Geotechnical Frontiers 2017 features full-day short courses.
Each Short Course offers participants eight (8) PDHs and includes lunch.

Sunday, March 12, 2017
8 am – 5 pm

Design and Construction of Bottom Liner and Cover Systems

Richard Thiel, Thiel Engineering
This course covers technologies and materials used to design and construct bottom liner and cover systems for containment facilities such as landfills, heap leach pads, ponds, and secondary containment.  Design and construction concepts covering the latest research related to near-term GCL durability, near- and long-term geomembrane durability, down-drag on steep slopes, probabilistic analyses, gas and liquid uplift in ponds, and interface- and internal-shear strength are discussed.


Design of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Foundations for Load Support

Jie Han, University of Kansas
This course provides training on the design of geosynthetics for reinforcing foundations for load support, such as footings, embankments, and bridges. The course examines the mechanisms and benefits of using geotextiles, geogrids, and geocells in foundations to increase bearing capacity, modulus, and stability, provides step-by-step design procedures to quantify the benefits of geosynthetic reinforcement for foundation load support, and presents case histories to demonstrate the use of geosynthetics to solve challenging foundation problems.


Design of Pier Foundations in Expansive Soils

John Nelson, Engineering Analytics, Inc.; Geoff Chao, Asian Institute of Technology
Foundations on expansive soil sites are one of the most challenging problems facing geotechnical and structural engineers, builders, and building owners today.  Many of the problems result from failure to identify expansive soils on the sites, inadequate design and construction, use of inappropriate foundation systems, and/or improper construction practices.  Damage to structures and infrastructure due to expansive soils is a billion dollar issue.  Increasing basic knowledge of foundation engineering for expansive soil sites is the key to identifying design and construction defects for structures on expansive soils. The most reliable foundation types that are commonly used for sites on moderately to highly expansive soils are drilled pier foundations supporting a grade beam, with a structural floor.  An important part of the foundation engineering is the appropriate analysis of the predicted behavior of the foundation elements.  This requires rigorous predictions of soil heave and pier movement.  This short course will review the limited number of methods that have been developed for that purpose.

This short course is intended to provide geotechnical, structural, construction engineers, and engineering geologists with the knowledge and tools necessary to design pier foundations in expansive soils.  It will explain the nature of expansive soils and the properties that must be considered when designing the pier foundation. Also, water migration in unsaturated expansive soils will be briefly introduced. A computer program, SVHeave, developed by Engineering Analytics, Inc. and SoilVision Systems Ltd. and design charts developed by a finite element program, APEX, developed by Engineering Analytics, Inc. will be utilized to assist in the design process.


Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil

Robert D. Holtz, University of Washington; Jon Fannin, University of British Columbia
This course is an advanced treatment of geosynthetics for soil reinforcement.  The participants should have some experience with geosynthetics and conventional reinforced soil design and construction.  Two instrumented reinforced soil case studies are used to show that the sensible application of simple ideas and methods can give safe and acceptable engineering solutions to reinforced soil problems. These basic ideas are sufficiently adaptable for the design and successful construction of more complex problems often found in engineering practice. We have successfully given this several times in Canada and the US, and at geosynthetics conferences (2007, 09, 11, and 15) in the US and Brazil (9th ICG).


Geotechnical Aspects of Pavement Design and Construction

Charles Schwartz, University of Maryland; Barry Christopher, Private Consultant; Erol Tutumluer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The new AASHTO mechanistic-empirical pavement design procedure implemented in the AASHTOware Pavement ME Design software incorporates significant improvements in material characterization, climate effects, performance prediction, and other elements of pavement design. This course covers the latest methods and procedures for addressing the geotechnical issues in pavement design, construction, and performance for new construction, reconstruction, and rehabilitation pavement projects and contrasts the new mechanistic-empirical aspects with older empirical pavement design techniques. Additional topics include the design and construction of pavement subgrades and unbound materials; special geotechnical issues such as compaction, geosynthetics, and problem soils; drainage; and subgrade stabilization and working platform design.

This short course is an abridged version of the 3-day National Highway Institute Course 132040 Geotechnical Aspects of Pavement Design. It is offered under the auspices of the ASCE Geo-Institute Pavements Committee.


Nanotechnologies for Geotechnical and Civil Engineering: Opportunities and challenges

Patricia Dolez, Groupe CTT
Nanotechnologies have now reached the consumer market and opened a complete new world of opportunities. They allow improving materials performance, for example mechanical properties, thermal stability and physicochemical behavior, even when added in very small amounts. They can also bring them totally new properties, for example making insulating materials becoming electrical conductor or opaque ones becoming transparent, or attracting contaminants. On the other hand, nanomaterials may represent a challenge, for example when the product reaches the end of its life.

This short course will start with a description of the different types of nanomaterials, their properties and their fabrication methods. It will also look at regulations and best work practices. The course will conclude with a presentation of possible applications of nanotechnologies to geotechnical and civil engineering.

At the end of the short course, the participant will know what makes nanomaterials different, and how to take advantage of nanotechnologies (and deal with their challenges) for improving products and processes in geotechnical and civil engineering or creating new ones.


Rainfall Induced Landslides and Mudflows: Shear strengths, testing, stability methods, runout, and remedial measures

Timothy Stark, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ning Lu, Colorado School of Mines
This course will present recent research on landslides, unsaturated soil mechanics, and behavior of debris flows and mudflows. This research is contributing to a better understanding of landslide mechanisms and improved methods of hazard and risk assessment. The short course will focus on landslide triggering, stability analyses, and runout of the slide mass. This presentation will illustrate techniques for assessing the location of past and future landslides using Lidar and other available geotechnical technologies. More importantly, this course will illustrate the use of Lidar to predict the length of runout for future slides which is important for hazard mapping, safe zoning, and public safety.


Vertical Barriers for Dams, Levees and Geoenvironmental Applications

Jeffrey Evans, Bucknell University; Daniel Ruffing, Geo-Solutions, Inc.
A short course of vertical barriers for dams, levees and geoenvironmental applications is proposed.  The presenters, one from the construction industry and one from academics, will offer a balance of theory and practice in such a way as to inform attendees of the issues across the spectrum of design, construction, monitoring and performance (short and long term).  The short course will first provide an overview of the vertical barriers including a discussion about the primary functions and important performance characteristics.  The primary techniques currently employed will then be presented including an in-depth look into the design and construction methods and important considerations for all stages. The short course will present an overview of common field monitoring practices and procedures, including advantages and limitations of the various available methods.  Finally, factors affecting costs for the various techniques along with current cost information will be presented.