I like Hayward Baker's series of videos using animations to demonstrate different geotechnical construction methods. This video demonstrates how tangent pile shafts or secant pile shafts are constructed. Check out the video. Note: Hayward Baker is a sponsor of this website.
Underground metal mines can have extremely high temperatures, making it hazardous for employees to work there for more than a few minutes at a time. Researchers from my alma mater, the University of Arizona, are studying the possibility of using a common mining waste product, tailings, as aggregate in shotcrete with good insulation properties that will be used to coat rock surfaces that readily conduct heat. [Source: Arizona Engineer. Image: Arizona Engineer]
The cover story in the latest issue of LIDAR Magazine is titled Unearthing Landslides. It describes the work done by a company called Quantum Spatial in the immediate aftermath of the Oso Landslide. They were also involved in scanning the recent landslide in Grand Mesa, Colorado. Quantum Spatial has developed a landslide tool that identifies areas of landslide risk based on different aspects of the LiDAR based topography. [Source: Read the article from LiDAR News. Image: LIDAR Magazine]
ENR's annual ranking of the Top 200 Environmental Firms has been released. Their survey ranks firms based on revenue, and the results of their survey show a growth of 4% from 2013 to 2014 to $53.7 billion which reverses the trend observed in last year's survey. [Source: Check out ENR: Engineering News Record to see the full top 200 list. Image: ENR]
Scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA used their Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) technology to collect repeat measurements of the Napa Valley area to accurately map ground deformations from the August 24, 2014 earthquake. The special autopilot developed by NASA allows the C-20A aircraft to fly within 30 feet of its previous flight line surveys to collect high-resolution radar data. The data can be processed using interferrometric techniques to generate INSAR images that will tell geologists, engineers, seismologists, and planners how much movement occurred, including in soft sediment areas near the North Bay Aqueduct. [Source: NASA. Image: NASA Armstrong]
Providing geotechnical drilling parameters such as thrust, rotation, rate of penetration, and flush pressure will soon be incorporated into European Standard EN22574-15 and is already in BS5930. Having these parameters available gives geotechnical engineers another tool in the toolbox to characterize the subsurface. But I am not familiar with any drilling companies here in the US that can record and report this type of data. Does anyone use this technology in their practice? What kind of equipment is required on the drill rig to collect this data? Leave a comment, or tweet @geoprac. [Source: New Civil Engineer Ground Engineering news via Geotechnical Data Hub on LinkedIn. Image: ocarc.ca]
What are the top geotechnical engineering schools in the United States? I don't know how accurate or scientific this list is, but a quick glance tells me they definitely got many of the most well-known programs. Their list was based on the top Civil Engineering Programs (according to US News and World Report) that also offer geotechnical engineering programs. I doubt the person who compiled this knows much about geotech. But if you are a student researching where to go get a MS in geotech, this list is a good place to start. Anyone care to comment? [Source: Read the List of Top Geotechnical Engineeering Programs at Education Portal via @URETEKHoldings. Image: University of Wyoming (not on the list, sorry Cowboys)]
Equipment manufacturer Liebherr has created a new simulator to allow operators to train on foundation drilling equipment virtually. The simulator is based on other simulators created by Liebherr, and includes things like a real construction site with neighboring buildings and structures, uneven ground, varying soil conditions, etc. [Source: Read more at GE Innovation News | New Civil Engineer via @GE_magazine. Image: NCE / GE Innovation News]
Dr. Carlos Santamarina of Georgia Tech. presented the 2014 Terzaghi Lecture at Geo-Congress 2014 entititled 'Energy Geotechnology: Enabling New Insights Into Soil Behavior'. From the You-Tube summary:
Energy is critical to life, and the coming decades will see worldwide population growth and associated economic development that will result in a pronounced increase in energy demand. Historically, geotechnical engineering has been crucial to projects that have sustained societal transformations. Once again, geotechnical engineering has a central role to play in the evolving energy challenge, from resource recovery and infrastructure development, to energy storage and waste management. Examples during this lecture and details in the accompanying manuscript show that the emerging field of energy geotechnology drives us to reconsider the basic tenets of geotechnical engineering (such as soil formation, index properties, and classification), to extend our understanding of geomaterials (at high pressure and temperature, long time scales, and large number of repetitions), to recognize new phenomena (most often couplings between hydraulic, thermal, chemical, biological and mechanical processes, and various forms of localization), and to advance technological innovations for characterization (in situ, sampling, and laboratory) and monitoring.