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GeoPrac.net is a community of practitioners of geotechnical engineering, geological engineering, engineering geology, geophysics, hydrogeology and related disciplines. We offer members and visitors the foremost collection of geo-related articles, news, and online resources to keep those geo-professionals in practice at the forefront of their respective fields.

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Bentley launches a gINT Special Interest Group
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 06:39

Bentley gINTBentley Systems is pleased to announce that earlier this year, they began a gINT Special Interest Group (SIG). What is a SIG you ask? It is a Bentley-hosted, one-hour virtual meeting that enables users with similar interests to learn and connect on-line. Meetings are structured to inform and engage users on current topics of importance through technical presentations and interactive Q&A via a chat window.

Participants will learn new skills, productivity-enhancing best practices, and time-saving tips and tricks in gINT.

The first gINT SIG occurred April 5, and covered data transfer. The recording is available from the Bentley Learn site here.

The next SIG is scheduled for July 5, 2017, and is all about gINT Civil Tools and how gINT Civil Tools is an essential tool for subsurface evaluation. gINT Civil Tools is our latest enhancement to gINT.

If you need to load geotechnical data into MicroStation or OpenRoads, require advanced tools for preliminary studies, or want to generate 3D subsurface models, then this session is a must-see. The technology presentation and discussion will focus on importing geotechnical project data into MicroStation and OpenRoads as well as workflows for BIM. You will learn how to:

  • Connect to a gINT project in MicroStation and OpenRoads
  • Create 2D preliminary study maps and drilling plans
  • Load data in 3D for modeling boreholes, lithology, water levels, and more

You can register for the July 5 SIG by clicking here. Select gINT as the brand and you will see two presentations for July 5. The presentations are the same. Please enroll for the one that best fits your schedule.

One Professional Development Hour (PDH) will be applied to each user’s Bentley Transcript for self-reporting.

Future SIGS are scheduled for October 4, November 1, and December 6. Keep an eye out for these exciting and informative ways to touch up and advance your gINT skills.

[Editor] Bentley is a sponsor of GeoPrac.net. [/Editor]

 
Autodesk Geotechnical Module 2018 Released - Webinar
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 07:16
Fence Diagrams add a new perspective to 3D geotechnical Visualization

The latest version of Autodesk’s Geotechnical Module will help engineering companies streamline the production of geotechnical drawings and models.

Licensed by Keynetix to Autodesk, the update of the free add-on to AutoCAD Civil 3D includes a new Fence Diagram command, enabling users to create two-dimensional cross-sections and add them to 3D models quickly and easily.

'Along with the new Geotechnical Property feature and Geotechnical Export command, the module makes it simple to produce and share 3D geotechnical models with other packages, such as Infraworks,' explained Keynetix Technical Director Gary Morin.

Drawing production was also more efficient, he said. 'The new Layer Manager ensures geotechnical objects are drawn on the correct layers and users can now also edit profiles and define profile bands, making it much faster to produce cross-sections.'

The module is a cut down version of HoleBASE SI Extension for AutoCAD Civil 3D and can connect to HoleBASE SI to give CAD and BIM teams instant access to centrally-held geotechnical data. It can also be used as a standalone product.

Autodesk Civil 3D Product Manager Dave Simeone said the module was one of the most downloaded tools and the most frequently updated, as it filled 'a critical gap within Autodesk Civil 3D'.

To see what is new, watch the latest YouTube video (also embedded below).

Keynetix is offering a free webinar on 28 June 2017 from 5-6pm BST explaining the new features and capabilities of the Geotechnical Module for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018. Register here.

[Source: To find out more about the module's new features, visit Keynetix' website!. Image: Keynetix]

 
Two Important Legal Resources Updated
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 07:04
GBA updates two important legal resources for geoprofessionals

The GBA has been helping geoprofessional firms deal with the legal realities of our business for nearly 50 years. They have recently updated two important resource documents that address this topic: Limitation-of-Liability Case Index and Economic-Loss-Doctrine Case Index. Both of these documents were written without legalese making them easier for non-lawyer professionals to digest and they are available free of charge for GBA members. Not a member? Are you sure? Most geoprofessionals are not aware that GBA membership is at the firm level, so if your company is a GBA member, so are you. Drop them a note if you aren't sure. [Source: Read more and download these documents from the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA). Image: GBA via LinkedIn]

 
USBR Best Practices and Risk Methodology for Dams
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 06:54
Center Hill Dam Seepage Rehabilitation Project Work Platform

I was recently made aware of an excellent reference from the US Bureau of Reclamation regarding best practices and risk methodology for assessing dams. This is a reference manual to accompany a course offering, but may still serve as a a good stand along reference. From the USBR:

The Bureau of Reclamation has been using risk analysis as the primary support for dam safety decision-making for about 15 years, and has developed procedures to analyze risks for a multitude of potential failure modes. Manuals, guidelines, standards, and practical reference material on how to perform risk analysis for dam safety applications are lacking. The Best Practices Training Manual contains what are considered the 'Best Practices' currently in use for estimating dam safety risks at the Bureau of Reclamation. Risk analysis at the Bureau of Reclamation has evolved over the years and will continue to evolve. Therefore, updates to this manual are planned in the future as significant improvements are developed.

From the outset of implementing risk analysis, Reclamation recognized that procedures and data available for dam safety risk analysis, while quantitative, do not provide precise numerical results. Therefore, this manual strives to present useful information, tools, and techniques, while stopping short of a 'cookbook' approach. This allows the risk analyst(s) to use the proper balance of engineering judgment and calculations in estimating risks, and to understand and 'build the case' for what is influencing the risks the most. Thus, the numbers, while important, are less important than understanding and documenting what the major risk contributors are and why.
[Source: Download the reference chapters and presentations from the US Bureau of Reclamation. Image: USACE]

 
Unique workshop helps you handle complex soil sequences
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 06 June 2017 20:54

Managing the Complexities and Uncertainties of Soil Sequences CourseAsk anyone about what lies beneath their feet and they’ll say it’s a mystery.  Understanding how ancient sediments were deposited are challenging enough, but taking the mystery out of the subsurface for environmental and engineering work can be daunting….even for professionals.

On Sept 12 & 13, geologists, engineers and environmental scientists will be traveling to Exton, PA for an interactive, educational workshop to learn how take the mystery out of the surface.

Bentley Systems and Midwest GeoSciences Group are combing technology and best practices to help professionals apply the geologic principles to ground water and engineering projects during this first-of-its kind workshop.

[Editor] Please read on for the rest of the press release on this practical workshop from GeoPrac.net sponsor, Bentley Systems, the makers of gINT Software. [/Editor]

 
GeoPrac welcomes new sponsor - Gintegro!
GeoNews - Miscellaneous
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 30 May 2017 06:04

Gingegro

GeoPrac is pleased to announce our newest sponsor, Gintegro!  Please check them out and the powerful geotechnical software they distribute, GEO5.  Be sure to let them know how you heard about them!

Gintegro is a geotechnical engineering software and services company. They offer GEO5, a user-friendly,modular geotechnical software suite that originates from the birthplace of Karl Terzaghi, the "father of soil mechanics". For over 20 years GEO5 has been beloved worldwide, by geotechnical engineers, civil engineers, and structural engineers.

Gintegro also offers geotechnical engineering software services including data management, reporting, interoperability and integration of databases, gINT, GEO5, Geographic Information System (GIS), and Computer Aided Design (CAD), all with a vision of incorporating it in Building Information Modeling (BIM). In a sentence, Gintegro focuses to services that identify, articulate and automate workflows, resulting in increased profit margin and slashed costs.

 
Ensuring consistency in geotechnical laboratory operations
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 30 May 2017 05:53

Key-Lab_Accreditation_Lab_Input_i2Laboratory accreditation has become a ‘ticket to the game’ and most geotechnical laboratories will have, or are working towards, accreditation. The key thing an accreditation body is looking for is consistency; in workflows, sample handling, testing processes, calculations and reporting.

While many geotechnical laboratory managers choose Excel as their laboratory information management system (LIMS), its limitations can lead to problems for meeting client requirements, quality assurance and, ultimately, accreditation.

KeyLAB was developed specifically for geotechnical laboratories and integrates with Excel. It can be implemented simply and quickly and allows an organization’s worksheets to be used, to maintain competitive advantage.

Terry Stafford, Geotechnical Manager at independent testing laboratory i2 Analytical, worked with Keynetix to design bespoke results sheets for KeyLAB. “KeyLAB is evolving with new technology, which will help us meet our future aim of having a paperless system, one that is faster and reduces human error.”

KeyLAB protects input sheets to maintain quality control and can export data in a variety of formats, including client-specific reports. Workflow is controlled and consistency maintained to help meet client’s needs and accreditation requirements.

[Source: View this interesting article from GeoPrac sponsor Keynetix, Image Credit: Ground Technollogy Services via Keynetix]

 
Big Sur Landslide Being Called The Biggest In State History
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 29 May 2017 22:39
The Big Sur landslide or Mud Creek landslide on the PCH, the worst Caltrans has ever seen.

A massive landslide covered California's famous Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in 35 to 45 feet of soil and rock over a distance of 1,500 feet. Caltrans is calling the landslide 'one of a kind' and one of the biggest in the State's recorded history, and '...by far the worst we have ever seen'. Wired Magazine has a great before and after picture to view the magnitude of this massive landslide. The slide is also being called the Mud Creek slide. It cuts off the southern route into the popular tourist destination called Big Sur. The latest information is that the highway could be closed for months, possibly even more than 1 year. [Source: More info at SFist via AEG Insider. Image: John Madonna, Associated Press via SF Chronicle]

 
Martin McDermott, P.G. Joins Moretrench
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 18 May 2017 06:40

Martin McDermott, P.G., recent hire at MoretrenchSpecialty geotechnical contractor Moretrench is pleased to welcome Martin McDermott, P.G., who joins us as a Division Manager for our Geotechnical Group. Mr. McDermott has more than 30 years of geotechnical construction experience, with a particular area of expertise in the field of drilled shaft construction. He holds a Masters degree in Engineering Geology from Drexel, a B.A in Geology from LaSalle, and is a licensed Pennsylvania Professional Geologist. He is a seasoned, goal-oriented and proactive professional and brings a wealth of underground construction knowledge to his new position, particularly in the area of deep foundations. He is also actively involved in several professional organizations, formerly serving as Vice President and Treasurer of the Association of Drilled Shaft Contractors (ADSC) and as a member of its National Board. He is a member of The Moles, the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA).

Mr. McDermott’s primary focus will be the company’s drilled shaft/secant pile wall operations in the Northeast and New England regions. He will be based in the company’s Philadelphia area office which will also offer the full range of Moretrench’s services.

[Editor] Moretrench is a sponsor of GeoPrac.net. [/Editor]

 
Large Rockslide in Hawkins County, Tennessee
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 23:25
Planar rock slide on Highway 70 in Hawkins County

As Dr. Petley noted in his blog post, this looks like a classic planar rock slide where the rock mass failed parallel to the dominant planar discontinuity set. The slide occurred on Highway 70 between SR 94 and Clinch Valley Road. It will take the better part of a week to clear the debris according to TDOT. [Source: The Landslide Blog - AGU Blogosphere. Image: Photo by Jay Herring via Amanda Ketchledge]

 
Geo-companies in ENR's 2017 Top 500 Design Firms
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 12 May 2017 08:39

Top 500 Design Firms - With a Geo Emphasis

ENR's annual top 500 design firms list for 2017 is out. These rankings are based on revenue for design services in the previous calendar year. Last year I extracted a subset of the list to see rankings of firms that are strong in geotechnical / geological related services, so I decided to do it again this year. I included firms that self-identified as geotechnical firms, as well as engineering firms that I know to have a strong geo emphasis. I'm sure there are some that I missed. I also included some of the major A&E firms that provide these types of services. Accordingly, it's still a bit subjective on who is included. So here is the list of top Geo-Companies of 2017 (along with their change in ranking relative to 2016):

  • 1 - AECOM, Los Angeles, Calif. (No change from 2016)
  • 3 - CH2M, Englewood, Colo. (No change from 2016)
  • 5 - TETRA TECH INC., Pasadena, Calif. (+2)
  • 7 - AMEC FOSTER WHEELER, Atlanta, Ga. (-2)
  • 8 - HDR, Omaha, Neb. (+1)
  • 10 - STANTEC INC., Irvine, Calif. (+8)
  • 13 - ARCADIS NORTH AMERICA/CALLISON RTKL, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (-1)

 [Editor] Click through for the rest of the Geo list! [/Editor]

Last Updated on Friday, 12 May 2017 08:39
 
Tunnel collapses at Hanford nuclear waste site
GeoNews - Failures
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 11 May 2017 23:37
A 20 foot hole in the soil above a tunnel at the Hanford Nuclear Site

A 20 foot section of a tunnel collapsed at the PUREX facility at the Department of Energy's Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington State. The PUREX facility was used to extract plutonium for weapons from spent nuclear fuel but has been inactive since 1980. Cleanup activities have been on-going since 1989. The shallow, earth-covered tunnels were used by remote-operated trains to carry the spent fuel from a reactor to the PUREX facility. According to a 2015 report, the tunnels may still have the trains inside them along with radioactive material. [Source: Read more about this incident at the Washington Post. Image: Hanford Site via Washington Post]

 
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