DFI Europe board changes announced

16 November 2022

DFI Europe, a division of Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), has announced new board positions.

Maurice Bottiau of Franki Foundations, Belgium, is the new president; Dr Anne Lemnitzer from the University of California, Irvine, is the new vice-president; and Valérie Bernhardt, managing director of Setec-Terrasol in France, will join the board next year.

Bottiau succeeds Frank Haehnig, who was president for 10 years. Bottiau is the director of the French, Dutch and UK branches of Franki, and has more than 30 years’ experience in the design and execution of piling, diaphragm walls and soil improvement. He has served in numerous international industry leadership roles, including European Federation of Foundation Contractors (EFFC) president, DFI trustee and DFI Europe board founder and member. He was the DFI John Mitchell Lecturer at the 2022 DFI-EFFC International Conference on Deep Foundations and Ground Improvement in Berlin.

Lemnitzer is on the faculty in geotechnical engineering at the University of California, Irvine, and a visiting scholar at the University of Applied Sciences, Leipzig, Germany. She is co-editor in chief of the DFI Journal and a member of the DFI Board of Trustees. Lemnitzer has served as the lead in developing the chapter’s educational workshop for high school and college students to inspire careers in geotechnical engineering. She was on the organising committee for the DFI-EFFC Conference in Berlin and chaired DFI’s 2018 Annual Conference.

Bernhardt is managing director of both Terrasol (a subsidiary of Setec) and SCEL (the Setec branch in the UK), as well as a Setec board member. She is also an elected member of the Geotechnical Board of Syntec Ingénierie. She is a volunteer for the French Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (the French Chapter for the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering) and was chair from 2016-2020. Bernhardt is also a shareholder of Time for the Planet, a citizen community dedicated to global action against greenhouse gases.