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New FHWA Soil Nail Manual Addresses LRFD, Hollow Bars
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Engineering Geologists vs Geological Engineers vs Geotechnic
Geological engineer from Spain (looking for job smiley geoengineer.martin@gmail
A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On: Center for Geotechnical Mode
Randy, While the UC Davis lab is impressive I believe the USACE Centrifuge
Foundations and Geotechnical Engineering for the Burj Dubai
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Available Resources
NCEES Needs Geotechnical Engineers for Survey PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 07:42

I received an email today from the Arizona Chapter of the Geo-Institute relaying a plea for help from NCEES, the National Council for Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Every 5 years they survey practicing civil engineers for input on their licensing exam questions. Here is what the email said:

We are faced with a problem. The exam is split into two parts. The morning exam is “Breadth” and tests for knowledge that all Civil Engineers should know. The afternoon is “Depth” and one of the modules is for Geotechnical Engineers. We need valid surveys from 200 Geotechnical Engineers for the survey to be considered valid. We are short about 50 registered Geotechnical Engineers. The survey takes about an hour. Please help if you can.
[Source: NCEES]

Geotechnical Module Add On for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 23:24

Geotechnical module for AutoCAD Civil3D 2013

Users of AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 who are looking for a way to import their geotechnical data into the program will be happy to note that Autodesk has launched a new Geotechnical Module add on as a free download from their subscription center. The add on was created by Keynetix and licensed to Autodesk. The features (straight from the blog post) are:

  • Importing and connecting to geotechnical data, both AGS and CSV formats
  • Creating and managing Boreholes in both plan and model space
  • Creating and managing sub strata surfaces
  • Producing dynamic profiles and projecting log strips on to them Geotechnical hatch and style management

You are still on your own for the interpretation, but since the surfaces are created from your data, it gives you a good starting point for that process. [Source: From The Ground Up Blog. Image: From The Ground Up Blog]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 06:29
What is geotechnical engineering and why does it matter? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 23:10

Geotubes at the El Mochito mine in Honduras

I stumbled across this great answer to that question from Geotechnical consulting firm Tierra Group International, LTD a geotechnical consulting firm servicing the mining industry:

Mankind lives on the earth. Everything built, either originated from, is built on, or interacts with, the earth. Geology is the science of the earth. Geotechnical Engineering is the application of geology and mathematics to use Earth's natural resources to build infrastructure.

It reminds me of one of my favorite geo-engineering quotes from Richard L. Handy:

Virtually every structure is supported by soil or rock. Those that aren't either fly, float, or fall over.

[Source: Tierra Group International, Ltd.. Image: Tierra Group International, Ltd.]


Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2013 06:19
Oregon car thief's escape plot foiled by landslide PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 07 February 2013 16:25
Oregon car thief's escape plot foiled by landslide

A thief stole a taxi at knife point in Brookings, Oregon recently, and then tried to escape when a police officer attempted to pull him over in the stolen vehicle. He ignored signs of a road closed due to a landslide, but quickly found out that the signs were no joke as his car collided with the mud, rock and debris from the landslide blocking the road. He was taken into custody without further incident. [Source: KOMO News. Image:]

Geotechnical Asset Management, Implementation Concepts and Strategies PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 31 January 2013 23:23

Geotechnical Asset Management - Implementation Concepts and Strategies by Central Federal Lands of the FHWA

The Central Federal Lands (CFL) division of the FHWA has published a new manual on Geotechnical Asset Management. Here's the abstract:

The purpose of transportation asset management is to meet life-cycle performance goals (safety, mobility, preservation, economics, and environmental aspects) through the management of physical assets in the most cost-effective manner. Geotechnical asset management can be incorporated into the broader practice of transportation asset management. Currently, most agencies manage geotechnical features on the basis of "worstfirst" conditions, reacting to failures and incurring significant safety, mobility, environmental, and intangible costs. The goal of geotechnical asset management is to implement project planning and selection on the basis of "most-at-risk" for the asset class with consideration of collective and site specific risks throughout the life cycle. Geotechnical features that can affect the performance of a transportation system include retaining walls, unstable slopes, rockfall sites, embankments, and tunnels. These features can be treated as physical assets of the system and managed like other assets of the system. While not every geotechnical feature exists in agency, those that do can be combined into a single asset class to simplify asset management procedures. Although likely on the high end of expectation, some studies indicate a life-cycle cost savings of up to 60 to 80 percent after the implementation of geotechnical asset management. The geotechnical asset management plan should be based on agency performance goals and integrate risk and life-cycle analysis. It is important to note geotechnical asset management will only be successful when all features that create risk are included. Risk management allows for the probability and consequences of events to be evaluated, which is essential for the integration with agency performance goals. Federal Land Management Agencies can implement geotechnical asset management with a relatively modest investment and using existing resources to assess geotechnical features in a multi-tier, riskbased approach. There is an agency cost associated with inaction on geotechnical asset management.

[Source: Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFL). Image: CFL]


Last Updated on Friday, 01 February 2013 06:30
Dataforensics shows off early version of pLog 7 on Rugged Tablet PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 15 January 2013 23:26
Scott Deaton of Dataforensics shows off an early version of pLog v7 software on a Panasonic Toughpad

GeoPrac sponsor Dataforensics just tweeted a photo of their President, Scott Deaton showing off an early version of their pLog v7 software running on a Panasonic Toughpad ruggedized tablet. I know they are working hard on the upgrade which will bring pLog to the Android platform. The new rugged tablets from Panasonic open up a whole new world for electronic borehole and well logging software. Be sure to follow @Dataforensics1 for the latest info from them. [Source: Twitter. Image: Twitter]

New Rock Toppling Software coming from Rockscience PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 16:59
RocTopple Beta version screenshot

Geological and geotechnical engineering software vendor Rockscience, makers of Dips, Swedge, Slide, Examine3D and other products is entering beta testing for their newest product, RocTopple to analyze the rock toppling failure mode. According to RockScience, RocTopple will 'complete our suite of rock slope stability analysis software'. Follow the link below to learn more or signup to be a beta tester. [Source: Rockscience. Image: Rockscience]

SuperGIS Engine 3.1 Beta Version Released PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 10 December 2012 23:24
SuperGIS Engine 3.1 Beta is released

The new SuperGIS Engine 3.1 Beta allows Windows developers to incorporate GIS functionality into their programs using COM components. From their press release:

As the core development of SuperGIS software, SuperGIS Engine 3.1 can be embedded into programming language under Windows developing environment to integrate with other systems and enhance efficiency in system development. SuperGIS Engine 3.1 provides 32-bit and 64-bit developing components that enable developers to create GIS applications they need in common development environments such as Visual Studio 2005/2008/2010 Visual Basic, VB.NET, Visual C# and so on.

The product page provides info on how to get a free trial version. [Source: Image: SuperGIS Engine 3.1 Beta is released]

No earth pressures, please! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 10 December 2012 23:23
Deep excavation software

Deep Excavation, LLC has an excellent blog post on how geotechnical engineers should provide geotechnical parameters for use by a shoring designer. Mr. Konstantakos notes that most of us geotechnical engineers provide only lateral earth pressure parameters, but there are a number of problems with that approach. Today's shoring designs are much more complex, requiring staged analyses and service limit analyses that you simply can't do if all you have are basic parameters. So what should you provide in your geotechnical reports? Go read the post to find out! [Source: Deep Excavation. Image:]

Introducing Google Earth 7 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 05:34

3D Imagery for Austin Texas in the New Google Earth 7

Google released Google Earth 7 last month. The major new feature is their 3D Imagery feature that allows for scary realistic 3D views of cityscapes...until you zoom in tight. Another new feature is a tour guide of famous landmarks. Read more at Google Earth Blog. [Source: Google Earth Blog. Image: Google Earth Blog]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 21:50
Geotechnical construction methods to control contaminated soil and groundwater PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 23:26
Contaminated soil remediation by Moretrench

Excavations in an urban environment often encounter contaminated soil and/or groundwater. GeoPrac sponsor Moretrench is an expert in geotechnical construction methods for preventing the contamination from entering or leaving a site. In a recent blog post, Moretrench highlighted four construction techniques for meeting these objectives. They are: slurry trenches, jet grouting, permeation grouting, and ground freezing. [Source: Moretrench GeoBlog. Image: Moretrench]

Sample Guide Specifications for Construction of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 22:48
GRS-IBS Guide Specifications

This guide was issued to provide guidelines for construction of the geosynthetic reinforced soilintegrated bridge system (GRS-IBS). Refer to Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge System Interim Implementation Guide for GRS-IBS design and construction guidelines. This guide serves as the technical basis for agency-developed standard specifications. Local experience and practice should be incorporated as applicable. [Source: FHWA. Image: FHWA]

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