engineering firm is the lead on the massive Panama Canal Third Set of Locks expansion project, will be the speaker Thursday, Feb. 6 in the College of Science Discover Science Lecture Series.

Krause, who holds a master's degree in geological engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno's Mackay School of Mines, will present his talk, "At the Forefront of Trade, Technology and Environment: Designing the new Panama Canal."

His company leads an international team that designed new locks that will double the canal's capacity and keep the world connected for another 100 years and beyond by  providing significant benefits to the local, regional and global economies.

"It's exciting to see such tremendous success from a graduate of the University," College of Science Dean Jeff Thompson said. "To hear about those successes and the engineering, scientific and business challenges Alan has faced with this project should be enlightening and entertaining."

Once the Third Set of Locks project is complete, the locks will accommodate larger container cargo and tanker ships capable of carrying twice as much cargo as ships that can now pass through the canal. MWH engineers from around the world are leading the project's design-build team that designed an efficient system with significant improvements.

"What challenges me the most are goals that most would say are unachievable," Krause said. "I get no greater satisfaction than moving myself and MWH through great step changes instead of more gradual linear improvements. Our work on the Third Set of Locks Project at the Panama Canal is an example of a project that was a reach for many giants in the engineering industry including MWH. I marveled at how our integrated team took up the challenge of this iconic project, and applied our unique sustainable solutions to a work of such global importance."

 Krause's leadership acuity also extends to the successful completion of other major global initiatives, such as the Tekeze Hydropower Project in Ethiopia that increased power stability and provided reliable access to light, heat and water for 80 million people.

"I learned very early on in my career working with outstanding engineers the value of quality, diligence and effort," he said. "These qualities are paramount to sustainable excellence. I would add integrity, intelligence and energy as the other essential qualities."

Now in its fourth year, the annual Discover Science Lecture Series features several presentations a year and has brought some of the world's leading scientists to the Reno-Sparks community to share their knowledge. This year, the final presentation in the series features Robert Ballard, professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, underwater and maritime archaeology and most well-known for his discovery of the Titanic wreckage.

Past Discover Science Lecture Series speakers include Bill Nye the Science Guy, anthropologist Anna Roosevelt, physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Nobel Laureate and physicist Eric Cornell, chemist and green energy expert Harry Gray, Jeff Lieberman, musician, artist, researcher and host of "Time Warp" on the Discovery Channel and Michio Kaku, futurist and theoretical physicist.

Admission is free. Lectures are held in the Redfield Auditorium in the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Free parking is reserved for the event on the upper level of the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex. For more information, call 775-784-4591 or visit the College of Science webpages at

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