Geo-Institute (G-I)

The Geo-Institute (G-I) Orange County (OC) Chapter was founded in 2013 to allow our members to interact with other professionals in the geotechnical field of civil engineering.  We regularly send active OC Branch members to G-I Congresses held on an annual basis across the country.  We hope the OC Branch members will learn new ideas and find interesting speaker topics that we can bring back to our local branch members.  Periodically G-I OC holds joint events with the OC Branch during branch general meetings.  The OC Branch and the G-I OC work together to provide continuing education events that are relevant to G-I members. We hope you will come out and participate in our institute and work with us to build a strong foundation.

The 2021-2022 G-I OC Board of Directors

  • Chair: Ali Bastani, PhD, PE, GE
  • Vice Chair: Sunil Arora, PE
  • Treasurer: Adeleine Tran, PE
  • Secretary: Vacant
  • First Director: Vacant
  • Past Chair: Michael Givens, PhD, PE, GE, PG

2021 Continuing Education Seminar

On Friday, May 28, 2021, ASCE OC Geo-Institute co-hosted with the Professional Development Committee a virtual 2021 Continuing Education Seminar on the topic of "Tunneling." The seminar was presented by three amazing speakers: Mr. Carlos Herranz Calvo, PE, PMP; Professor Edward Cording; and Professor Tom O'Rourke.

Professor Tom O'Rourke of Cornell University:

Infiltration Testing - Dry Well Design Procedure Presentation

On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, ASCE OC Geo-Institute hosted a virtual presentation on "Infiltration Testing - Dry Well Design Procedure" by David E. Albus. Nearly every new development project now requires consideration of stormwater runoff quality. Best Management Practices (BMPs), Low Impact Development (LID), and Water Quality Management Plans (WQMP) have now become common terms in discussions about development in California.

David E. Albus, PG, GE of Albus & Associates, Inc.:

2020 Continuing Education Seminar

On Thursday, February 6, 2020, the ASCE OC Geo-Institute and Professional Development Committee co-hosted our annual Continuing Education Seminar.  This year's focus was on geotechnical seismic design and performance-based design. The presenters and their respective presentations are as follows:


Dr. Marshall Lew, Ph.D, PE, GE with Wood Environment and Infrastructure solutions, Inc.:

Professor Kevin Franke, Ph.D, PE of Brigham Young University:

Professor Shideh Dashti, Ph.D of University of Colorado, Boulder:

November 2019 Technical Tour

On November 1, 2019, ASCE Orange County Geo-Institute had a great turnout at our technical tour on vibro (aggregate) piers. Students and professionals got an opportunity to learn/review the engineering behind this ground improvement system and observe first-hand how it was installed in the field. Many thanks to Hayward Baker and Layton Construction for sharing your project and allowing us to host this fun and educational site visit with our G-I members!  The presentation can be downloaded from the link below:

Dr. Jim Gingery, Ph.D., PE, GE with Hayward Baker:

August 2019 Joint OC G-I & CalGeo Dinner Meeting

Photo: CalGeo

On August 29, 2019, the Orange County Geo-Institute and CalGeo co-hosted a dinner meeting featuring Dr. David Baska of Terracon, who presented on "Seismic Design Updates for the 2019 California Building Code." Dr. Baska discussed the seismic provisions of the new code from a geotechnical engineer’s perspective and shared his experience with implementing the provisions into practice. The presentation can be downloaded from the link below:

Dr. Dave Baska, Ph.D, P.E, G.E, CEG, with Terracon:

July 2019 ASCE OC Branch & G-I Luncheon

On July 18, 2019, the Orange County Branch and Geo-Institute co-hosted a luncheon featuring Professor Scott J. Brandenberg of UCLA, who presented on “Effects of Earthquakes to California’s Water Distribution System.” Professor Brandenberg discussed an extensive research study on the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, which included field testing, centrifuge modeling, laboratory testing, development of fragility functions, and development of a system reliability analysis procedure. The presentation can be downloaded from the link below:

Professor Scott J. Brandenberg, Ph.D, P.E., M.ASCE, Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering of UCLA:

May 2019 Dinner Meeting

On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, the ASCE OC & LA Geo-Institute co-hosted a dinner presentation by Dr. Robert Kayen.  The presentation discussed the results of an 11-year international project that gathers new Vs site data and develops probabilistic correlations for seismic soil liquefaction occurrence. The presentation can be downloaded from the link below:


Dr. Robert Kayen, Adjunct Professor, of UCLA, UC Berkeley, Senior Scientist of U.S. Geological Survey:

2019 Continuing Education Seminar

On Friday, February 22, 2019, the ASCE OC Geo-Institute and Professional Development Committee co-hosted our annual Continuing Education Seminar.  This year's seminar focused on several ground improvement methods.  The presenters and their respective presentations are as follows:


Dr. Lisheng Shao, Ph.D, PE, GE with Hayward Baker:

Professor John Harvey, Ph.D, PE of UC Davis:

Professor Kyle Rollins, Ph.D, PE of Brigham Young University:

More Information

Below in the "Related News" section are some articles from past events.  For more information contact [email protected].


Board of Directors
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Ali Bastani, PhD, PE, GE
Geo-Institute Chair
GMU Geotechnical, Inc.

Sunil Arora, PE
Geo-Institute Vice Chair

Adeleine Tran, PE
Geo-Institute Treasurer

Geo-Institute Secretary

Geo-Institute First Director

Michael Givens, PhD, PE, GE, PG
Geo-Institute Past Chair
Group Delta

Related News

Notification for 2017

The ASCE Orange County Branch invites you and your organization to nominate projects and individuals that you believe should be recognized for their professional engineering achievements.

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So It Goes…

With the new fiscal year having begun in October, we felt this month’s President’s Column would be a good forum for our new presidents (Remi Candaele, ASCE OC Branch President; Ashlyn Alexander, ASCE OC YMF President) to introduce themselves and for me and YMF counterpart (Melissa Hilsabeck) to reflect on our respective terms as president of the OC Branch and OC YMF.  I hope that the Q&A that follows helps you get to know more about each of us.

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Firmly entrenched in the midst of my career and fast approaching my 40th birthday, I have found myself thinking about legacies quite a lot lately.  One of the unique things about being president of the ASCE Orange County Branch is that the position affords the ability to see legacies at various stages of development: ones that have been cemented, ones whose seeds have just been planted, and everything in between.  In the ASCE Orange County Branch, I have noted some excellent examples of each over the past few months.

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Finding the Words

I presume that if you’re reading this article, you probably became an engineer because your affinity for the language arts was not as strong as for math and sciences (assuming you even liked language arts at all).  While I personally enjoy writing and have been told that I am not terrible at it, I still find writing articles like the ones for this column to be challenging.  Newsletter articles offer a blank canvas to express your thoughts on a variety of topics, which can be overwhelming.

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2020 Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award

The ASCE Orange County Geo-Institute (G-I) is pleased to announce that Dr. Binod Tiwari, PhD, PE, F.ASCE has been awarded the 2020 Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award by the Society’s Geo-Institute.

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Final President's Message and Incoming Board

As I conclude my Presidency, I’m very excited to announce our upcoming FY 2020-2021 Board who will continue to build upon what we’ve been able to accomplish during this difficult time.

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Related News Archive


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