The Geo-Institute's Geo-Frontiers conference was held recently in Orlando Florida. On March 14, 2017, they presented their awards, including the prestigious Karl Terzaghi Award, the Ralph Peck Award and others. This video was shown at the awards banquet. It's a nice video,rn but they need to instruct their voice actor how to say geotechnical...it's not 'Geo Technical'! [Source: Watch the video at the Geo-Institute YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]
Shannon & Wilson, an employee-owned consulting firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington and with 12 offices across North America, recently announced a series of promotions for 2017. The promotions, announced Jan. 10, are Christopher Darrah to vice president; Jeri-Beth Bowman to senior associate; Jeremy Butkovich, Andy Caneday, Kathy Corbett, Matt Gibson, Kathryn Petek and Tyler Stephens to associate. [Source: View more info at TrenchlessOnline.com. Image: Trenchlessonline.com]
Terracon is expanding into the Virgina market through the acquisition of Geotechnical Consulting & Testing Inc. (GC&T), headquartered in Woodbridge, with a laboratory in Dulles. This is Terracon's 4th acquisition of 2016.
Formed in 1990, GC&T is a privately owned firm primarily dedicated to providing geotechnical and materials testing services. GC&T provides services for transportation and infrastructure, commercial, industrial, retail, residential, office, medical, and hospitality projects throughout the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Every second of October, geotechnical engineers around the world remember Karl Terzaghi on his birthday! Terzaghi is the father of soil mechanics, and I don't think it is cliche to say he is also the father of our profession. So happy KTB 2016!
I always like to celebrate by reading some of his quotes, many of which seem like they could have been written to us today…like this one:
The one thing an engineer should be afraid of is the development of conditions on the job which he has not anticipated. The construction drawings are no more than a wish dream. I have the impression that the great majority of dam failures were due to negligent construction and not to faulty design.
Terracon has acquired Mayes Testing Engineers based in Lynnwood (Seattle) Washington. Mayes is a 115 person firm specializing in welding, concrete, soils, masonry, asphalt, and non-destructive testing in the Pacific Northwest. From the Terracon Press Release:
Terracon's expansion brings together the acquired resources of Mayes, RGA Environmental, and Argus Pacific all in the Pacific Northwest. Terracon companies now combine to include six Seattle/Tacoma and two Portland, Ore., locations. The move also becomes Terracon's fifth acquisition in the West in the past two years, having also acquired NORCAL Geophysical Consultants and Neil O. Anderson and Associates.
There is a new player in the ground engineering and specialty geotechnical construction market in North America...well, sort of. Quanta Subsurface is a collection of (at present) 9 specialty contractors all owned by Quanta Services, a publicly traded EPC company specializing in the Electric Power and Oil and Gas industries. Many of these companies have been around for some time in their various markets, firms like Crux Subsurface. With the formation of Quanta Subsurface, it appears that they are looking to grow their footprint in transmission line sector in particular. The company is being run by several Crux Subsurface executives, including Crux President Nick Salisbury. [Source: Read more at QuantaSubsurface. Image: Crux/Quanta Subsurface]
There are two notable geotechnical engineers among the recipients of the 2016 ASCE Opal Outstanding Projects and Leaders awards. Rudolph Bonaparte, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE, NAE, the president and CEO of Geosyntec, will receive the award for design. Jerry A. DiMaggio, P.E., D.GE, M.ASCE, will receive the award for government for his many years of service as the FHWA's lead geotechnical engineer. [Source: Read more about the award and bios for the recipients at the ASCE Roundup Blog. Image: ASCE Roundup]
Tetra Tech will buy Australia-based geotechnical engineering firm Coffey Geotechnics for $0.31 per share. The move is expected to strengthen Tetra Tech's presence in Australia. Tetra Tech currently employs 13,000 staff globally, and Coffey a reported 3,300 globally. [Source: Bizjournals.com. Image: Tetra Tech]
The Golder Foundation presented the first annual awards to six students in the fields of Ground Engineering and Contaminant Site Assessment and Cleanup. The cash awards, totaling $40,000 USD, are meant to encourage and recognize technical excellence in some of the areas that Golder practices in.
The Golder Foundation was created in 2013 and aims to further knowledge and learning by opening the technical archives of our founders and some senior staff; through sharing Golder's distinct ownership model and business legacy; and by granting these annual awards.
Dr. Jesus E. Gomez has joined GEI Consultants as a vice president and will lead their geotechnical and geostructural practice in the Philadelphia region. Dr. Gomez has over 30 years of experience, and was previously a principal with Schnabel Engineering. He is well known in the geotechnical community for his work on various FHWA/ADSC publications on soil nails and micropiles, among others. [Source: Read the full press release from GEI Consultants. Image: GEI Consultants]
It's October 2 again, and today would have been Karl Terzaghi's 131st birthday. As I was reflecting on Terzaghi and some of his quotes, I was reading a passage from Professor's Goodman's biography1 that described a talk that he gave in 1924 entitled "The Way to Happiness." I thought this would be a nice change of pace from some of his more famous quotes and topics. Here are some selections from Goodman's description of the presentation.
...This stems from application of the law of selection, which "leads to the survival of the most clever, most reckless, and most hypocritical. There seems to be no fox hole left for the freedom of will... The validity of the fundamental laws provides that the fear of perishing and the desire to succeed dominate all other instincts."
"The very moment you overcome fear and desire you leave the domain governed by the law and you become free." In this spirit Terzaghi left his hearers with three rules to promote internal happiness, all of which contradict the laws pointing toward external success: 1) do not avoid suffering but welcome it as a way to augment your strength, 2) disregard market conditions and give your best effor no matter what and never produce something that is worthless even if the market says to do so, and 3) try to combine "the inflexible firmness of the man of action with the sensitivity and spontaneity of the artistic mind."
Happy KTB 2014! -Randy
1. Goodman, Richard E. (1999). Karl Terzaghi - The Engineer as Artist. ASCE Press, Reston, Virginia.