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June e.Geo

June 2019

In this issue:

  1. June Regional Meetings Announced: CalGeo for the networking win!
  2. Project Award Winners: Meeting in the middle
  3. AB626: Call to Action
  4. Membership Value: What's in it for me?
  5. Benefits & Perks
  6. This year in infographics
  7. New Members
  8. Upcoming Events - the e.Calendar

June Regional Meetings: CalGeo for the networking win!

Something really cool happened at our Annual Conference last year in Santa Rosa. One of CalGeo's affiliate members, EagleLift got talking to some students from UCSD in attendance. A idea for a research project was kindled and now, just one-year later, UCSD has had successful results from initial trials!

Join us at Piatti restaurant in downtown Sacramento on Wednesday June 5th OR

at Maggiano's South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa/Orange County on Tuesday June 11th

Polymer Injection & Liquefaction-Induced Foundation Settlement: A Shake Table Testing Investigation

A shake table testing program is conducted at the University of California, San Diego to assess potential of the polymer injection technique as a liquefaction countermeasure. Each test is instrumented with accelerometers, pore pressure sensors and displacement transducers in order to provide insights into the dynamic response of the soil and foundation system. Furthermore, two Cone Penetration Tests (CPT) are performed pre- and post-injection to assess the extent of soil improvement.

Strong base excitation is imparted by the shake table, resulting in liquefaction and excessive foundation settlement in the original benchmark experiment. In the second test, after application of the polymer injection countermeasure, major reduction is observed in the tendency for liquefaction, and in the resulting foundation settlement. Careful excavation after the shaking event provided additional insights as to configuration of the solidified polymer within the sand stratum, increasing the overall soil confinement, and providing solidified load paths for the shallow foundation load towards the more competent stratum. As such, these mechanisms have the potential to provide for: i) a marked increase in the soil resistance to liquefaction, and ii) a significant reduction in settlement of overlying shallow foundations.

This testing program is a first of its kind, and offers insight into the behavior of liquefiable ground remediated by the polymer injection technique. The potential for effective outcomes is highlighted, and efforts to establish analysis and design guidelines are warranted.

Speaker Biography:

Ahmed Elgamal is a professor in the Department of Structural Engineering at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. Prior to UCSD, Elgamal was a faculty member at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Columbia University, and technical director for the Rensselaer Geotechnical Centrifuge Research Center. He studied Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Cairo University (B.Sc.), and Princeton University (M.A. and Ph.D.), and was a research fellow at CalTech. He is a recipient of the Shamsher Prakash Award and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. Elgamal was also a Lilly Teaching Fellow (1991-1992). He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Professor Elgamal served as chair of the Department of Structural Engineering from 2003 to 2007.


5:45pm Registration & Cocktails (sponsored by EagleLift)

6:30pm Dinner

7:15pm Presentation

8:30pm Conclusion

Cost: $50 CalGeo Members, $65 Non-members, $20 Students

Deadline to register for Sacramento is TODAY June 4th!

Please register early to save your seat.

Sacramento Event June 5th

Orange County Event June 11th

2018 Project Award Winners: Meeting in the Middle

Nothing mid-level about these mid-sized project winners. Please congratulate Cal Engineering & Geology for this year's win in the Public Medium project category for their work on the Penitencia Delivery Main & Penitencia Force Main Seismic Retrofit in San Jose, CA.

Cal Engineering & Geology - Penitencia Delivery Main & Penitencia Force Main Seismic Retrofit, San Jose (Public Medium Category)

The project consisted of completing a landslide study, a Landslide Displacement Hazard Analysis (LDHA), subsurface exploration, instrument monitoring, and preparing geotechnical design recommendations to prevent catastrophic seismically induced failure of three 60 to 72-inch diameter pipelines at the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s (SCVWD) Penitencia Water Treatment Plant (PWTP).  The PWPT is about 1-mile from the Hayward Fault and within a 240-acre actively creeping landslide.  The supply and distribution pipelines for the PWTP cross the toe of the landslide. CE&G coordinated with both California Department of Water Resources and SCVWD during the project. The project was designed and constructed to accommodate up to 9.4 feet of combined creep and seismic displacement of the landslide where the pipelines cross the toe.  The project improved regional public safety by improving the reliability of water delivery and reduced the potential for local flooding due to a pipe break following a large earthquake.

Photo: Construction photo showing the three large diameter pipes being installed within the shored excavation.

GMU Geotechnical - South Cove Development, Dana Point (Private Medium Category)

Congratulations also go out to GMU Geotechnical for their excellent award winning work on the South Cove Development in Dana Point.

The project consists of 34 three-story at-grade buildings and other site improvements.  The project challenges included:

  • Undocumented fill
  • High groundwater table
  • Liquefaction
  • Potential earthquake-induced(EQ-induced) lateral spreading along San Juan Creek
  • Potential EQ-induced settlements.

GMU was retained to evaluate the subsurface conditions at the site and to provide solutions for design and construction of the project.  GMU developed innovative solutions to address the site liquefaction potential to make the project economically viable.  The mitigation measures included:

  • Installation of a deep soil mixing shear wall system to prevent EQ-induced lateral spreading along San Juan Creek
  • Removal and recompaction of the undocumented fill
  • Construction of an innovative reinforced-compacted soil mat system below the building foundation to minimize potential EQ-induced differential settlement impacts
  • Placement of a permeable aggregate base beneath the reinforced soil mat system to dissipate liquefaction-induced excess pore water pressure under the soil mat
  • Utilization of a post-tension slab to further mitigate the differential EQ-induced settlement impacts on the superstructure.

The combination of a post-tension slab over a reinforced soil mat to mitigate EQ-induced differential settlements utilized US expertise and past performance data from the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake in New Zealand and, to our knowledge, was applied for the first time in Orange County.

AB626: Call to Action

The ACEC sponsored bill regarding Continuity of Services, AB 626 (Quirk-Silva), passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week and will be eligible for a vote on the Assembly Floor sometime in the next two weeks. It is critical that we act swiftly at this time. We need your help to get this bill passed by putting letters of support for AB 626 in the hands of our author, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, as well as your state legislators. The timing is more important than ever because of some inflammatory comments in the press recently against our effort.

How You Can Help:

Send a letter of support to Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva and your state legislators on behalf of your firm.

Sample support letter from your firm to legislature

Request that your public agency clients send a letter to Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva supporting AB 626.

Sample letter to your public agency client requesting their support of AB 626

Sample support letter from client to legislature

AB 626 background sheet

Please email completed letters to [email protected] AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. When responding, please include the addresses of your firm's California offices, and we will make sure your letter gets into the right legislators' hands. A strong show of force is critical to ensuring that AB 626 is not stalled on the Assembly Floor.


CalGeo's Board of Directors

Membership Value: What's in it for me?

As CalGeo is about to enter into its 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: 

This year in Infographics

CalGeo's membership renews in September so before you all run for your summer vacation or get buried in all the work you have, take a moment to reflect on what CalGeo has accomplished in the past year. The numbers below include data from June 2018- to June 2019.

Welcome CalGeo's Newest Members

Please welcome our newest affiliate member:

SoilVision provides a comprehensive suite of 2D and 3D geotechnical software. We are known for our market leading slope stability, unsaturated seepage, stress/deformation, freeze/thaw and soil properties database software.

Our software is utilized in the mining, infrastructure, energy, arctic and nuclear industries for the design of large earth dams, mine tailings consolidation, waste rock slope stability, retaining wall design, and foundation design in arid and arctic environments. Our software offers advanced analysis considering climate and unsaturated flow.

SOILVISION is pleased to announce that it has been acquired along with PLAXIS by Bentley in July of 2018. The acquisition of SOILVISION by Bentley, a civil/infrastructure engineering software company provides opportunity and strength to be leveraged into future product development. READ MORE>>

Any hot tips for companies that need to get more involved? E-mail us their contact info, we are happy to espouse the virtues of CalGeo membership for all! Plus we may send you some cool CalGeo swag as a thank you.

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

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

June 5, 5:45-8:30pm: NorCal Regional Dinner Meeting, Sacramento

June 7, 8am-4pm: AEG Rock Mechanics Course, Berkeley

June 11, 5:45-8:30pm: SoCal Regional Dinner Meeting, Costa Mesa

June 19, 6-8:00pm: June Emerging Professional Meeting, Sacramento

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