National Driller has a nice interview with the 2015 Terzaghi Lecturer, Donald Bruce, President of Geosystems. Bruce, best known for his expertise in grouting, will deliver his Terzaghi Lecture at this week's IFCEE conference in San Antonio. [Source: Read the interview at National Driller. Image: National Driller]
Bentley's annual infrastructure conference was again a tremendous success. Held in London in early November, the event provided infrastructure executives from around the world with valuable insights on business and technology drivers and how they are shaping the future of infrastructure delivery and investment returns. Among the many presentations and materials presented during this information-rich event were keynotes, Be Inspired Finalist presentations, and Advancement Insightsâ€”an annual reporting of innovative technology, best practices, and project strategies for advancing infrastructure design, delivery, and performance. For access to the keynotes, Be Inspired presentations and more, visit the virtual press kit page for the Year in Infrastructure 2014 Conference. Bentley is a sponsor of GeoPrac.net. [Source: Bentley. Image: Bentley]
GeoWall is a competition for geotechnical engineering students where they build model mechanically stabilized earth retaining walls (MSE walls). The walls are then tested with a series of design loads and their score is a function of how well the wall performs under loading and how efficient their design was. The competition was held at the 2014 Geo-Congress in Atlanta which is put on by the Geo-Institute of ASCE. Students from universities all around the U.S. participated in this fantastic event! Enjoy the video highlights!
The Geo-Wall competition is a student competition sponsored by the Geo-Institute of ASCE to build a model mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining wall that must stand up to simulated static, lateral and dynamic loading. The 2013 competition was held at the 2013 Geo-Congress conference on 3/5/2013 in San Diego.
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, he 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, Japan 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. This year’s winners were:
I arrived in beautiful San Diego, California today for the ASCE Geo-Institute Geo-Congress 2013 conference. It’s being held at the Town and Country Resort and Hotel located on Hotel Circle, and it’s not the typical conference venue.
The facility has a sprawling feel, with some single story, almost casita-like hotel room buildings mixed with several more conventional hotel towers. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, making the walks between the hotel room and conference venues very relaxing and enjoyable. The smells are out of this world too, jasmine or honeysuckle I think. (Photo Credit: Town and Country)
Tonight was the first of the keynote addresses, the H. Bolton Seed Lecture by Dr. Stephen G. Wright of the University of Texas at Austin. The theme for the conference is “Stability and Performance of Slopes and Embankments III”. The III references the historic 1966 and 1992 conferences on the same topic. So who better to kick off the conference on this topic than Professor Wright, the author of the UTEXAS slope stability program and one of the preeminent experts on the topic?
I won’t share too much about this first lecture, mainly because I know I won’t have the time and/or fortitude to write much about all of the other amazing keynote lecturers lined up this week. But I will mention the key points from his lecture. He relayed two things that he said he learned from Professor Seed. One, he said that before you even start working on a slope stability problem (or maybe geotechnical problem in general) you should already know what is a reasonable answer. His second main point was something he said Seed would always emphasize, that you must know and remember your soil mechanics. Seems simple enough, right?
He showed several examples of slope stability problems, emphasizing how these two important tenets apply. He noted that in addition to the UTEXAS program, the two industry-standard slope stability programs in use are SLOPE/W by Geo-Slope and Slide by Rocscience. And he noted that if you are analyzing the same problem and doing it correctly, these programs should give you the same answer when performing limit equilibrium slope stability analyses. If you come up with different answers, chances are you are not analyzing the same problem.
He provided a few cautions about the software packages and some default settings and tolerances that may not always work in certain circumstances. One of his important summary points that is important for practitioners is that you must always check your work, and that it is not practical to perform hand-calculations or even spreadsheet calculations for checking the slope stability calculations, so you must use another program to check the first.
Things are just getting rolling here in San Diego. Stay tuned to GeoPrac and our twitter and Facebook streams for all of the latest happenings. And if you want even more coverage, check out the live blogging that Geoengineer.org is doing. This is the type of thing you see at tech conferences, but kudos to Dimitrios (and Marietta!) at Geoengineer.org for bring it to Geo-Congress!
Location of Town and Country Resort and Hotel in San Diego
I have a collection of photos on the GeoPrac Facebook page. I’ve been shooting with my iPhone, so don’t expect any great shots of the keynote speakers or anything, but I did get some good shots of the Geo-Wall competition and some other things.
The 2012 Geo-Competition was held at the Geo-Congress 2012 conference in Oakland, California. Teams from 17 universities competed in a competition to construct a model mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining wall out of craft paper and poster board facing. It had to resist 50 lbs of vertical load and a lateral load simulating bridge foundation loading.