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Video of Highway 101 Landslide in California
Looks like the Facebook video gets cropped when I embedded it here. You ca
San Francisco Millennium Tower Has Settled 16 Inches
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New FHWA Soil Nail Manual Addresses LRFD, Hollow Bars
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Content
Available Resources
Two Important Legal Resources Updated PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 07:04
GBA updates two important legal resources for geoprofessionals

The GBA has been helping geoprofessional firms deal with the legal realities of our business for nearly 50 years. They have recently updated two important resource documents that address this topic: Limitation-of-Liability Case Index and Economic-Loss-Doctrine Case Index. Both of these documents were written without legalese making them easier for non-lawyer professionals to digest and they are available free of charge for GBA members. Not a member? Are you sure? Most geoprofessionals are not aware that GBA membership is at the firm level, so if your company is a GBA member, so are you. Drop them a note if you aren't sure. [Source: Read more and download these documents from the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA). Image: GBA via LinkedIn]

 
USBR Best Practices and Risk Methodology for Dams PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 06:54
Center Hill Dam Seepage Rehabilitation Project Work Platform

I was recently made aware of an excellent reference from the US Bureau of Reclamation regarding best practices and risk methodology for assessing dams. This is a reference manual to accompany a course offering, but may still serve as a a good stand along reference. From the USBR:

The Bureau of Reclamation has been using risk analysis as the primary support for dam safety decision-making for about 15 years, and has developed procedures to analyze risks for a multitude of potential failure modes. Manuals, guidelines, standards, and practical reference material on how to perform risk analysis for dam safety applications are lacking. The Best Practices Training Manual contains what are considered the 'Best Practices' currently in use for estimating dam safety risks at the Bureau of Reclamation. Risk analysis at the Bureau of Reclamation has evolved over the years and will continue to evolve. Therefore, updates to this manual are planned in the future as significant improvements are developed.

From the outset of implementing risk analysis, Reclamation recognized that procedures and data available for dam safety risk analysis, while quantitative, do not provide precise numerical results. Therefore, this manual strives to present useful information, tools, and techniques, while stopping short of a 'cookbook' approach. This allows the risk analyst(s) to use the proper balance of engineering judgment and calculations in estimating risks, and to understand and 'build the case' for what is influencing the risks the most. Thus, the numbers, while important, are less important than understanding and documenting what the major risk contributors are and why.
[Source: Download the reference chapters and presentations from the US Bureau of Reclamation. Image: USACE]

 
Ensuring consistency in geotechnical laboratory operations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 30 May 2017 05:53

Key-Lab_Accreditation_Lab_Input_i2Laboratory accreditation has become a ‘ticket to the game’ and most geotechnical laboratories will have, or are working towards, accreditation. The key thing an accreditation body is looking for is consistency; in workflows, sample handling, testing processes, calculations and reporting.

While many geotechnical laboratory managers choose Excel as their laboratory information management system (LIMS), its limitations can lead to problems for meeting client requirements, quality assurance and, ultimately, accreditation.

KeyLAB was developed specifically for geotechnical laboratories and integrates with Excel. It can be implemented simply and quickly and allows an organization’s worksheets to be used, to maintain competitive advantage.

Terry Stafford, Geotechnical Manager at independent testing laboratory i2 Analytical, worked with Keynetix to design bespoke results sheets for KeyLAB. “KeyLAB is evolving with new technology, which will help us meet our future aim of having a paperless system, one that is faster and reduces human error.”

KeyLAB protects input sheets to maintain quality control and can export data in a variety of formats, including client-specific reports. Workflow is controlled and consistency maintained to help meet client’s needs and accreditation requirements.

[Source: View this interesting article from GeoPrac sponsor Keynetix, Image Credit: Ground Technollogy Services via Keynetix]

 
Geo-companies in ENR's 2017 Top 500 Design Firms PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 12 May 2017 08:39

Top 500 Design Firms - With a Geo Emphasis

ENR's annual top 500 design firms list for 2017 is out. These rankings are based on revenue for design services in the previous calendar year. Last year I extracted a subset of the list to see rankings of firms that are strong in geotechnical / geological related services, so I decided to do it again this year. I included firms that self-identified as geotechnical firms, as well as engineering firms that I know to have a strong geo emphasis. I'm sure there are some that I missed. I also included some of the major A&E firms that provide these types of services. Accordingly, it's still a bit subjective on who is included. So here is the list of top Geo-Companies of 2017 (along with their change in ranking relative to 2016):

  • 1 - AECOM, Los Angeles, Calif. (No change from 2016)
  • 3 - CH2M, Englewood, Colo. (No change from 2016)
  • 5 - TETRA TECH INC., Pasadena, Calif. (+2)
  • 7 - AMEC FOSTER WHEELER, Atlanta, Ga. (-2)
  • 8 - HDR, Omaha, Neb. (+1)
  • 10 - STANTEC INC., Irvine, Calif. (+8)
  • 13 - ARCADIS NORTH AMERICA/CALLISON RTKL, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (-1)

 [Editor] Click through for the rest of the Geo list! [/Editor]

Last Updated on Friday, 12 May 2017 08:39
 
Video: SQUID Device for Drilled Shaft Bottom QC PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 11 May 2017 23:36
Pile Dynamics SQUID

I saw this device (well, a model of it and a presentation) at a recent geotechnical conference and I was very impressed. One of the challenges with the QC of drilled shafts is that you don't always know the condition of the bottom of the shaft. The Shaft Quantitative Inspection Device (SQUID) measures the thickness of the debris layer above the bearing strata and the strength of the bearing layer itself. The results are presented on output in numerical and graphical format in real time. The device attached to the rig's Kelly Bar and is deployed with minimal effort. [Source: Pile Dynamics YouTube Channel. Image: Pile Dynamics]

 
ISRM Online Lectures on Rock Mechanics Topics PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 30 April 2017 22:16
Professor Charles Fairhurst

The International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM) has some great lectures posted online. The latest one posted in April is 'Why Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering?' by Professor Emeritus Charles Fairhurst of the University of Minnesota and the Itasca Consulting Group. [Source: Watch the lectures for free from ISRM. Image: Itasca]

 
Uncovering the Hidden Benefits of Buying New Software PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 03 April 2017 23:38
Example of a geological profile generated with HoleBaseSI and the Civil3d Extension

A good way to begin building a business case for investing in new software and systems is to evaluate the time and cost in carrying out a typical task, such as producing site plans and geological profiles. Byrne Looby Partners have done just this and reaped significant benefits from using HoleBASE SI and the AutoCAD Civil 3D extension on The Irish Water projects.

As Andy Wilkins says, ‘Everything we do now goes into HoleBASE SI and the Civil 3D extension as it is saving us and our clients a huge amount of time and money. Just by speeding up the generation of geological profiles, we are saving about a week on moderate sized projects. If we are also doing earthworks design we can save another week or two, and if you also add inroad alignments and earthworks quantities, we're saving at least one to two additional weeks as this information literally falls out of the Civil 3D extension. We literally haven't drawn geological profiles for years because we've been using Keynetix software and the Civil 3D extension. It is clear to us that we (and our clients) are saving a lot of time and money.’

Keynetix has developed a Geotechnical CAD Cost Calculator to help companies review their own projects and to quickly work out the costs and potential savings that could be made and to evaluate if there is a business case to change. The calculator can show whether this a good short or medium term investment and of course indicates where process efficiencies can be made.

[Editor] Keynetix is a sponsor of GeoPrac.net [/Editor] [Source: Read the full article here and download the calculator to find out what you could save by investing in new software. Image: Keynetix]

 
Bentley Webinar - Data Transfer in gINT, April 5, 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 03 April 2017 23:38
Bentley gINT

Bentley will be hosting a webinar at two different times on April 5, at 9 a.m. EDT and 5 p.m. EDT for the new gINT Special Interest Group (SIG). They will focus on a current hot topic, Data Transfer. We've all been there. You need to move your data from one project to another, or maybe to another application. So mark your calendar, and invite your colleagues, to learn how to take your gINT usage to the next level. Discussion, demonstration, and Q&A will include:

  • Practical applications for transferring data into and out of gINT
  • Tools in gINT to make this transfer easier and repeatable
  • Tips and tricks to simplify the use of gINT's data transfer tools

One Professional Development Hour (PDH) will be applied to each user's Bentley Transcript for self-reporting. Bentley is a GeoPrac.net sponsor. [Source: Go and register for gINT SIG Webinar with Bentley. Image: Bentley]

 
AASHTO Materials and Lab Specs in Print No More PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 23:02
AASHTO Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of Sampling and Testing

Maybe I missed this when it first happened, but I recently saw that AASHTO's Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of Sampling and Testing is no longer being offered as a printed book but now is a web-based publication with a single year subscription fee. It can get pretty pricey for multi-user license. I'm sure it's convenient, but if you are running an AASHTO accredited lab, you probably just have to bite the bullet. I wonder if all of their publications are going this way in the future? [Source: Check out the licensing options at the AASHTO Bookstore. Image: IPP Books]

 
[Updated] Watch the 57th Rankine Lecture from March 15 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 04:43

[Update March 16, 2017] If any of you tried to watch the lecture live on YouTube, I understand there were some technical difficulties.  The BGA even issued an appology via email.  But you can still watch the recorded version.  See below. [/Update]

Prof. Eduardo Alonso from UPC in Barcelona will be presenting this year's Ranking Lecture awarded by the British Geotechnical Association. You can live stream the lecture on YouTube starting at 1:25pm Eastern on Wednesday, March 15. Prof. Alonso will be presenting on the topic: Triggering and Motion of Landslides. [Source: Watch the lecture at the British Geotechnical Association YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 March 2017 01:03
 
Free Online Soil USCS Calculator PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 22:49
Free Online USCS Soil Classification Calculator

The folks at Logiteasy.com have created a great little free online tool that will calculate a USCS soil classification (ASTM D 2487 / ASTM D 2488) based on the percentage of your components and fines type. It's drop dead simple to use with sliders and buttons. [Source: Use the tool for free at LogItEasy.com. Image: Logiteasy.com]

 
5 Steps to Maximize your gINT and HoleBASE SI Geotechnical Data Archive PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 27 February 2017 22:44
HAGDMS Screenshot

How do you get the most out of the geotechnical data your company or agency spent so much money to obtain? GeoPrac sponsor Keynetix is an expert at answering just that question, and their latest blog post has 5 great tips on how to maximize the use of your data. This is some very actionable stuff for geotechnical engineers, and a must read for anyone who works with subsurface data in gINT, HoleBase or other geotechnical software. [Source: View this interesting article from Keynetix. Image: Keynetix]

 
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