Day 2 Geo-Congress Notes

J. Michael Duncan, Virginia Tech

As I gear up for another great day of technical talks, networking and wonderful San Diego weather, here are a few thoughts from yesterday at Geo-Congress 2013.

The morning started with two great keynote lectures.  The first by J. Michael Duncan of Virginia Tech on “Slope Stability Then and Now.” One of the things that jumped out at me was his wit, brayhe had the audience rolling a few times! His lecture was very insightful, and it was interesting to see the comparison between modern day computing capabilities that we take for granted and the punch-card mainframe computers of the early 1970’s. That quantum leap in technology available to us as engineers is something that is easy to forget for people my age and younger.

The second keynote was “Liquefaction Effects on Structures”, the Ralph B. Peck Award Lecture by Jonathan D. Bray of UC Berkeley.  He shared his insights into the ever-changing field of earthquake engineering and liquefaction, including studies related to his work studying major earthquakes in Turkey, Drop weight and loading for GeoWall 2013Japan and Christchurch New Zealand.

The Geochallenge events were held in the afternoon, including the GeoPoster, GeoPrediction, and my favorite, the GeoWall. I really enjoyed watching last year’s event, and even put together a video of the event.  I will do the same this year, but it might take me a few days to get it put together, so check back. But the organizers made a few changes to this year’s competition. The walls needed to withstand a static load applied behind the walls, a simulated lateral load applied on vertical pile/shaft type elements and then a dynamic load from a drop weight system. Looks like trouble for the UC Davis team at GeoWall 2013 This year’s winners were:

  1. Cal Poly Pomona
  2. University of Kansas
  3. Rensselaer Polytechnic University

Congratulations to all of the participants!