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August 2019 Emerging Professionals Meeting
North Natomas Library
4660 Via Ingoglia
Sacramento, CA 95835
(916) 264-2700

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM PDT
Category: Emerging Professionals

August Emerging Professionals Meeting

Helical Design: Theory, Applications & Seismic Testing

Presented by: Darin Willis, Ram Jack

Helical piles and anchors have been used in construction applications for more than 175 years. The first recorded use of helical piles was in 1836 by Alexander Mitchell when he used helical piles to underpin the Maplin Sands Lighthouse in England. Helical piles have gained in popularity to the extent they are more frequently used compared to many other deep foundation types in some geographical areas. In the past, helical piles were an interesting alternative that some geotechnical engineers would take into consideration in some special cases. Helical piles are barely mentioned in undergraduate and graduate civil engineering studies. Now helical piles are widely known by most practicing engineers and should be considered an essential part of any foundation course. Even owners and developers are beginning to request helical piles due to their versatility and high capacities in both tension and compression. The International Code Council (ICC) established an acceptance criteria AC358) for helical piles in 2007. ICC inducted helical piles into the International Building Code (IBC) in 2009. The presentation will cover the design, applications and building code requirements of helical piles.

Engineering Presentation Outline:

1.    Driven Pile System: Components, Advantages, Benefits, Video Clip
2.    Helical Pile System: Components, Applications, Benefits, Video Clip
3.    Theory & Design: History, Terzaghi, How To Calculate Capacities
4.    ICC Acceptance Criteria: AC358, Applications Covered
5.    IBC 2009-2012: Key Helical Pile Sections, Stability, Unbraced Lengths, Lateral Loads, Group Effect
6.    Foundation Solutions Software: Solutions, Benefits, Screen Shots, Reports
7.    Interesting Jobs: Review of 6 Real World Applications with Case Study Info.
8.    Seismic Testing: Update on Seismic testing of Helical Piles


Darin Willis, P.E, is the Director of Engineering for Ram Jack Systems Distribution, LLC. Darin has thirty (35) years of experience in designing, developing, installing and testing hydraulically driven steel and helical piles. He has designed foundation underpinning systems for residential, commercial and industrial projects throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and South America.

Darin began working for Ram Jack in Ada, OK in 1984 but left Ram Jack in 2000 to focus more on the structural design of commercial and industrial structures. His structural design experience includes tilt wall, steel framed, concrete, masonry and wood structures. He has designed structures up to 850,000 ft2 (Rooms To Go Distribution Center, Arlington, TX) to a 10-story dormitory for the Dallas Theological Seminary. Darin returned to Ram Jack as the Director of Engineering in 2007.

Darin received his engineering degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and is currently a licensed engineer in the states of Texas, Oregon and Washington. He is also member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Deep Foundation Institute (DFI). As a member of the Deep Foundation Institute, he is also on the technical committee for Helical Foundations and Tiebacks.

Join us on the 3rd Wednesday of each month for a casual dinner and presentation.


Professionals $20, Students Free!

Please RSVP by Monday August 19th to [email protected]

Contact: [email protected]