Orange County Branch Newsletter

March 2014

Continuing Education

Understanding & Applying Geotech Recommendations in Project Design & Construction

By Naz Mokarram, PhD, PE , Project Engineer, Hushmand Associates, Inc.

The Continuing Education Committee held its first seminar of 2014 on Friday, March 14th on the topic “Understanding & Applying Geotechnical Recommendations in Project Design and Construction”. Over 55 professionals attended the event.

We would like to recognize our speakers, Chad Harden, PE, SE from RBF Consulting, a Company of Michael Baker International, Raja Pirathiviraj, PE, GE from Earth Mechanics, Lance Natsuhara, PE, from OC Public Works, Les Wong, PE from Tetra Tech, and Carl Taylor, PE, LEED AP from Huitt-Zollars, Inc. for their excellent presentations.

Geotechnical challenges on a number of projects including Route 91 Freeway, SR-57 Freeway, Santa Ana River Interceptor (SARI) Relocation, and La Pata Extension were showcased. Valuable practical information was provided to the audience by demonstrating the necessity of collaboration between civil and geotechnical engineers, and between structural and geotechnical engineers.

Retaining walls, mechanically stabilized embankment walls; pipeline alignment selection based on geotechnical conditions; selection of construction method based on geotechnical conditions; micro tunneling through abrasive soil; site development on expansive soil; foundations in less than ideal soils; slope stabilization in challenging geological conditions, and earthwork quantity balance were all addressed.

Spirited discussions and thorough question and answer sessions followed each presentation, confirming the audience's interest in the information provided. Registration fees collected from the seminar will be used to in part to support future student scholarships and to support the university chapters. We want to give a big “thank you” to the City of Irvine for hosting our event at their facility.

Chad Harden, PE, SE - RBF Consulting, a Company of Michael Baker International

Raja Pirathiviraj, PE, GE - Earth Mechanics, Inc. 

  • Retaining wall foundation type selection in sandy/clayey soil
  • Typical design information and necessary collaboration between structural and geotechnical engineers in Caltrans projects
  • Discussion of geotechnical recommendations for various retaining wall types and drainage structures per LRFD design guidelines
  • Mechanically stabilized embankment walls

Lance Natsuhara, PE - Manager, OCPW/Santa Ana River Project

Les Wong, PE - Tetra Tech 

  • Santa Ana River Interceptor Relocation Project Overview
  • Pipeline alignment selection based on geotechnical conditions and river scour
  • Construction method recommendations based on soils and groundwater conditions
  • Construction of pipeline within existing tieback retaining wall

Carl Taylor, PE, LEED AP- Vice President, Huitt-Zollars, Inc. 

  • Site development on expansive soil
  • Drainage and retaining wall construction for natural hillsides
  • Foundations in less than ideal soils
  • Slope stabilization in challenging geological conditions
  • Earthwork Quantity Balance

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