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Muhannad Suleiman succeeds Luis Garcia as Chair of the Deep Foundations Committee

Muhannad Suleiman, Ph.D., began his term as Committee Chairman at the annual committee meeting during IFCEE 2018 in Orlando, Florida.  Luis Garcia, P.E., “turned over the gavel”, so to speak, after completing his term.  The committee gave a hearty “Thank You” to Luis for his 3 years of leadership of the committee.  Pictured below is Luis (left) receiving a certificate of appreciation from Muhannad (left).  Thank you, again, Luis for your dedication and service!


Muhannad T. Suleiman, Ph.D. Wins PCI Nasser Award;Appointed Assoc. Editor of JGGE

Muhannad T. Suleiman, Ph.D., M. ASCE was recently selected as the winner of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s George D. Nasser Award for 2016.  He was selected for a paper titled: “Minimum Confinement Reinforcement for Prestressed Concrete Piles and a Rational Seismic Design Framework”.  The paper was published in the January-February 2016 issue of the PCI Journal. Some notes on the PCI Journal and the Nasser Award from PCI:

The George D. Nasser Award, named for former PCI Journal editor emeritus, recognizes papers relating to the design, research, production, or construction of precast concrete structures from authors who are 40 years of age or younger.

As PCI’s flagship publication, PCI Journal plays a vital role in building and disseminating the Body of Knowledge. This bimonthly publication includes peer-reviewed papers that report on the latest international research on the analysis, design, materials, construction, and repair of precast and/or prestressed concrete structures and pavements. Many of these papers will later inform the design handbooks and building codes used in our industry.

You can view the abstract and/or obtain the paper at the PCI Journal here.

Muhannad has also been appointed as an associate editor of the ASCE Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering Journal.  He will add these duties to his many others that include being active on the DFC, other industry committees, and as an Associate Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at Lehigh University.

Mohamad Hussein, P.E. Receives 2016 PDCA Presidential Award for Distinguished Service


L to R: Marty Corchoran (PDCA President); Mohamad Hussein, P.E., M. ASCE; Eric Alberghini (PDCA Immediate Past President)

Mohamad Hussein, P.E., M. ASCE., was the 2016 recipient of the Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA) Presidential Award for Distinguished Service.  Mohamad received the award at the PDCA 20th Annual International Conference and Expo 2016 at the Astor Crowne Plaza French Quarter, New Orleans, LA on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.  The award was established in 2008 by the PDCA and is presented each year to honor and pay tribute to an individual who has made on-going, long-term and significant contributions to the PDCA and the pile driving industry through his/her effective leadership, support and participation.  Each year the PDCA President selects an individual who has distinguished himself or herself in advancing the PDCA through valuable personal and professional service.  Mohamad’s contribution of his expertise in the field of driven pile design, installation, and testing has been invaluable to the development of the PDCA and to the advancement of driven piles in the deep foundations industry.  Mohamad is a past Chairman of the GI Deep Foundations Committee and continues to contribute to the committee as an active member Emeritus.  He is Executive Vice President of GRL Engineers, Inc.

Fall 2016 Conferences for Deep Foundations



The 41st Annual Conference on Deep Foundations for DFI will be October 12-15, 2016 in New York City.

DFI’s 41st Annual Conference will attract industry professionals from around the globe to gather and share experiences, exchange ideas and learn the current state-of-the-practice from various disciplines. Over 1,000 engineers, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, owners, government agencies and academicians are expected to meet in New York City to attend informative technical sessions, learn more about the latest innovations in deep foundations technology in the Exhibit Hall and much more. DFI is excited to introduce a new technical track in 2016 featuring seepage control and remediation for dam and levee projects worldwide.

The conference will also include meetings of DFI’s 18 Technical Committees and 3 Working Groups, technical sessions, networking receptions, luncheons, over 120 exhibitor displays, and the awards reception and banquet.

Get more information HERE.


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STGEC 2016: November 7 – 10, 2016

The Mississippi Department of Transportation, (MDOT) will host the 2016 STGEC Conference. The conference will be held on November 7 – 10, 2016 in Biloxi, Mississippi.  This 3-day gathering of geotechnical, geological, and foundation engineers around the Southeast (West Virginia to Arkansas!) always features topics and case histories on deep foundation systems.  From the conference web site:

This conference will explore the challenges and advances in Geotechnical, Geological, Geophysical, and Geoenvironmental Engineering. The Geotechnical field is constantly increasing in its complexity and rate of change. This conference aims to bring together designers, practitioners and research professionals involved in current geotechnical problems and technologies.

The conference is aimed at those involved in the design, construction, management, and research in the geotechnical, geological, geophysical, and geoenvironmental fields related to the transportation industry. In addition, practitioners, suppliers, manufacturers, contractors, regulators, and managers from both the private and public sectors are encouraged to attend.

More information on registering, hotel, and exhibiting is HERE.

DFI SuperPile ’16 – June 7-9 – Chicago

DFI Superpile 16

DFI’s annual conference on pile foundations, SuperPile, will be held June 7-9, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois at the Westin Michigan Avenue.   Registration opens Monday, February 8, 2016.  You can get a flyer here.  Some key aspects of the conference (from DFI):

This three-day conference will include presentations on the latest developments in Driven Piles, Augered Cast-in-Place/Drilled Displacement Piles, Micropiles, Marine Foundations, Testing and Evaluation of Foundation Systems, Seismic and Lateral Loads, Drilled Shafts, Ground Improvement, and Helical Piles and Tiebacks.

On June 7, DFI committees will meet to discuss progress on various committee projects. On June 8, there will be a plenary (combined) session of presentations and on June 9 there will be two parallel sessions providing attendees the option to choose presentations of interest.

For the first time, and moving forward, the Osterberg Memorial Lecture will be presented as the opening lecture of SuperPile. This year’s selected lecturer is Dr. David K. Crapps, P.E. Dr. Crapps is the founding owner of Schmertmann & Crapps in Gainesville, Fla. He is a Deep Foundations specialist with over 40 years of research, design, construction, and testing of piles and drilled shafts (bored piles).

More information will be available at the DFI website.

Bernie Hertlein Receives DFI Distinguished Award


The Deep Foundations Institute awarded committee member Bernie Hertlein, FACI, M.ASCE with its Distinguished Service Award (DSA) at the 40th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations in Oakland, California.  The DSA is the highest award that DFI bestows on an individual, recognizing those who “have made exceptionally valuable contributions to the advancement of the deep foundations industry.”  Here is a bit from the DFI press release announcing this honor:

Hertlein, currently senior consultant and head of the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and geophysics group at GEI Consultants in Vernon Hills, Ill., has specialized in inspection and nondestructive testing methods for structures and deep foundations and construction-related vibration issues for more than 30 years. In addition to performing and analyzing the tests, he has been involved in developing new applications for nondestructive testing (NDT) methods, designing or building the required hardware, and writing appropriate software to improve the state of the art. Hertlein was part of the team that introduced crosshole sonic logging (CSL) and impulse response testing to North America in the mid-1980s, and has participated in several research projects for the Federal Highway Administration, using NDT methods on all types of deep foundations.

His work experience includes drilled shafts, ACIP piles, driven piles and slurry wall projects throughout the U.S., and in several European countries as well as Algeria, Hong Kong and Venezuela. He is the author of a book entitled Nondestructive Testing of Deep Foundations, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2006. Hertlein is currently a trustee of DFI, serving as trustee liaison to the Testing and Evaluation Committee, of which he is past chair. He is also secretary of American Concrete Institute (ACI) Committee 228 Nondestructive and In-place Testing; chairman of ACI Committee 336 Footings, Mats and Drilled Piers; past chair of ASTM Committee C-09.64 Nondestructive Testing of Concrete; and a member of the ASCE Geo-Institute, where he serves on the Deep Foundations Committee. Hertlein is a past director of ADSC: The International Association of Foundation Drilling. He was elected a Fellow of the ACI in 2012 and was awarded the ADSC’s Outstanding Service Award in 2009.

This is a well-deserved recognition of all Bernie has contributed to the deep foundations industry over his career.  He has been a great contributor to the G-I Deep Foundations Committee over the years.  Congratulations, Bernie!

DFI’s Deep Mixing Conference, June 2-5, 2015, San Francisco, CA


For the first time, the DFI Deep Mixing Conference will be held in North America.  The conference will be June 2-5, 2015 in San Francisco, California.  From DFI:

Important advances in materials, equipment, system design, and project delivery mechanisms have occurred since 2009.  Deep Mixing 2015 will provide a forum for international exchange of this new information. Applications include support and stabilization of embankments and retaining walls, levees, floodwalls, storage tanks, and other structures; excavation support; liquefaction mitigation; seepage barriers; and environmental stabilization. Internationally recognized experts will present the state of the art, descriptions of landmark projects, and cutting edge innovations. The conference will be structured around plenary sessions and concurrent breakout sessions to optimize benefits to all participants. In keeping with the focus of this series, the conference scope consists of deep mixing and mass mixing by mechanical means that may be assisted by fluid energy.

Information and registration can be found here.

In Memoriam – Dr. Fred Kulhawy, P.E., G.E., Dist. M.ASCE

fred k 2

Fred H. Kulhawy, Ph.D., P.E., G.E., Dist. M.ASCE, 71, Professor Emeritus of Civil/Geotechnical Engineering at Cornell University, passed away Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at the Cayuga Medical Center.  Dr. Kulhawy was an active member of the G-I Deep Foundations Committee for many years (including before the G-I was formed!), including having served as chair.  Mike Moore, CEO of the ADSC, wrote in an email to the ADSC membership:

He was one of the world’s most accomplished geotechnical engineers whose stellar career included important research, project consulting, and academic achievement at the highest level. His impact on the geo-profession has been profound and will be long lasting. The awards he received during his illustrious career are truly too numerous to mention. His reputation as an international lecturer coupled with the work he produced for the Electric Power Research Institute is legendary. In addition, Dr. Kulhawy was one of the primary influences in the development of the ADSC’s Civil Engineering Faculty Workshop program.

Here is his obituary from Meaningful Funerals:

Fred Howard Kulhawy was born in Topeka, Kansas on September 8, 1943 to Fred and Gloria (Hahn) Kulhawy. He spent his childhood and early adulthood in New Jersey, where he received his B.S.C.E. in 1964 from Newark College of Engineering (NCE), which is now a part of New Jersey Institute of Technology. He completed his M.S.C.E. from NCE in June 1966, married Gloria Ianna in September 1966, and they relocated to Berkeley, CA for educational pursuits. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in September 1969, and began his Professorial career at Syracuse University, where he advanced to the rank of Associate Professor. In 1976 he joined the Cornell Faculty, becoming Professor in 1981. During his 40-year academic career, Fred taught a wide range of courses in the field of geotechnical engineering. At Cornell he also supervised the annual Master of Engineering geotechnical design project seventeen times. His courses emphasized basics and developing thought processes, but they always were oriented toward design and professional practice.

He has been a prolific researcher, with sponsors ranging from various government agencies to public and private companies. He has supervised 54 M.S. and Ph.D. theses. He has authored/co-authored more than 370 publications. The research done by him and his students has influenced geotechnical practice. His contributions have been recognized with over 20 major professional society awards. Among them are the following: Distinguished Member of ASCE, the highest accolade of ASCE for acknowledged eminence in engineering; the Norman Medal, the oldest and most prestigious technical award of ASCE; and the Karl Terzaghi Award, the ASCE Geo-Institute career accolade for eminence in geotechnical engineering.

After his retirement he kept active in his Consulting Practice, as well as travelling to indulge one of his passions, opera. He is survived by his wife, Gloria; a brother Kenneth of Tempe, AZ; brother and sister in-law, Frank and Nancy Ianna, nieces Kristy and Lindsay, nephew Rob Ianna, of NJ; and numerous cousins. There are no services. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Hospicare, 172 East King Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, or a charity of your choice. Bangs Funeral Home is assisting the family.

(Photo from ASCE via

SCDOT hosts STGEC 2015 in Greenville, SC – October 19-23, 2015


The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) will be serving as host for the 46th Annual Southeastern Transportation Geotechnical Engineering Conference (STGEC) in Greenville, South Carolina on October 19 – 23, 2015.  The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, in  downtown Greenville.  This annual conference draws DOT and consultant engineers from all over the Southeast for sessions covering many aspects of geotechnical engineering for transportation projects.  Exhibitors from a wide range of specialty vendors and companies are always there providing the latest information on their services.

The conference rate at the Hyatt is $83.00 per night. To register online with the hotel, go to You may also call the hotel at 1-864-235-1234 and mention that you are making reservations for “STGEC”. The cutoff date for reserving a room at the set rate is Monday,
September 28, 2015. There is a fee for parking of $6.00 per day for self-parking or $15.00 per day for valet.

To register for the conference, visit the conference web site HERE.  You can also find information on being an Exhibitor, as well as the Call for Papers.

Committee Member News: Dr. Muhannad Suleiman awarded teaching prize

Committee member Dr. Muhannad Suleiman of Lehigh University was awarded the 2014 Shamser Prakash Prize for Excellence in Teaching earlier this year.  The prize is awarded early in the year for the previous calendar year.  The Shamsher Prakash Foundation solicits nominations each year for young teachers (less than 40 years old) whose expertise is Geotechnical Engineering and/or Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering. The candidate must have a significant record of teaching excellence and show promise of continued excellence. Congratulations to Muhannad!