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July e.Geo

July 2019

In this issue:

  1. Project Award Winners: Small but Mighty
  2. July Emerging Professionals Meeting
  3. Seismic Updates to California Building Code - Save the date!
  4. ICYMI: June Regional Meeting webinar TOMORROW
  5. Creating real meaning in your life and profession: Giving back
  6. Membership Renewal coming in August
  7. Benefits & Perks
  8. Concrete Curling & Warping w/Stego IQ
  9. Upcoming Events - the e.Calendar

2018 Project Award Winners: Small but Mighty

Last but not least, we feature the winner of our small project category for projects less than $100k. Please congratulate Geocon for this year's win in the Public small project category for their work on the Trinity County HBP Bridges in Rancho Cordova, CA.

Geocon - Trinity County HBP Bridges (Public Small Category)

Trinity County‘s five structurally deficient bridges replaced for this project provide access for local
residents, farmers/ranchers, firefighting/emergency equipment, and Forest Service personnel as well as for recreational and logging/commercial use throughout remote areas of the County. The innovative design-build approach employed for the project proved to be a fast and efficient means of project delivery, which was paramount given the construction window time constraints. The County now has reliable structures that will require less maintenance and inspection activities and provide access to these remote areas for decades to come.

Photo: Before/After photos of one of the bridges

The project design-build team included RNR Construction, with Dokken Engineering as the designer-of record and Geocon Consultants, Inc. as the geotechnical engineer of record. The project was investigated, evaluated, designed, reviewed and constructed on time and under budget. This project required extensive team coordination and allocation of technical and field resources.

The project had an extremely compressed schedule (approximately 12 months from proposal to project completion) in order to complete construction of all five bridges in one construction season (prior to winter snow accumulation). In order to meet this schedule, much of the geotechnical investigation was performed during the proposal phase to provide site-specific information to the design-build team prior to the final project proposal. This was supplemented by targeted field investigation (where necessary) after the project was awarded to our team. In order to obtain the required geotechnical information at the various bridge locations, three rounds of field investigation were ultimately performed due to equipment or weather/site access limitations.

July Emerging Professionals Meeting

Join the Sacramento Emerging Professionals group the 3rd Wednesday of every month for a casual dinner and interesting speaker.

July's meeting will be on July 17th at GEI's Rancho Cordova Office

Speaker: Andy Bowman, GSI. Details coming soon!

Cost: $20 Professionals, Students free!

Details: Dinner & registration @ 6:30pm, presentation @ 7:15pm

RSVP: [email protected]

Seismic Design Updates to the California Building Code

We know its hard to stay abreast of all the changes to legislative issues, advancements in technology and code requirements. That's why we're here!

Save the date for our August Regional Dinner Meetings in Walnut Creek and Santa Ana to get an update on the California Building code changes as they relate to new seismic design requirements.

August 27th - Scott's Seafood, Walnut Creek

August 29th - The Hacienda, Santa Ana

We are bringing in Dr. David Baska from Terracon Consultants in Seattle Washington. Dave Baska has been a practicing geotechnical engineer since graduating from the Colorado School of Mines in 1984.  Dr. Baska’s interest in earthquake engineering was sparked by Harry Seed while earning his M.S. from UC Berkeley in 1988.  Following an additional decade of consulting, Dave returned to school and earned his doctorate under Steve Kramer at the University of Washington (UW).  He has completed consulting projects throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the State of California where he is a certified geotechnical engineer.

The new building code incorporates some significant changes from the previous code.  Dr. Baska will discuss the seismic provisions of the new code from a geotechnical engineer’s perspective and share his experience with implementing the provisions into practice.

ICYMI: June Regional Meeting Webinar

If you weren't able to attend our June regional meetings, don't fear! You can hear the presentation again this Tuesday with a live webinar.

Prof. Elgamal from UCSD will be providing the same presentation again this Tuesday, July 9th at 9:00am on a live webinar.  Get all the details on the recent research conducted at USCD onPolymer Injection & Liquefaction-Induced Foundation Settlement: a Shake Table Testing Investigation with the EagleLIFT EL-077 Polymer.


Creating Real Meaning in Your Life and Profession

Having Barry Thacker speak at our Annual Conference in April on how he created the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation was very timely and inspiring. Barry has dedicated his time and effort to create this non-profit in a severely impoverished area that gets to the kids in elementary schools, promoting reading and then give them opportunities for volunteering as they move through high school, constantly encouraging and promoting the idea of college to kids that thought that was never an option for them.

We were all truly inspired and his talked seemed to fit in well with CalGeo's mission of creating a scholarship committee and broadening the reach of our student chapters to get more kids involved as geo-professionals.

One of CalGeo's past-presidents, Danny Cohen of J.C. Baldwin Construction works closely with the ACE Mentor program which provides mentoring and scholarships to high school kids interested in architecture, construction and engineering. We wanted to provide some information to our members as an outlet where they too may get involved and speak to high school students, let them know the job opportunities out there in our industry from technicians through to geotechnical engineers. Or as the ACE Program's mission describes:

"Our mission is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry."

Here is a link to help you find an ACE Chapter near you! Lets work together to inspire the next generation of geotechnical engineers.

Danny Cohen works closely with the San Diego Chapter and spoke at our conference about how much he enjoys mentoring and getting involved. Send Danny an e-mail to join the San Diego group or visit the link above to find a chapter near you.

Membership Renewal Coming in August

As CalGeo is about to enter our membership renewal period AND our 50th year in existence, we reflect on why CalGeo was created and how we are continue to provide value in our membership half a century later.

Your life is busy and stressful - let us make it easier!

Here is what CalGeo does for you, your employees and coworkers and for all geotechnical engineers in California:

We keep you "in the know"

Staying up to date on new research, new software, new legislation can be overwhelming. CalGeo brings the experts to you through our:

- Regional dinner meetings on current technical topics.

- Short course workshops on common software. We train your staff or help you be more efficient at your job (who needs that user manual anyway??)

- Seminars and workshops on prevailing wage changes and updates - AVOID FINES!

- Annual Conference with discussion sessions to learn from your peers and experts

We fight for your rights!

CalGeo's board members are active in ACEC and with state legislative issues that affect geotechnical engineers across the California. We write and join coalition letters as well as attend hearings and committee meetings in Sacramento.

We continue to let you know about new legal issues or changes through our e.Geo. We also work with local city and regional departments on their code language and requirements.

We help you advance your career

Are you starting your career and looking to build up your resume? Join our Emerging Professionals groups and run for a board position.

Looking to become a GE? We supply the only study materials available and in the coming year will be revising the materials to help you study more effectively.

Looking to network and learn from your peers? Attend our regional meetings or our annual conference. We like to kick back and let loose - you'll build relationships that will last a lifetime and strong connections to advise you as you move through your career.

We help grow the profession

California is in dire need of geo-professionals. CalGeo is actively conducting outreach to universities across the state, helping sponsor their Geo Wall teams and offering free or reduced cost attendance at our conferences and events.

We hope to engage more undergraduate students and get them excited about becoming a geotech. CalGeo is also exploring scholarships and outreach to high school students to grow our technician work force.

Download our new 2019 Value Report for a short summary of what CalGeo has been up to this year!

Benefits & Perks

Are you getting the most out of your CalGeo membership? If your company is a member then you are too! Take advantage of these benefits and perks that your membership offers:

Geotechnical events all in one spot on the e.Calendar. Check out local dinner meetings, short courses and conferences near you.

Build your leadership skills and resume by getting involved. Volunteer at an upcoming event or on a committee!

Members Club webpage with exclusive access to recorded dinner presentations and materials.

My Profile Please login using your e-mail address/user ID: 

 Concrete Curling & Warping w/Stego IQ

Stego IQ returns with the latest episode dispelling the myth about vapor barriers and slab curl. Dan Marks, Stego's Technical Director, returns to the screen to explain the short term slab curl effects with a vapor barrier as well as the long term effects of slab curl if you do not install a below slab vapor barrier.

The Difference Between Curling and Warping

The phenomenon of slab curling is caused by differentials in temperature between different portions of the slab. You may have a warmer surface and a colder subsurface or bottom of the slab, and that difference will cause different changes in the volume of the concrete. Different changes in volume will induce potential curling and stresses and cracking as a result.

Warping, conversely, is caused by differentials of gradients in moisture content. You may have a more wet or moist slab on the bottom and drier slab on the top -- and that difference will induce different volume changes between those two areas and cause a slab to curl as well.

Again, "warping" is technically the term for that. We use "curling" and "warping" interchangeably. I'll be using "curling" going forward.

The reason why someone might try to cite or implicate a vapor barrier in curling is the idea that there's differential drying. A slab placed directly on top of a vapor barrier can't lose moisture in the soil, so all the moisture content must come through the surface. As a result, the slab will dry from the top down and be more dry on the top than the bottom, inducing that volume change and the potential for curling.

However, a slab in its early stages might experience this to some small degree. There may be as bleed water leaves and initial slab surface moisture evaporates -- more moisture on the bottom than the top.

However, once you put the floor covering or the building now begins to operate in normal conditions, if there's no vapor barrier beneath it, we have a constant source of moisture and diffusion up from the subgrade. This will keep the under slab of the concrete wetter for longer

And so long-term curling -- where we have, months or years down the road -- a wetter subsurface compared to the top surface, will induce long-term curling. It's different than the early curling, phenomenon is the same. The long-term curling is harder to deal with.


Welcome CalGeo's Newest Members

Please welcome our members, Kleinfelder, Langan and Saber. We are really excited to bring these two prominent companies into the CalGeo organization.

Kleinfelder is a historical CalGeo member with employees acting as board members and past-presidents. We are more than excited to bring Kleinfelder back into the CalGeo family!


Langan has participated in our short courses and conference this year so we are hoping to expand their involvement with more personnel throughout California.


Saber was born in 1987 as an innovative concrete and foundation business with a goal of providing fast service and unsurpassed quality for our customers.

For more than 30 years, that philosophy continues to remain at the core of our business. Our track record of delivering service and quality has enabled us to obtain coveted certifications to install the finest manufactured products in the industry; however, the accolades from Saber customers are what we value most.

The e.Calendar & Upcoming Events - The Geo-Calendar


Quick Browse: SoCal events in ORANGE, NorCal events in GREEN

July 9th, 9:00am: Live Webinar of June Regional Meeting presentation: Polymer Injection and Liquefaction Induced Foundation Settlement. REGISTER HERE

July 17, 6:30-8pm: Emerging Professionals Monthly Meeting & Presentation, North Natomas Library, Sacramento

July 18, 11:30-1pm: ASCE-OC Geo-Insitute Luncheon, The Center Club, Costa Mesa

October 14-16, 2019: Focused Seismic and Liquefaction Training by Itasca, Crowne Plaza LA Harbor, Los Angeles

Save the Date! Fall Regional Meetings: Code Updates

August 27, 6-8:30pm: NorCal Regional Dinner Meeting w/ASCE-SF, Scott's Seafood Walnut Creek

August 29, 6-8:30pm: SoCal Regional Dinner Meeting w/ASCE-OC, The Hacienda Santa Ana