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: Sunil Arora, PE
  • Vice Chair: Adeleine Tran, PE
  • Treasurer: Xenia Wirth, PhD
  • Secretary: Morteza Mirshekari, PhD, PE
  • Past Chair: Ali Bastani, PhD, PE, GE

2022 Continuing Education Seminar

On Thursday, July 14, 2022, ASCE OC Geo-Institute hosted an in-person half-day 2022 Continuing Education Seminar on the topic of "Geotechnical Site Characterization." Three distinguished academics shared their insights and experiences in the art and science of site characterization.

Dr. Jason DeJong, University of California Davis:

Dr. Chukwuebuka (Buka) Nweke, University of Southern California:

Dr. Jeffrey Knott, CSU Fullerton:

ASCE OC G-I: Geotechnical Considerations in Stormwater Infiltration Systems

On March 31, 2022, five distinguished lecturers shared their insights and experiences in the design, construction, and performance of stormwater infiltration systems. Our panel members included:

  • Remi Candaele, PE, Associate-Senior Project Manager at Q3 Consulting
  • Dave Albus, Principal Engineer at Albus & Associates, Inc.
  • Aron Taylor, Principal Geologist at GMU
  • Bill De Jong, PE, Engineer at OldCastle Infrastructure; and
  • Charlie Carter, StormTrap LLC

Download presentation slides: here

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, PE, PMP; Professor Edward Cording; and Professor Tom O'Rourke.

Professor Tom O'Rourke of Cornell University:

Mr. Carlos Herranz, PE, PMP, of Mott MacDonald Spain:

Professor Edward Cording of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

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


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

Sunil Arora, PE
Geo-Institute Chair

Adeleine Tran, PE
Geo-Institute Vice Chair

Xenia Wirth, PhD
Geo-Institute Treasurer
Assistant Professor at California State University, Fullerton

Morteza Mirshekari, PhD, PE
Geo-Institute Secretary

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

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