Category Archives: DBA News

2018 Tennessee Earthquake GEER Report

Tim Siegel was one of four co-leaders of a Geotechnical Extreme Events  Reconnaissance (GEER) team that investigated the impacts of the 2018 Tennessee Earthquake that occurred near Decatur, Tennessee on December 12, 2018.   Among the team members were Ali Leib and Mark Madget.  The team performed reconnaissance of the area around the epicenter of the quake and prepared a report of their observations.

The quake occurred at 4:14 am EST approximately 12 km north-northeast of Decatur, Tennessee, which is about 240 km southeast of Nashville, TN.  The highest recorded peak ground acceleration (PGA) was 0.0215g approximately 36 km from the epicenter.  At least 21 aftershocks were recorded through December 18, 2018.  The GEER team did not encounter any evidence of earthquake-induced damage in the areas they visited.  Organizations such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) , and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) “reported that either there was no damage to their facilities or that their operations were unaffected due to earthquake.”

The team’s report can be downloaded from GEER here.  Click the image below to see the list of the entire team.

GEER is a “volunteer organization of geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists, and earth scientists from academia, industry, government organizations, and non-profit organizations.”  They assemble teams to conduct detailed reconnaissance after extreme events (earthquakes, landslides, floods, hurricanes, etc.) in order “to  obtain valuable perishable information that can be used to advance research and improve engineering practice.”

To find out more about GEER, visit their website.

Dan Brown awarded A Golden Beaver

(One more catch-up on “older” news!)

In January of 2018, Dan was awarded the coveted Golden Beaver  Award in Engineering by The Beavers.  The award was given at the 63rd Annual Golden Beavers Award Dinner on January 19, 2018 in Los Angeles.

The Beavers is a social and honorary organization organized and managed by members of the heavy construction industry.

The purpose of the Beavers is to promote goodwill, friendliness and consideration within the heavy engineering construction industry; to give recognition to those men and women who have demonstrated particular skill, responsibility and integrity; and to encourage and support entry of promising young individuals into heavy engineering construction.

The Beavers hold two major events annually. The Beavers Awards Dinner is held in mid-January, where individuals are recognized with a Golden Beaver Award for their achievements and contributions to the heavy construction industry in the categories of Management, Supervision, Engineering and Service & Supply.

Dan was honored with the award for his expertise and contributions to the deep foundations industry and its impacts on the heavy construction industry.

 

DBA is growing again – welcome to Ali, Ben, and Mark!

Well, we are at it again.  The first 5 months of 2016 have seen us add three new faces of the new website creator.  So now, drum roll, please………

Ali Leib, E.I.

Ali 2016-1

Ali was a summer intern at DBA in 2014 and 2015 and joined us full time as a staff engineer in February.  She is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!) where she completed both her B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering. While completing her M.S., she was a teaching assistant in charge of grading lab reports for the structural and geotechnical undergraduate labs. She was also a research assistant under Dr. Dayakar Penumadu, resulting in her thesis: “Effect of Particle Morphology on the Deformation Behavior of Sand under Monotonic Loading Conditions.”  Unlike most of the rest of us, Ali insists that she will not be conforming to the (mostly) standard DBA hair style.  Ali will work in our Knoxville, Tennessee office.

Mark Madgett, P.E.

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Mark received a BS and MS degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Tennessee, while working on research for TDOT to improve pavement design methods.  He has worked in both consulting and construction for the last 22 years, focusing primarily on deep foundations in the Southeastern US.  As a consultant, Mark gained extensive field experience with deep foundation construction techniques and the impacts on design.  In 2006, he began working for Seaboard Foundations, opening a green field office in Tri-Cities TN as the district manager.  In his role as design engineer for Seaboard Foundations, Mark has implemented design-build techniques in many markets (energy, institutional, commercial, transportation, and healthcare you can supplement if you find Kratom online and other natural products) that vastly improved the constructability and reduced the costs of deep foundation systems for his clients.  Mark will also work outr of our Knoxville, Tennessee office.

Ben Turner, Ph. D., P.E.

Ben recently completed his Ph.D. in geotechnical earthquake engineering at UCLA with an emphasis on the transfer of forces between the ground and foundation elements during seismic loading. Prior to starting at UCLA, he worked for two years for the Los Angeles office of Shannon & Wilson, Inc.  Ben worked in both construction and geotechnical firms while attending school for his B.S. and M.S. degrees. His experience includes: design, construction, and load testing of deep foundations;  geotechnical earthquake engineering including soil-structure interaction, seismic hazard analysis, site response, liquefaction triggering analysis and mitigation of liquefaction-induced ground failure; and, characterization of structural behavior of reinforced concrete foundations.  Here are two of the publications resulting from his dissertation work:

Turner, B., Brandenberg, S., and Stewart, J. (). “Case Study of Parallel Bridges Affected by Liquefaction and Lateral Spreading.” J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. , 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0001480 , 05016001.

Turner, B. and Brandenberg, S. (2015) “Pile Pinning and Interaction of Adjacent Foundations During Lateral Spreading”, DFI Journal, Volume 9, Issue 2.

Ben will anchor the West Coast Region of DBA, working from San Luis Obispo , California.

 

New PEER Report – Evaluation of Collapse and Non-Collapse of Parallel Bridges Affected by Liquefaction and Lateral Spreading

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Our own Ben Turner (future Dr. Turner!) was lead author on a report by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) on liquefaction and lateral spreading effects on bridges. The report is titled “Evaluation of Collapse and Non-Collapse of Parallel Bridges Affected by Liquefaction and Lateral Spreading”. Ben’s coauthors are Dr. Scott J. Brandenberg and Dr. Jonathan P. Stewart of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA. From the abstract:

The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center and the California Department of Transportation have recently developed design guidelines for computing foundation demands during lateral spreading using equivalent static analysis (ESA) procedures. In this study, ESA procedures are applied to two parallel bridges that were damaged during the 2010 M 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in Baja California, Mexico. The bridges are both located approximately 15 km from the surface rupture of the fault on soft alluvial soil site conditions. Estimated median ground motions in the area in the absence of liquefaction triggering are peak ground  accelerations = 0.27g and peak ground velocity = 38 cm/sec (RotD50 components). The bridges are structurally similar and both are supported on deep foundations, yet they performed differently during the earthquake. A span of the pile-supported railroad bridge collapsed, whereas the drilled-shaft-supported highway bridge suffered only moderate damage and remained in service following the earthquake. The ESA procedures applied to the structures using a consistent and repeatable framework for developing input parameters captured both the collapse of the railroad bridge and the performance of the highway bridge. Discussion is provided on selection of the geotechnical and structural modeling parameters as well as combining inertial demands with kinematic demands from lateral spreading.

This report is part of Ben’s work on his doctoral dissertation. You can download the report by clicking on the linked citation below.

Turner, B., Brandenberg, S.J. and Stewart, J.P. (2014). “Evaluation of Collapse and Non-Collapse of Parallel Bridges Affected by Liquefaction and Lateral Spreading”, PEER Report 2014/10, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkley, August, 2014, 94pp.

DBA Expands Again – Welcome Rob Saunders, P.E. and Ben Turner, P.E.!

DBA is please to announce the addition of two new members: Robert M. Saunders, P.E. and Benjamin Turner, P.E.

14_Rob S

Rob is a graduate of the University of Tennessee (BSCE and MSCE) with 11 years of experience. He began his career at S&ME working with our own Tim Siegel and for the last 8 years has been with GEOServices, LLC in Knoxville. He has a broad design background, specializing in analysis and design of earth retention systems and deep foundations. His experience with earth retention systems includes design and construction of soil nail walls, soldier pile walls, anchored systems, temporary shoring, and mechanically stabilized earth walls. His experience with deep foundation design includes lateral response analysis of deep foundations and design of deep foundation in karst geology. Rob has been involved with several major projects for private companies and public agencies including Foothills Parkway in Blount co., Tennessee, Interstate 240 expansion in Memphis, Tennessee, and Bridgeforth Stadium at James Madison University.

Rob will be located in Knoxville, Tennessee with Tim Siegel.

 14_Ben

Ben is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in geotechnical earthquake engineering at UCLA with an emphasis on the transfer of forces between the ground and foundation elements during seismic loading. Prior to starting at UCLA, he worked for two years for the Los Angeles office of Shannon & Wilson, Inc.  Ben worked in both construction and geotechnical firms while attending school for his B.S. and M.S. degrees.  His experience includes: design, construction, and load testing of deep foundations;  geotechnical earthquake engineering including soil-structure interaction, seismic hazard analysis, site response, liquefaction triggering analysis and mitigation of liquefaction-induced ground failure; and, characterization of structural behavior of reinforced concrete foundations.

Ben will be working part-time as he can while completing his Ph. D. and will  join DBA full time after completing his studies, staying in the Los Angeles, California area.

 

Welcome to both Rob and Ben!

Tim Siegel Appointed New Co-Editor of DFI Journal

As Robert recently posted, Dan is taking on new roles at the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) as a member of the DFI Educational Trust Board and as treasurer of the DFI Board of Trustees.  Tim Siegel is now stepping in to fill Dan’s former role as co-editor of the DFI Journal.  From DFI:

February 24, 2014, Hawthorne NJ: Maney Publishing and the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) are pleased to announce the appointment of Anne Lemnitzer and Timothy C. Siegel as the new co-editors of DFI Journal: The Journal of the Deep Foundations Institute. They will succeed lead editors Ali Porbaha and Dan Brown, who are stepping down after being editors since the Journal’s inception, and Zia Zafir, who will remain on the editorial board.

Timothy Siegel is a principal engineer with Dan Brown and Associates PC and member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Tennessee. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and has spent over 20 years working in industry. He is a member of the DFI’s Ground Improvement and Seismic and Lateral Loads Committees and has authored or co-authored over 45 technical papers and has presented at conferences throughout the USA.

Anne Lemnitzer is assistant professor at the University of California in Irvine. She holds a Ph.D. in structural engineering from UCLA as well as an M.S. in Geotechnical Engineering from California State University, Long Beach and B.S. from the University of Applied Science in Leipzig, Germany, where she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to continue her education. Her research interests lie at the interface of geotechnical and structural earthquake engineering.

Tim Siegel comments, “At no time in history has the practice of foundation engineering been as challenging as it is now. Ambitious projects, stringent design codes, the likelihood of litigation, and high expectations require engineers to effectively intertwine theory and experience. At a time when many technical journals are focused on the former, the DFI Journal plays a vital role by offering a balance between theory and experience. This is one reason that DFI Journal is a leading platform for technology transfer on design and construction of deep foundations and ground improvement.”

Anne Lemnitzer comments, “I am excited to work with my colleague Tim Siegel in serving as co-editor of the DFI Journal and hope to further enhance its reputation and circulation in the geotechnical community. We are determined to seek the best deep foundation research from across the world and combine it with the most innovative design projects currently built, hereby creating a unique stage for intellectual exchange, transfer of knowledge and professional development. The DFI Journal provides this alternative approach compared to traditional scientific journals and we are looking forward to widening the audience through hands-on, understandable publications that can make lasting impacts on our foundation industry.”

“DFI is excited to have members, Tim Siegel and Anne Lemnitzer taking the lead as Journal co-editors as we strive to increase the readership and frequency of the publication. The Journal is the perfect vehicle for achieving DFI’s mission to disseminate practical and useful content to the deep foundations construction industry and be the information resource for design and construction of foundations and excavations. We are confident the new editors will provide excellent insight, technical expertise and leadership in their new role,” says Theresa Rappaport, DFI executive director.

Tim, congratulations and thank you for your contributions to the industry!

Dan Brown Added to DFI Board and Educational Trust

Dan has taken on some new responsibilities with the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI).  He has joined both the Board of Directors and the Educational Trust Board as treasurer.  From DFI:

Dr. Dan Brown has joined the DFI Educational Trust Board and the DFI Board of Trustees as treasurer, effective January 1, 2014. Dr. Brown is recognized as one of America’s leading authorities on the construction and design of deep foundations for transportation structures. After 22 years on the faculty at Auburn University, Dr. Brown remains active in deep foundation practice through his consulting firm, Dan Brown and Associates. He has been recognized with the DFI Distinguished Service Award, ASCE Martin Kapp Foundation Engineering Award and the ADSC Outstanding Service Award. 

David Coleman of Underpinning & Foundation Skanska, has been elected to a second five-year term as Trustee (2014-2019), and Roger Healey of Goettle, was elected to second two-year term as At-Large Trustee (2014-2016). 

The elected officers for the Board of Trustees in 2014 are:

Chair: David Coleman

Vice Chair: M. Byrl Williams

Treasurer: Dan Brown

Secretary: Dan Dragone 

 

Congratulations Dan! 

Robert Receives NHI Award and Paul Becomes DFI Committee Chair

WRT_NHI

It was recently announced that Robert Thompson is being recognized by the National Highway Institute (NHI) as an NHI Instructor of Excellence for fiscal year 2012.  This award is given to NHI instructors who receive consistently high classroom evaluation scores, demonstrated commitment to the NHI adult learning philosophy, and for maintaining the highest standard of quality for transportation training.  Here are the congratulatory words of NHI Director of Training Programs, Richard Barnaby:

Your nomination and selection for this award shows that training participants value the instruction you provide, that you stand far ahead of your peers, and that you have captured the respect of HHI’s Training Program Managers.  This year you have continuously provided high quality instruction, shared your vast expertise and real world experiences, and have exceeded performance expectations.

Robert currently serves as an instructor for two NHI courses, NHI Course 132069, Driven Pile Foundation Inspection with co-instructor Keith Bennett of Gannett-Flemming and NHI Course 132014, Drilled Shafts – Construction Procedures and LRFD Design Methods with co-instructors Dan Brown and John Turner of DBA.

That is most certainly a job well done, Robert!

Paul Axtell

We would also like to announce that Paul Axtell has been named as the new chair of the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) Drilled Shaft Committee, following Tom Hart of Black & Veatch.  Paul certainly deserves the honor of this roll given his participation and contributions to the Drilled Shaft Committee.

Congratulations, Paul!

Article by Dan in Geo-Strata

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An article coauthored by Dan and Dr. Paul Mayne, P.E. of Georgia Tech on geotechnical engineering in the Piedmont appeared in the November/December issue of  the Geo-Institute’s Geo-Strata Magazine.  The four page piece includes a brief overview of Piedmont geology, a discussion on sampling and testing of Piedmont soil and rock, a description of some of the unique engineering properties of Piedmont geomaterials, a discussion on the standard of practice for foundation design within the region, and a discussion on the value of engineering experience.  Examples and data from research and construction projects Dan and Dr. Mayne have been involved in are scattered throughout.  To read the article yourself, click here or pickup the latest copy of Geo-Strata.