Category Archives: Industry News and Events

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! 

Charles J. Berkel 1925-2013

A pioneer of the deep foundations industry has recently passed.  Charles J. Berkel, 88, Chairman of the Board and Founder of Berkel & Company, one of the largest piling contractors in the U.S., passed away November 4, 2013.  From DFI:

Berkel graduated from the University of Illinois in 1946 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. A year later he began his career in deep foundation construction working for Intrusion-Prepakt in Chicago. While there he was the project engineer for the first commercial project supported on ACIP piles in the U.S. In 1959 he resigned from Prepakt and started his own company, Berkel & Company Contractors, specializing in pressure grouting and the installation of Auger Pressure Grouted (APG) piles. Over the decades, he grew the company to become one of the largest piling contractors in the U.S.

Funeral services were held Friday, November 8, 2013, in Lenexa, Kan. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Berkel’ s name to the University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, Kan., the Sister Servants of Mary, Kansas City, Kan., or Sacred Heart Church in Shawnee, Kan.

Mr. Berkel was a Charter Member of Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), Berkel was the recipient of the 2007 DFI Distinguished Service Award, and a major donor to the DFI Educational Trust Scholarship Program.

You can read more about Mr. Berkel here.

Deep Foundations Events Update–October 2013

As involved as we are in the deep foundations industry (and just returning from the DFI annual conference), it seemed appropriate to take time to highlight several upcoming events in the industry.  All of these are great opportunities to get PDH credits, do some networking, and build relationships in the deep foundations industry.  Most are cooperative efforts of one or more of the G-I, DFI, PDCA, and ADSC.  All of them have a line-up of great speakers that are leaders in the industry.  Click on the links below to learn more about each one. 

 

14th Annual Design and Installation of Cost-Efficient Piles Conference
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Sheraton North Houston, Houston, TX

The DICEP conference will present modern approaches to maximize Efficiency, Effectiveness and Economy (E3) of driven piles through a series of presentations including driven pile design, testing, evaluation and case studies.  Steel sheet pile design and corrosion protection are also addressed.

 

 

Drilled Shaft Foundations Seminar – Reliability in Drilled Shaft Foundations
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Hilton Midtown, New York, NY

The program will feature presentations by leading industry design engineers and civil engineering contractors on some problems encountered with drilled shaft foundations and how those problems were solved.

 

 

Driven Pile – A Foundation for the 21st Century
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, Nashville, TN

  • A one-day specialty seminar on driven piles
  • Featuring 11 presentations by key industry professionals
  • Provides 6 PDH credits for all participants, including 1 PDH on Ethics  

 

 

Here are few open Calls for Abstracts (by order of due date):

IFCEE 2015 – March 17-21, 2015 – San Antoniio, TX – Due October 28, 2013

DFI 39th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations – October 21-24, 2014 – Atlanta, GA – Due January 10, 2014

DFI Superpile 2014 – June 19-20, 2014 – Cambridge, MA – Due February 3, 2014

Call for Abstracts – 2015 International Foundations Congress and Equipment Exposition (IFCEE 2015)

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Although 2015 seems like a long way away, when you are planning the largest foundation engineering and construction conference in the U.S., you need to get started early!  The organizing committee for the  the 2015 International Foundations Congress and Equipment Exposition (IFCEE 2015) has released the Call for Abstracts here at the conference website.

This conference will be at the JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas, March 17-21, 2015 and is hosted by a joint effort of ADSC: The International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC), Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), Geo-Institute of the ASCE (G-I), and Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA).  The program will include technical paper sessions (as poster or podium presentations), panel discussions and debates, indoor exhibits, an outdoor equipment exposition, educational short courses, technical committee meetings, and networking events.

GeoWorld Technical Forums Launched!

GeoWorld – the social media platform for geoprofessionals – announced the launch of The Geo-Technical Forums. The launch was announced through Geoengineer.org:

The GeoWorld professional network is pleased to announce the development of their latest innovative online tool: The Geo-Technical Forums! The new forums were a request by a number of individuals and committees of ISSMGE and have some features that aim to satisfy professional needs for communication about technical topics within the geo-community. This launch comes just a few weeks after the GeoWorld community voted the Technical Forums, as their most needed online tool for geoprofessionals.

The staff of Geoengineer.org has spent months working on the development of these new forums, which constitute at the same time a major upgrade of the forums previously available on Geoengineer.org. They are now live and available to the 3,000 GeoWorld members! If you are not yet on GeoWorld- The Professional Online Networking Tool for Geoprofessionals, you can sign up for free in just a few minutes here: www.mygeoworld.info

An advantage GeoWorld has (that will continue to grow) is that it focuses solely on the geoprofessions as opposed to general business or other broader categories.

I admit that I have not yet spent a lot of time on forums of any sort, but many people find them to be a useful tool to exchange information, professionally network, and make contacts in the industry.  Perhaps I’ll find or make the time to cruise around them soon and report back. 

NCHRP Synthesis 429 – Geotechnical Information Practices in Design-Build Projects

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Early this year, NCHRP released a synthesis report on geotechnical practices related to design-build projects.  I have had writing a blog post on this on my “to do” list for a few months and finally got down the list!

NCHRP Synthesis 429 – Geotechnical Information Practices in Design-Build Projects is a report on the current practices of allocating and managing geotechnical risk through the use (or lack of!) geotechnical information in transportation project bid documents.  Even though design-build as a delivery process for projects has been around for a while now, the allocation of risk due to subsurface conditions is an issue still treated with a variety of approaches. 

Those of us who have been in this industry for a while know that a thorough geotechnical investigation reduces both cost risk and construction/schedule risk.  Design-build is an effective method for accelerating project construction and delivery; however, the acceleration of the schedule puts more pressure on the geotechnical design since “geotechnical investigation and design is usually the first design package that must be completed and geotechnical uncertainty is usually high at the time of DB contract award.”

Because geotechnical investigation and design is usually the first design package that must be completed and geotechnical uncertainty is usually high at the time of DB contract award, the design-builder’s geotechnical designers are under pressure to complete their work and enable foundation and other subsurface construction to commence. Successfully managing the geotechnical risk in a DB project is imperative to achieving the requisite level of quality in the finished product. The purpose of this synthesis is to benchmark the state of the practice regarding the use of geotechnical information in DB solicitation documents and contracts. The high level federal encouragement through EDC for state DOTs to accelerate project delivery by using DB elevates the need to manage geotechnical risk while expediting geotechnical design to a critical project success factor, and makes the results of this synthesis both timely and valuable.

As is the case with NCHRP synthesis reports, the authors conducted a literature review, conducted a survey of state DOTs and other agencies, and developed some conclusions that include effective practices for managing geotechnical risk.

The synthesis was based on a comprehensive literature review; a survey of U.S. DOTs, which received responses from 42 states (response rate = 84%); a content analysis of DB solicitation documents from 26 states; a content analysis of DB policy documents/guidelines from 12 state DOTs and 5 federal agencies; and interviews of 11 DB contractors whose markets encompass more than 30 states. The synthesis also furnishes three legal case studies (Colorado, Illinois, and Virginia) on cogent geotechnical issues and four geotechnical engineering case studies (Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, and Montana) that illustrate the methods transportation agencies use to deal with geotechnical issues on DB projects. Conclusions were drawn from the intersection of independent sources of information from the survey, case studies, and literature.

Some of the effective practices highlighted include the use of confidential Alternative Technical Concepts (ATC) during pre-bid, explicit differing site conditions (DSC) clauses that clearly quantify the design-build team’s risk and the threshold above which the DOT assumes the risk, the use of qualified personnel, and timely review schedules for geotechnical design items early in the project.

Our (DBA) experience in design-build has seen the range from effective practices to poor practices.  This report provides a great summary of many of the effective practices we have found to be beneficial and that help reduce conflicts and delays.  We can’t completely eliminate geotechnical risk, but it can be effectively and equitably managed.

Click on the link below to get a copy from NCHRP.

NCHRP Synthesis 429 – Geotechnical Information Practices in Design-Build Projects

ENR’s Best of the Best 2012–Audubon Bridge

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The John James Audubon Bridge was recently selected as the Editor’s Choice/Transportation for ENR’s Best of the Best Projects for 2012.  The annual competition culminated in honoring ENR’s selection of the most outstanding construction projects in the U.s. And Puerto Rico complete between July 2011 and June 2012.

Nearly 1,000 project teams submitted their best work to ENR’s regional "Best Projects" competitions. For each of the nine regions, our editors assembled an independent panel of industry judges to home in on the winners in 19 categories. The winners of the regional contests moved on to the national competition. A different set of industry judges examined the projects to distinguish the "Best of the Best" in teamwork, success in overcoming challenges, innovation and quality. This year, a new award honors the safest project, judged by industry safety experts in both the regional and national competitions. Also, ENR’s editorial staff chose one special project as the "Editors’ Choice" to represent the pinnacle of design and construction excellence.

The Audubon Bridge won the Editor’s Choice – the editorial staff’s selection of the “pinnacle of design and construction excellence”.  Congratulations to everyone at Audubon Bridge Constructors (Flatiron, Granite and Parsons), Louisiana DOTD, and all who worked on the project!

Regular readers of our blog will be very familiar with the JJA as we often called it.   You can catch all of the geotechnical and foundation highlights on our project page, or check out previous posts.

Images from: ENR.com