Attention geotechnical engineering students hoping to get a job or an internship! If you haven't had any experience in the field, you NEED to watch this video before you go on any interviews! This video created by Dr. Jason DeJong and Dr. Ross Boulanger at UC Davis gives a great overview of the basics of geotechnical drilling and sampling. It was created in 2000, but it is still relevant today. My only comment is that the rope and cathead hammers are getting more and more rare in favor of the automatic trip hammers (or just auto-hammer if you prefer).
Now I'm not suggesting that you students try to pretend you have experience that you don't! Never lie in an interview! But at least if you have seen this video, you can ask intelligent questions and know what your prospective employer is talking about when they explain the field duties required for an entry-level geotechnical engineer or geotechnical engineering intern position. I know I knew virtually nothing about geotechnical drilling and sampling when I started my career.
Introduction to Geotechnical Drilling and Sampling Video
Fugro has added a new DP-2 vessel to their fleet. The Fugro Voyager will perform deepwater geotechnical investigations in the Asia/Pacific region. The vessel will be able to perform investigations in water up to 4,400 feet deep. The comfort class vessel can accommodate up to 60 crew members, and includes amenities such as offices, day rooms, conference rooms and a gymnasium. A large soil laboratory will be located near the middle of the ship. [Source: Offshore Magazine. Image: Offshore Magazine]
Normally when driven piles are used as deep foundation elements, there is a large amount of pile waste when the portion of the piles left sticking up out of the ground are cut off to the desired elevation. UK piling contractor, Balfour Beatty and Finnish company Junttan have created a system that attaches to piling rigs and cuts off precast concrete piles as low as about 4 inches from the ground surface. The cut pieces are then used as starter pieces for the next pile. Balfour Beatty calculates that each precast concrete pile delivered to the site represents approximately 90 to 130 pounds of CO2 released into the atmosphere. They estimate that implementing this system on two piling rigs to date will translate into 2,000 metric tons of reduced CO2 emissions per year. [Source: Construction Enquirer via ASCE SmartBrief. Image: Construction Enquirer]
Crux Subsurface is a unique drilling company, getting their start with limited and difficult access geotechnical drilling, but in recent years, they have branched out into micropile foundation design and construction. They frequently work for the power sector installing transmission line foundations in locations that most other companies couldn't access. This photo gallery is on a Power industry publication website, and showcases some of Crux' work. [Source: Check out the photo gallery at TDWorld via Crux Subsurface. Image: T&D World]
RST's new borehole profile sensor can measure the orientation of boreholes raked above horizontal, such as drain holes. Most other equipment is designed to use a wheeled probe and grooved casing. This sensor uses MEMS technology and rigid rods and is inserted into the hole. It can also be used to profile boreholes of different diameter or nominal plunge. Data is collected using RST's ultra rugged field PC which can connect via bluetooth. [Source: Read more and download a brochure at RST Instruments Ltd.. Image: RST Instruments]
Hawthorne, NJ (December 2, 2013): The DFI Educational Trust announces the establishment of three new scholarship programs: the Manual Fine Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund, John O’Malley Scholarship Fund and Francis Gularte Scholarship Fund.
The Manuel Fine Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund was established through a $25,000 donation from the Heavy Construction Association of Ontario. The fund honors Manuel Fine, who served DFI for 24 years in many roles, including trustee, president, executive director, managing editor of Deep Foundations magazine, and in recent years, as publisher of the DFI Journal. The fund will provide scholarships for civil engineering students attending universities in Canada. Patrick Bermingham, of Bermingham Foundation Solutions and vice president of the DFI Board of Trustees, is chair of the fundraising drive.
[Editor] Click on for the rest of press release from the Deep Foundations Institute. [/Editor]
Written by George Annandale, ‘Quenching the Thirst: Sustainable Water Supply and Climate Change’ informs readers of the inadequacy of global water supply. The book outlines plausible options to safeguard future fresh water supply in spite of the uncertainties associated with climate change. With its vital insight and concrete guidance, the book is sure to resonate with readers around the world.
Denver, Colorado – The flow of clean water from taps in the western world creates the illusion of abundance, while, in fact, the small amount of fresh water available on earth is dwindling. The amount of fresh water is so small that all the fresh groundwater on earth can fit in a sphere with a diameter of only 42 miles. Similarly, if one would place the fresh water that instantaneously flow in all rivers on earth in a sphere, it will have a diameter of only 10 miles. A distance of 10 miles is shorter than the daily commuting distance of most people on earth.
Globally humans use three and a half times more groundwater than what is naturally replenished. While many people are aware of pending water shortages and are concerned about climate change impacts, few have solutions. Renowned engineer and humanitarian George Annandale has prepared a ground-breaking new book that explains the threatening problem in plain terms and also proposes plausible remedies. Quenching the Thirst: Sustainable Water Supply and Climate Change puts aside long-winded explanations and scientific terminology to help the public recognize and accept the world’s growing fresh water shortage, and understand how it may be resolved.
[Editor] Click through for the rest of the press release on this provocative new book by George Annandale. [/Editor]
Dr. Craig Benson of the University of Wisconsin delivered the 2012 Peck Lecture at the Geo-Institute’s Geo-Congress in Oakland. The GI just released a video of the lecture on their YouTube Channel. The title of his lecture was “Bentonite Barriers for Geoenvironmental Containment: Lessons Learned from Full-Scale Applications”. You can watch the lecture on the Geo-Institute YouTube channel.
The Geo-Institute has released the 2013 Terzaghi Lecture onto their YouTube channel. “Skip” Hendron, Professor Emeritus at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign presented his lecture on “Improving Dam Safety with Lessons Learned from Case Histories of Dam Failures and Unacceptable Dam Performance”. Go check out the video on the Geo-Institute's YouTube Channel.
A large sinkhole near Dunedin, Florida destroyed two homes, but the occupants were not injured. The 90' diameter by 50' deep sinkhole opened up in an area of Florida that is prone to sinkhole activity. The portion of the homes not destroyed by the sinkhole was demolished by authorities. See the video below. [Source: NBC News. Image: Bay News 9]
Thousands of cute, cuddly rabbits like the one pictured here are having quite an impact on the Scottish Island of Canna. These critters, estimated to number around 16,000 (compared to the human population of 12 on Canna). The rabbit burrowing was blamed for a landslide that blocked a road on the island, and the rabbits have created other problems, such as digging up bones in the local cemetery. Officials say the critters will need to be culled, much as they did with a rat infestation that affected the island in 2006. [Source: Yahoo News via USGS Landslide Events. Image: Freepix]
Anderson Drilling has a unique tradition dating back to the founders of the compnay where they name most items in their fleet of foundation drilling equipment. They recently purchases a 48-inch Atlas Copco cluster drill for a bridge project in California, and appropriately named it 'Thor' after the Norse God of thunder (and the Marvel comic book hero by the same name that wields a magical hammer). The project is a bridge project near San Diego that required drilled shafts with 20 foot long rock sockets from 48 to 96 inches in diameter in 25,000 psi granite. [Source: Read more at the National Driller. Image: National Driller]