Calgary Geotechnical Society

Events 2008–2009

Welcome to the 2008–2009 lecture series!

The regular lecture series is held at the Austrian Canadian Cultural Centre at 3112 11th Street NE, Calgary. (See map here).
There is parking available either at the ACC or on-street.
The talks are held either in the upstairs hall or downstairs – doors on the west side of the building.
Lectures are free to attend unless stated otherwise.

Date Wednesday June 3, 2009
EventCalgary and National Reports, CyGS Awards & Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Welcome & Dinner
6:45 pm – Calgary and National Reports, Presentation of CyGS Awards
7:15 pm – Lecture
Speaker Corey Froese, M.Sc., P.Eng., P.Geol., Alberta Geological Survey/Energy Resources Conservation Board
  Corey leads the Geological Hazards Section with the Alberta Geological Survey group of the Energy Resources Conservation Board. He has a B.A.Sc. in Geological Engineering from the University of British Columbia (1994) and a M.Sc. in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Alberta (1998). He spent the initial 11 years of his career in engineering consulting with a focus on engineering geology and landslide risk management projects pertaining to linear infrastructure, mining and urban settings in Western Canada and joined the Alberta Geological Survey in 2005. Corey is the past chair of the Canadian Geotechnical Society’s Engineering Geology Division and currently sits on the Board of the Directors of the CGS as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Landslides. In addition Corey is the Chairman for the 11th International Landslide Symposium that is to be held in Banff in June 2012. He is the author of over 40 publications in the field of landslide risk management and applied remote sensing.
TopicUrban Geology and Hazards Studies in Alberta: A Technology Update
Abstract In the 1970’s and 1980’s detailed studies as to the geology in Alberta’s main urban centres, Calgary and Edmonton, were...
  undertaken that to this day provide a basis for geotechnical and environmental studies and investigation. Fast forward three decades and the rapid pace of development in the province have provided a wealth of subsurface data not available during these previous studies. Couple this with advances in computing hardware and software and the availability of advance remote sensing data, there is an opportunity to significantly update our understanding the subsurface conditions that impact on our urban areas in Alberta. In 2006, the Alberta Geological Survey initiated a modern series of urban geology and hazards studies. These studies use computer generated three dimensional models of the subsurface to better visualize the complexities of the subsurface conditions and use spaceborne and airborne remote sensing data to map and characterize ground hazards. In addition, web based geospatial browers allow for this data to be viewed and manipulated from personal computers anywhere internet access is available. This presentation will provide an overview of the technology updates with specific examples applied to municipal areas in Peace River, the Edmonton-Calgary Corridor and the Crowsnest Pass.
Cost $30 per person; $15 full-time student
Pay at the door by cash or cheque only; pre-registration is required.
RSVP By email to by Friday May 29.
Please include your company name, phone number and indicate any dietary restrictions.
If you have questions, call Justyna at 403-298-4529 or send an email to

Date Friday May 8, 2009
EventCross Canada Lecture Tour
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Arvid Landva, Ph.D., P.Eng., Geotechnical Consultant, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Former Professor of Civil Engineering, University of New Brunswick
  Arvid has considerable academic and practical experience, both in Atlantic Canada and worldwide, and is internationally known for his contributions to the understanding of the geotechnical characteristics of municipal waste, peat and other “non-textbook” soils. He received the 1985 Hogentogler Award from the American Society for Testing and Materials for a paper on the geotechnical behaviour of peats. He has been a member of various ASTM subcommittees including D18.07 (Soil classification), D18.14 (Waste management) and D18.18 (Peats and organic soils).
1980 – Ph.D., Geotechnical Engineering, Laval University, Quebec, (Geotechnical behaviour of peat)
1962 – Dr.Ing., Geotechnical Engineering, Norwegian Technical University, Trondheim, (Shear characteristics of Norwegian quick clays)
1956 – B.Sc., Civil Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. First Class Honours (Consolidation of clay with radial drainage)
Professional Affiliations:
Member, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of New Brunswick
Member, Canadian Geotechnical Society
Fellow, Engineering Institute of Canada (elected 1997)
Member, Norwegian Society of Chartered Engineers
Professional Experience:
1968 to 1996 – University of New Brunswick: Professor of Civil Engineering Development of UNB Civil Engineering graduate and research soils laboratories and field units. Development of special apparatus for the geotechnical testing of waste fill, peats, organic soils, plastic foam, and other unusual materials. Field and laboratory research on difficult and degradable soils (peats, organic soils, wetlands, woodwaste, refuse, waste fills, plastic foam).
1965 to 1968 – H.G. Acres Ltd.: Head of Soil Structures Section. Mactaquac Power Project, Fredericton, NB, Earth and rockfill excavation and structures, dredging control, instrumentation, soils inspection, design, exploration and testing, survey and quantities.
1963 to 1964 – Ingeniorene Bonde & Company, Oslo, Norway: Soils/Civil Engineer. Member of a four-man project engineering team responsible for the investigation, lay-out and design of the railway and subway underground system in soft clay within the City of Oslo, Norway.
1962 to 1963 – Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Research Fellow: Development of special geotechnical laboratory testing equipment.
1959 to 1962 – Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Consulting Division. Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineer.
TopicCoal Mining Land Reclamation for Residential Development in Canmore
Abstract “Geotechnical interest in peats and organic soils tends to be confined to those who, on a specific project, have the misfortune...
  to have to construct on such a deposit. Certainly the efforts made to comprehend and work with organic soils are negligible compared with the research efforts expended on the far more tractable inorganic soils. One reason for this may be that in the past one either avoided organic sites or removed all the organic material from beneath the structure. These expedient approaches are becoming uneconomical, however, and the present tendency is to face up to the challenges of building on highly organic soils” (Introduction to ASTM conference on Testing of Peats and Organic Soils, P.M. Jarrett, editor, 1982). These statements are equally valid today, 27 years later.
Organic soil may be any material between two such extremes as a coarse-fibrous strong matting and an amorphous jelly-like and very soft gyttja. It follows that it is important and indeed necessary to describe the peat in some detail. A case record or a specification for construction on organic terrain is of little value without such detailed description.
One problem with peats and organic soils is their classification. A modified version of the Laboratoire des Ponts et Chaussées classification system for organic soils is presented in this lecture. This system is based on the Unified Classification System and the original von Post humification index, but is here modified to also include the peat classification system proposed at the 1982 ASTM conference. This system follows the French practice of supplementing the classification with pertinent geotechnical tests to determine various engineering properties.
Descriptions of the behaviour of embankments constructed on various organic soil foundation soils are given. Included are (i) several test fills of thickness 0.6 to 6.0 metres on a wholly organic fibrous peat at Escuminac, NB, (ii) embankments resting on an organic diatomaceous clayey silt in northern New Brunswick, and (iii) an embankment for the 1997 construction of the Trans-Canada Highway at New Maryland, NB, built across a semi-fibrous peaty soil deposit using the displacement method. Mention is also made of amorphous peat deposits encountered in PEI and in southern NB. The only practical method of embankment construction across these amorphous deposits would seem to be by displacing the peat with coarse rockfill forced into the peat with heavy equipment.
Organizer Canadian Geotechnical Society
Funding Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique
Sponsors DST Consulting Engineers Inc.
Golder Associates Ltd.
Jacques Whitford Ltd.
Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd.
Cost Free
RSVP Not Required

Date Thursday April 16, 2009
EventApril – Regular Lecture Series
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Ray Predika, P.Eng., Golder Associates Ltd.
  Employed with Golder Associates Ltd. since 2001, Ray Predika, P. Eng. graduated from the University of Calgary with a BSc in Civil Engineering in 1993. He has worked at Canmore on the Three Sisters project since 1994 and, over the past few years, has helped develop state-of-the-art mine subsidence estimation models as well as mine backfilling procedures for active and abandoned mines in Alberta, British Columbia and Spain. In addition to mine subsidence work, Mr. Predika provides a wide range of geotechnical consulting services to a diverse group of clients.
TopicCoal Mining Land Reclamation for Residential Development in Canmore
Abstract Shallow coal mine workings can present both a significant hazard and a land reclamation challenge. The land above...
  abandoned coal mines is often attractive for re-development, being in areas of historic settlement, often with great natural beauty. However, voids and collapsed rubble in shallow underground workings present a risk of future ground subsidence that can adversely impact the stability of surface structures and infrastructure as well as public safety. The Three Sisters Mountain Village development in Canmore, Alberta, Canada, a growing recreational community on the edge of Banff National Park, is being developed on property that was previously mined for coal. The Canmore coal mines used high extraction room-and-pillar mining methods, leaving areas of collapsed or marginally stable workings that affect large areas of the property. In order to allow more property to be developed, Golder Associates has backfilled portions of these abandoned room-and-pillar coal mines with flowable paste backfill material made from local excavated soils and Portland cement.
Cost Free
RSVP Not Required

Date Thursday March 12, 2009
EventMarch – Regular Lecture Series
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Janelle Murray, Examinee AECOM.
  Janelle Murray studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Janelle spent several years working in the industrial chemical manufacture of nitrogen-based fertilizer and explosives in both Australia and Canada. Two years ago her career changed direction when she began working within the consulting sector in the field of water and wastewater treatment. Janelle has a history of community involvement in the Australian Army Reserve and has been connecting with her Canadian community through volunteering with Engineers Without Borders since the start of 2007. Since that time Janelle has spent one year as the Outreach Director for the Calgary Professional Chapter and volunteered overseas in Malawi for four months. Janelle is a Process Engineer, Examinee (APEGGA designation due to academic requirements due to studying overseas), Water Department, AECOM.
TopicEngineers Without Borders: Stories from Malawi
Abstract Janelle Murray spent the summer of 2008 volunteering for Engineers Without Borders (EWB) with Concern Universal in a small...
  country in Southern Africa called Malawi. “Stories from Malawi” provides an insight into this experience. The talk discusses overall project outcomes for the water and sanitation project Janelle worked on, her role and responsibilities within that project and her living environment. The discussion is framed by providing information about the development approach of EWB and the Human Development Index (HDI) and where Malawi fits on that scale.
Cost Free
RSVP Not Required

Date Thursday February 19, 2009
EventFebruary – Regular Lecture Series
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Heinrich K. Heinz, Ph.D., P.Eng., Thurber Engineering Ltd.
  Heinrich graduated in Civil Engineering from the University of São Paulo, Brazil in 1978 and received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical) from the University of Alberta in 1988. His professional career has included various assignments in Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Germany, where he became involved with the design of deep excavations and tunnels in soft ground. He joined Thurber’s Calgary office in 1995, served as the office’s manager from 1999 until 2007 and became the firm’s Managing Director in 2008. Heinrich was Chair of the Calgary Geotechnical Society from 1996 to 1999.
TopicSettlements Above a Hand-Mined Tunnel in Calgary, Alberta
Abstract The Shepard tunnel is located near the eastern boundary of the City of Calgary, close to the hamlet of Shepard. The tunnel...
  is 63 m long and crosses under five sets of active Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) tracks, with a soil cover in the order of six metres. It has a horseshoe shaped section and was hand-excavated, with primary support consisting of steel ribs and steel or wood lagging. The host ground is predominantly a moderately overconsolidated clay till. The presentation will describe the subsurface conditions and some of the analyses completed prior to construction, particularly those related to prediction of track settlements. Construction procedures and the impact of CPR requirements will also be discussed, and existing track settlement tolerances will be reviewed. Tunnel construction and monitoring aspects will also be presented, including the web based track settlement monitoring system which enabled early warning alarms to be issued during critical events.
Cost Free
RSVP Not Required

Date Tuesday January 20, 2009
EventJanuary – Regular Lecture Series
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Tyler Lappin, E.I.T., Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd.
  Tyler Lappin is a geotechnical engineer with Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. He has been providing geotechnical engineering assistance to the Muskeg River Mine north of Fort McMurray since 2006. Tyler graduated from University of British Columbia in 2004 with a B.Sc. in Geological Engineering. Tyler is the venue coordinator with the Calgary Geotechnical Society.
TopicCompaction of Upstream Construction Tailings Dam Beaches Using Dozers
Abstract Upstream construction tailings dams in the oilsands mining industry rely on a compacted shell and beaches of non-liquefiable...
  sand to contain the pond and internal loose beach deposits. Compaction energy to densify the sand in the shell is provided by dozers which densify the sand through the vibration of trafficking repeatedly across the sand surface, together with the downward drainage of construction water through the sand. A trial was performed on a loose beach deposit at the Muskeg River Mine site to assess the level of effort required to densify the sand using CAT D7 dozers, and the vertical extent of compaction. It was found that given sufficient packing effort, the dozers were capable of consistently densifying the sand to a depth of 4 m to 5 m below the beach surface. The effectiveness of the densification was assessed using cone penetration testing, surveys of the surface settlement, and visual observations of water liberated from the beach.
Tyler is presenting a paper he co-authored with Scott Martens, P.Eng., Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. and Rod Godwaldt, P.Eng., Shell Canada Energy.
Cost Free
RSVP Not Required

Date Tuesday December 9, 2008
EventDecember – Regular Lecture Series
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speakers Christeen Nahas, P.Geoph., WorleyParsons
Pierre-Philippe Levasseur, E.I.T., WorleyParsons
  Ms. Christeen Nahas, P.Geoph, manages the Geophysics group in the WorleyParsons Infrustructure & Environment Calgary office. Christeen has over 8 years of experience working in the environmental geophysics field. As a member of the geophysics group, she has designed and executed several geophysical investigations at proposed pipeline river crossings throughout Alberta and British Columbia. These data are collected as a preliminary step in obtaining required permits and preparing pipeline construction plans for Oil and Gas companies proposing to install a pipeline that crosses a creek or river. Christeen has conducted these surveys on small creeks and tributaries, as well as across major river channels.
TopicGeophysics for Pipeline River Crossings
Abstract The presentation will provide an overview of the process, technology, and methodology involved in conducting geophysical...
  investigations in conjunction with geotechnical assessments at proposed pipeline river crossings. Clients are now searching for companies that can provide them with more than test boreholes. The geophysics group at WorleyParsons has been responding to this need by applying several geophysical techniques to integrate with the data obtained through geotechnical borehole drilling. This presentation will highlight some of these geophysical techniques and describe how the data can be combined to produce a broad interpretation.
Cost Free
RSVP Not Required

Date Thursday October 16, 2008
EventOctober – Joint CyGS/CSCE Dinner Series
LocationBlackfoot Inn (5940 Blackfoot Trail SE)
Time 5:30 pm – Registration & Cocktails
6:30 pm – Dinner
7:15 pm – Presentation
Speaker Kevin Heal, B.Comm., Golder Associates Ltd.
  Mr. Heal is an energy marketing and pipeline transportation industry professional with over fifteen years experience in the oil and gas industry. Kevin joined GolderAssociates in May 2008 as a Business Development Manager with the Energy Services Group where his focus is on developing Carbon Capture and Storage and Carbon Management services. His career also includes five years of service as an Air Force Officer in the Canadian Forces.
Abstract The issue of Climate Change and how to respond to calls to reduce GHG emissionsin the face of insatiable demand for fossil...
  fuel and need for economic growth is one of the most long term and vexing policy issues confronting the world and every jurisdiction of government. Premier Ed Stelmach recently announced the creation of a $2 billion fund to advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects on a large scale. What is CCS and why are the Province of Alberta, coal power generators and oil sands developerscounting on this CO2 management strategy to deliver massive reductions in GHG emissions in the coming decades?Canada and Albertahave asuccessful history of public support for private sector mega-projects that advancethe national interest going back to the National Dream and the CPR, the Trans-Canada Pipeline, the Alberta Gas Trunkline, Syncrudeand Hibernia. This presentation will address these questions and focus on the challenges and opportunities associated with CCS in Alberta.
Cost $25 for CGS member; $35 for non-member; $10 for full-time student
RSVP Go to click on “Event Registration”

Date Thursday September 18, 2008
EventSeptember – Regular Lecture Series
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Mauricio Pinheiro, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate, University of Calgary
Winner of the Calgary Geotechnical Society’s 2008 Student Travel Award
  Our speaker is a young geotechnical engineer from Brazil. He finished his bachelor and MSc degrees in Brazil. Then, he moved to Calgary in 2005 to pursue further studies at the University of Calgary. His research field is focused on the development of constitutive models for soils, especially sandy soils. He has also studied the links between failure and instability phenomena in geomechanics.
TopicFailure and Instability in Geomechanics
Abstract Conventional analysis of failure characterized by unlimited strains under constant stress may not be sufficient, as instability...
  phenomena may occur before plastic limit conditions are reached. For example, loose saturated sand, when sheared under undrained axisymmetric loading conditions with stress control, spontaneously collapses after the deviatoric stress reaches a peak value well below the Mohr-Coulomb plastic limit. This mode of failure is diffuse with no apparent failure plane (shear band) as in the case of localized deformations. It corresponds to the violation of Hill’s stability condition (second-order work) and the loss of controllability at material level, as recent theoretical studies have shown. This presentation briefly investigates and discusses the phenomenon of instability and its relevance to practice through the second-order work criterion using both continuum and discrete element frameworks.
Cost Free
RSVP Not Required