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Embassy Suites Hotel
1325 E Dyer Rd.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 241-3800

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Saturday, January 20, 2018, 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM PDT
Category: Loss Prevention Seminar

Southern California Loss Prevention Seminar

Event Description

CalGeo will be presenting their Loss Prevention Seminar January 20, 2018.

Our Loss Prevention Seminars are geared towards field technicians of all experience levels, staff engineers and staff geologists. These seminars will educate your staff and help them to do a better job in the field and therefore reduce the risk of mistakes and losses. That in turn, reduces liability and risk on every project.

Attendees will earn valuable Professional Development Hours (PDH) or CEU credits without losing time at the office. The Saturday morning course includes a full breakfast and 4-hours of practical training and skill development for technical and field personnel. Only held once-a-year and not to be missed!

Event Agenda

7:30 to 7:50 am     Registration and Buffet Breakfast

7:50 to 8:00 am     Welcome and Introduction

8:00 to 8:45 am      “Special Inspection Basics for the Field Technician” by Norm Biehn,GMU Geotechncial, Inc.

8:45 to 9:50 am      “How to do a Better Job in the Field and Stay out of a Lawsuit” by Tom Blackburn, Blackburn Consulting Group 

9:50 to 10:00 am     Break and Breakfast Sponsors Presentation by Pavement Recycling Systems & Stego Industries

10:00 to 11:00 am   “Boring Logs- What’s Important & What’s Not: A Scientific Viewpoint”  by Dr. Richard Laton, Cal State Fullerton

11:00 to 12:00 pm    “Cement Treated Soils, Base Materials & Full Depth Reclamation: How to Handle from a Soil Technicians Perspective” – QA/QC Means and Methods by Paul Soltis,  Twining Inc. 

12:00 pm                  Seminar Conclusion and Distribution of Certificates

Registration is now CLOSED - EVENT SOLD OUT!

Presentation Details

Special Inspection Basics for the Field Technician

By Norm Biehn, GMU Geotechnical

Mr. Biehn’s presentation will focus on how & why special inspection services have become important components to the scope of services provided by many Geotechnical Engineering Companies.  He will discuss the role a Special Inspector plays and will share the advantages of being on a job from the ground up.  Mr. Biehn will talk about how technicians can go about becoming ACI certified for sampling and testing of concrete.   He will also discuss how to become an ICC certified Deputy Inspector and the benefits of receiving ICC certification with multiple licenses.

If you are considering adding concrete sampling/testing and special inspection capabilities to your company’s services, increasing the versatility of your technicians and the projects they can cover, or are a technician looking to become ACI/ICC certified, then this presentation will be of interest to you.      

Norm Biehn is the Director of the Special Inspection Division at GMU Geotechnical, Inc. He has over 20 years of experience as a Registered Special Inspector and Engineering Senior Technician. He has experience with concrete, masonry, post tension/ pre‑stressed concrete, spray-applied fireproofing, epoxy, and bolting of various Caltrans and private bridges, schools, public works, airports, hotels, retail and residential structures throughout Southern California.  He also has a geotechnical background testing soils and asphalt concrete in various cities and counties on public and private projects throughout Southern California.

Mr. Biehn has been in positions of leadership on numerous high profile projects, including the longest bridge and tallest high rise in Orange County.  Mr. Biehn is an instructor for ACI certification classes and is also responsible for the training of GMU’s inspectors.  

How to do a Better Job in the Field and Stay out of a lawsuit

Presented by Tom Blackburn, CE, GE, F. ASCE, F. ACEC, Blackburn Consulting

Lawsuits are expensive, time consuming and emotionally draining.  Based on his experience on over 500 construction defect litigation cases (including cases where his firm has been sued), Mr. Blackburn will summarize how field representatives can do a better job and keep themselves and their firms out of lawsuits.  It boils down to diligent, thorough field work, clear reporting and strong office support.

He will encourage audience participation and discussion.  Tom is passionate about the geoprofession and will enthusiastically pass on lessons learned to field staff, staff engineers and geologists, and anyone else that is interested in our improving our profession. Tom will also discuss what you should do if you must testify in deposition or trial. If you want to mitigate your firm’s risk exposure in the field, this talk is for you and your staff.

Mr. Blackburn co-founded Blackburn Consulting in 1998.  He graduated from University of Missouri at Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) in 1984.  He has written many geotechnical reports and managed many field projects over his 30-year career.  Over the last 20 years of his career, Tom has been heavily involved in construction defect litigation cases. 

Boring Logs—What's Important and What's Not: A Scientific Viewpoint

Presented by Dr. Richard Laton, Ph.D., PG

"Boring Logs—What's Important and What's Not: A Scientific Viewpoint" is the title of Laton's 2009 NGWREF McEllhiney Lecture. Fundamental to any geotechnical project, there are many uses for boring/well logs including specifying location, ground water levels, chemistry, and production capabilities—information used routinely by government and regulatory agencies, consultants, and academics. Beyond these usual uses, however, boring/well log information may be used for hydrostratigraphic interpretation, ground water modeling, subsurface investigations, and general background information. In fact, through careful logging and data collection, both contractors and scientists can work together to develop better subsurface models that will help everyone in the industry.

Dr. Laton is an expert in the field of geology/hydrology/hydrogeology.  He is currently an Associate Professor of Hydrogeology in the Department of Geological Sciences, California State University, Fullerton and the prestigious 2014 Ross Oliver award winner. This is a continuation of a career that includes years of teaching, consulting, litigation support and management experience. Dr. Laton possesses extensive knowledge in the areas of hydrogeology, soil and water contamination, hydrology and surface water, wetlands, coastal monitoring/geomorphology, field sampling techniques and well hydraulics-well design as well as environmental remote sensing/GIS. His classes at the university encompass topics including: water quality, environmental sampling, groundwater modeling, well hydraulics, oceanography, and basic geology. He enjoys introducing students to applied research and acts as the faculty advisor to a large number of upper-level students. He has also acted as a consultant for a numerous companies and agencies that need input on the above subjects as well as natural hazard assessment and mapping.

Cement Treated Soils, Base Materials & Full Depth Reclamation: How to Handle from a Soil Technicians Perspective” – QA/QC Means and Methods

Presented by Paul Soltis, Twining Inc.

Cement-treated soils and base and the FDR process are being more commonly accepted and utilized in the field in an effort to provide a more sustainable practice for preparation of pavement subgrade/base grade materials.  These methodologies are also beneficial as a means of stabilization where soft soil conditions are present.  Mr. Soltis’ presentation will provide an overview of the processes and the role of the soil technician in the field.  The basic requirements of the soil technician will be discussed as well as common pitfalls and issues that are encountered in the field.  Preparation, placement and compaction testing of cement-treated material will be described and the soil technician’s role defined as related to interaction with the treatment and grading contractors.

Paul Soltis is the Vice President of Geotechnical Engineering at Twining.  Mr. Soltis graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with his bachelor’s degree and University of Colorado Boulder with his master’s degree in Geotechnical Engineering.  Mr. Soltis has been working in the field of geotechnical engineering in southern California for about 25 years.  His project experience includes pavement engineering that incorporated the use of cement-treated materials and full-depth reclamation (FDR) processes on several projects, including projects with Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, the City of Long Beach, the California State University system, and several local city and county agencies.  This work included both the design and construction aspects and Mr. Soltis was heavily involved in the field execution of cement-treated soil and base and FDR.


Pavement Recycling Systems & Stego Industries



Contact: Kelly Cabal, (949) 391-2436