Calgary Geotechnical Society

Events 2009–2010


Welcome to the 2009–2010 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 May 19, 2010
EventCalgary and National Reports, CGS Awards & Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Registration and Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Welcome and Dinner
6:45 pm – Calgary and National Reports, Presentation of CGS Awards
7:15 pm – Lecture
Speaker John Sobkowicz, Ph.D., P.Eng., Thurber Engineering Ltd.
  Dr. Sobkowicz was born in Victoria, B.C., did an undergrad in Geological Engineering at UBC (1974) and a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering under Dr. Morgenstern at the U of A (1982). His PhD thesis was on "The Mechanics of Gassy Soils", which dealt with the behaviour of soils like the oil sands that can have a lot of gas dissolved in their pore fluids. He has worked for the last 20 years for Thurber Engineering Ltd., first in Victoria, later in Vancouver, and for the last 10 years in Calgary. He is a Principle of the company and a Senior Geotechnical Engineer focussed on water resources, oil sands, and mining. In regards to the latter, he is a member of geotechnical review boards for Syncrude, Suncor, Shell (Albian/Jackpine) and CNRL. His hobbies include biking, hiking, photography, bird watching, and ham radio, and he holds a 4th Dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
TopicA Geotechnical Perspective on Oil Sands Tailings
Abstract This presentation provides a geotechnical perspective and some thoughts on the production, treatment, transport and storage of...
  oil sands tailings, and in particular the capture of fines in a &rlquo;dedicated disposal area&lrquo; (DDA), as prescribed in the recently released ERCB Directive 074. Concepts include: available technology for dewatering tailings; the impact of tailings characteristics on methods of transport; necessary characteristics for discharge, capping and reclamation; the relationship between solids content and various geotechnical parameters; simple geotechnical (classification) tests to aid in predicting tailings behaviour; and practical aspects of reliably achieving a uniform, non-segregated tailings deposit.
Cost $40 per person; $15 full-time students
Pay at the door by cash or cheque only; pre-registration is required.
RSVP By email to AGM2010@cgygeosociety.org or phone Justyna at 403-385-2427 by Friday May 14, 2010.
Please include your company name, phone number and indicate any dietary restrictions.

Date Tuesday April 20, 2010
EventCross Canada Lecture Tour (CCLT)
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Registration and Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Welcome and Buffet Dinner
6:45 pm – Lecture
Speaker Don W. Hayley, M.Sc., P.Eng., FEIC, EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.
  Don Hayley is a founding partner of EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd. where he has been a consulting engineer for 41 years. His focus throughout this period has been developing design and construction practice for northern regions where permafrost, snow and ice are particular challenges. His work has focused on northern infrastructure, oil and gas exploration and mining. He has applied his technical knowledge across the entire northern hemisphere by active participation in major projects including mining at Svalbard, Norway, oil fields in Siberia and exploration platforms in the Beaufort Sea.
Don received his B.Eng. (Civil) from Carleton University in 1966, followed by an M.Sc. (Civil-Geotechnical) in 1968 from University of Alberta. He was appointed as a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada in 2002 and received the Julian C. Smith Medal from the EIC for contributions to the development of Canada in 2005. He has played an active role in support of permafrost research in Canada as Chairman of the Canadian National Committee for the International Permafrost Association and subsequently was a member of the Executive of the International Permafrost Association from 2003 to 2008. He has presented keynote papers on northern engineering at a number of international and national conferences. He spent five years as a Director of the Canadian Geotechnical Society and assisted with organizing the Cold Regions Division. He received the Roger Brown Memorial Award from CGS for contributions to permafrost science and engineering in 1991, and delivered the R.M. Hardy lecture at the annual conference in 1998.
More recently, Don has developed recognized expertise in design and construction of winter roads and roads over floating ice. He is frequently called upon to develop improved procedures for managing the hazard of working on ice and directed the technical content for a new guideline published in Alberta in 2009. He has contributed his expertise to improving worker safety on floating ice by assessing the causes of ice failure incidents in Manitoba, Alberta and Northwest Territories.
TopicDesign, Construction and Operation of Dams in Permafrost Regions
Abstract Mining in the Canadian north has taken on new importance with discovery of diamonds and increased prices for both precious...
  metals and base metals. Diamond mining in the Northwest Territories began in 1998 with the opening of Ekati Diamond Mine and has expanded to include two additional producing mines. Mining in regions of permafrost has focused attention on the challenges of building dams for water management and waste containment. This presentation focuses on the unique characteristics that frozen ground and ground ice present when planning, designing and constructing earth and rockfill dams on a permafrost foundation.
The presentation examines the attributes of three common dam types that are currently in use in the Canadian arctic:
• frozen core dams on a permafrost foundation,
• rockfill dams on a permafrost foundation with internal geosynthetic liner,
• embankment dams with a membrane cut-off wall through the permafrost foundation to frozen bedrock.
The first two types require comprehensive geothermal analyses to ensure that frozen soils integral to the design for both strength and seepage prevention will function as intended throughout the life of the structure. In many cases supplementary cooling must be provided using passive devices such as thermosyphons to enhance heat extraction from the foundation. Other passive methods for extending the useful life of permafrost within the foundation soils are also reviewed. The design and construction process is illustrated with case history examples from project files.
All new mines proposed for arctic environments must include reclamation objectives and preliminary plans that will be critically reviewed by regulators and their consultants. The designer must be prepared to address long-term issues pertaining to climate change and permafrost response following site abandonment. The desirable objective is always to decommission dams on permafrost foundations but there are exceptional cases where this is not practical. In these cases, modification of the structure coupled with long term monitoring will usually be required to reduce future environmental risks to acceptable levels.
Organizer Canadian Geotechnical Society
Funding Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique
Sponsors AMEC Plc.
Golder Associates Ltd.
BGC Engineering Inc.
Reinforced Earth Company Ltd.
Cost $35 per person; $15 full-time students
Pay at the door by cash or cheque only; pre-registration is required.
RSVP By email to CCLT@cgygeosociety.org or phone at 403-385-2427 by Monday April 19, 2010.
Please include your company name, phone number and indicate any dietary restrictions.

Date Thursday March 18, 2010
EventCGS-CSCE Joint Talk
LocationBlackfoot Inn – 5940 Blackfoot Trail SE
Time 5:30 pm – Cocktails & Registration
6:30 pm – Dinner
7:15 pm – Presentation
8:30 pm – Closing Remarks
Speaker Doug Pelly, P.Eng., Golder Associates Ltd.
  Doug is a Principal and Senior Geotechnical Engineer with Golder Associates Ltd. in Calgary. He has been involved in the geotechnical consulting industry in Western Canada for more than 30 years.
TopicConstruction Shoring
Abstract Shoring provides temporary ground support to allow safe construction of the planned works. But what is meant by ‘temporary’?...
  What happens over time that leads to shoring failure? What does ‘failure’ look like? The answers to these questions are closely linked to the nature of the ground, the shoring type, the shoring construction methods and the nature (and proximity) of buildings and infrastructure near the shoring. This presentation will discuss these issues in the context of the ground conditions in the Calgary area.
Sponsor Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.
Cost $25 CGS/CSCE member; $10 full-time students; $35 non-members.
Pay at the door by cash or cheque only; pre-registration is required.
Click here for registration
RSVP At least one day prior to the event so we may coordinate with the hotel catering staff.

Date Tuesday February 9, 2010
EventFebruary – Regular Lecture Series
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Rod Kostaschuk, M.Sc., P.Eng., AMEC Earth & Environmental
  Rod Kostaschuk is a Geotechnical Engineer with AMEC Earth & Environmental based in Kelowna BC. He earned his bachelors degree in Geological Engineering in 1986 and Masters in Civil Engineering in 1995, both from the University of British Columbia. He has over 20 years of consulting experience working in the private and public sectors throughout North and South America on mining, transportation, water supply and hydro-electric projects. His most recent experience has been on projects in Alberta and BC for oil sand and other mining projects, and for infrastructure development in the public sector. His areas of technical work include foundation design, slope stability assessment, and the construction, remediation and safety review of earth dams, including seismic assessment and analysis.
TopicDam and Spillway Construction to Remediate a Failed Reservoir Rim at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club
Abstract During an extreme flood event in June 2005, an earthen spillway channel on the reservoir rim failed by erosion at the Priddis...
  Greens Golf and Country Club near Calgary Alberta. The failure resulted in loss of the reservoir for the water supply system servicing the golf course and its housing cooperative. Design and construction were undertaken to repair the reservoir rim and construct a new concrete spillway structure. The reconstruction work complied with the Alberta Environment permitting process, and included the need for protection of the public in homes downstream of the reservoir, and environmental protection through an improved facility for flood management. The reservoir operates as a run-of-river system, spills continuously during some months of the year and has low flood attenuation capacity. The CDA Consequence Classification (1999 Guidelines) is High. The 2006 construction included a new 16-meter high earthfill dam to repair the breach in the reservoir rim and a new 10 meter wide concrete spillway chute designed for a 1000 year flood event. The new spillway chute was constructed on top of the existing earthfill dam that was undamaged by the reservoir rim failure. Potential dam safety issues in the existing earthfill dam were rectified during the construction. As the abutments of the new and existing dams were sandy with strong active seepage, thorough filter/drainage measures were implemented in both dams and under the spillway structure. The permitting process included submission of OM&S, EPP and ERP documents including flood inundation maps in accordance with Alberta Environment guidelines.
CostFree
RSVPNot Required

Date Wednesday January 13, 2010
EventJanuary – Regular Lecture Series
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Roger Skirrow, M.Sc., P.Eng., Director of Geotechnical and Materials Section, Alberta Transportation
  Roger graduated from the U of A with a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering in 1982, and a M.Sc. in Geotechnical Engineering in 1996. His work experience includes 13 years with three different geotechnical consultant firms and 14 years of public service in different capacities with Alberta Transportation. Roger is the Director of Geotechnical and Materials Section, Alberta Transportation; a position he has held since 1999. He is currently on secondment to the Professional Standards Section as the Acting Director. He was Co-Chair of the 2008 CGS Conference in Edmonton, Northern Alberta Director and Chair of the Professional Practice Committee of the CGS. He has served in several capacities on the Geotechnical Society of Edmonton board, including President. Roger is member of the C-TEP (Centre for Transportation Engineering and Planning) Board of Directors. He is a recipient of the A.G. Stermac Award of the CGS, and the Stan Thomson Award from the Geotechnical Society of Edmonton.
TopicGeohazard Risk Management System for Alberta Highways
Abstract Alberta Transportation manages approximately 26,500 km of paved roads, 3,900 km of unpaved roads, 10,800 bridge structures...
  and a multitude of culvert, guardrail, signage and other infrastructure. Various in-house expert systems are used to develop the Department’s 3, 5 and 10 year construction plans. These systems make use of predictable deterioration models for roadways and bridge structures. More esoteric hazards such as landslides, erosion, frost heaves and settlement problems are managed through a Geohazard Risk Management System (GRMS) with an annual budget of about $6M. The presentation will provide an overview of the GRMS from a practical, technical and administrative perspective. Several case histories will be used to help illustrate how the system operates. (Time permitting there may be a short presentation on a recent mountaineering trip to the top of Cho Oyu, Tibet, the world’s 6th highest mountain.)
CostFree
RSVPNot Required

Date Tuesday December 1, 2009
EventDecember – Regular Lecture Series
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Scott Martens, M.Sc., Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd.
  Scott Martens is a senior geotechnical engineer and associate with Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd., where he started in 1995. His Bachelor’s degree is in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1995, and he has a Master's degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of Alberta in 2000. Scott’s professional interests include earth dams, earthquake hazards, soil liquefaction and offshore structures.
TopicEarthquake Hazards in Alberta
Abstract The presentation will start with a general discussion of earthquakes (magnitude scales, conditions affecting earthquake damage,...
  measures of ground motion, frequency content, local site effects) and some background into the methodology used to quantitatively assess seismic hazards, to provide context for understanding the seismic hazards within Alberta. It will then describe the seismotectonic regime that affects the current earthquake hazard in Alberta, the historical earthquakes that have occurred within and nearby Alberta, and the seismic hazards calculated for sites typical of locations throughout Alberta.
CostFree
RSVPNot Required

Date Monday October 26, 2009
EventCross Canada Lecture Tour (CCLT)
LocationExecutive Royal Inn, 2828 23 Street NE, Calgary
Time 5:30 pm – Registration and Cash Bar
6:30 pm – Dinner
7:15 pm – Presentation
Speaker Kyle Rollins, Ph.D., Professor at Brigham Young University
  Dr. Kyle M. Rollins is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He received his BS degree from BYU and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley working under Harry Seed. After working with his father as a geotechnical consultant, he joined the faculty at BYU in 1987 and was promoted to full-professor in 1998. His research has involved geotechnical earthquake engineering, deep foundation behavior, collapsible soils and soil improvement techniques. He has published over 120 technical papers and supervised over 80 graduate students. Dr. Rollins pioneered the use of controlled blasting to evaluate the lateral resistance of piles in liquefied sand under full-scale field conditions and performed the first lateral statnamic pile group tests. Over the past ten years, he has used full-scale testing to evaluate pile group interaction factors under lateral loading and passive pressure mobilization on abutment walls. His work has been recognized by ASCE with the Huber research award and the Wellington prize. Dr. Rollins was an international faculty scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai in 2005. He was recognized as the engineering educator of year by the Utah Engineers Council in 2000 and received the Karl Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award at BYU this past year.
TopicEvaluation of Innovative Liquefaction Mitigation Strategies
Abstract Liquefaction continues to cause significant damage to constructed works throughout the world during earthquakes. To mitigate...
  the hazard posed by liquefaction, innovative soil improvement methods are often desirable. This presentation will highlight studies conducted to evaluate treatment methods such as (1) earthquake drains (2) stone columns, and (3) colloidal silicate grouting. Earthquake drains have the potential to mitigate liquefaction hazards at a fraction of the cost of conventional densification strategies, but they have not been tested in earthquakes. In the absence of earthquake performance data, drains have been evaluated at several sites using controlled blasting and vibrations from oil prospecting trucks. These tests show that the drains are capable of preventing liquefaction damage but care must be taken in analyzing performance. Although stone column treatment has become widely used for liquefaction mitigation, treatment has typically been ineffective when fines contents exceed 20%. Dr. Rollins will present test results from several case histories which indicate that the use of wick drains can facilitate improvement even with fine contents of 50%. Stone columns may also be useful in reducing liquefaction potential around foundations. Dr. Rollins will present test results based on blast liquefaction testing which show the effectiveness of stone columns in improving the lateral resistance of a pile group and drilled shaft in liquefiable sand. Finally, colloidal silicate treatment offers the potential for permeation grouting of liquefiable sands without damage to existing structures. Although relatively expensive, recent field tests results have demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach.
Organizer Canadian Geotechnical Society
Funding Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique
Sponsors Amec Plc.
Golder Associates Ltd.
BGC Engineering Inc.
Reinforced Earth Company Ltd.
Cost $40 per person; $15 full-time students
Pay at the door by cash or cheque only; pre-registration is required.
RSVP By email to CCLT@cgygeosociety.org or phone at 403-385-2427 by Wednesday October 21, 2009.
Please include your company name, phone number and indicate any dietary restrictions.

Date Wednesday October 14, 2009
Event2009 Jahns Distiguished Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Edmund Medley, Ph.D., P.Eng., CEG, F.ASCE, Geosyntec Consultants
  Dr. Medley is a Senior Consultant in the Oakland, California office of Geosyntec Consultants, international consultancy renown for innovative solutions to geoengineering and environmental problems. Dr Medley started his career in the Applied Earth Sciences in 1969, and now has over 30 years of unusually varied international experience in geotechnical and geological engineering consulting, mineral exploration prospecting, failure investigation, project management, litigation testifying, academic research, teaching, and lecturing. He has an international reputation for his pioneering research into the engineering and geological characterization of bimrocks (block-in-matrix rocks), complex geological mixtures of rock and soil such as melanges, fault rocks, weathered rocks, tills, and colluvium. (Most of his professional contributions are at freely available at bimrocks.geoengineer.org)
Dr. Medley also has experience evaluating geotechnical/geological engineeering vulnerabilities and the causes of civil engineering failures, and has provided testimony for attorneys, insurance companies, contractors, and municipal clients. Projects include investigation of major landslides, rockfall hazards, expansive/collapsing soils, tunnel failures, coastal erosion, sinkholes and other ground movements in California, Nevada, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Guam, and Papua New Guinea. Dr. Medley has authored/co-authored about 50 professional contributions, and presented well over 150 professional and academic lectures, Short Courses and MCLE Credit courses. He is licensed as an engineer and geologist in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom.
In 1978, Dr. Medley was the first recipient of the Aro A. Aho Memorial Medal for Excellence in Geological Engineering. He was the AEG Marliave Scholar in 1993, awarded for outstanding scholarship in Engineering Geology and Geological Engineering. He was the San Francisco AEG Section Membership Committee Chairman between 1991 and 1993 and the San Francisco Section Short Course Chairman between 1995 and 1996. He has been a member of GSA for many years.
Contact Dr. Medley directly to arrange lectures: emedley@geosyntec.com and (510) 285 2722.
Dr. Medley offers several Lectures, as summarized at www.edmedley.com (Jahns Lectures page).
TopicThe Comforts of Ignorance and the Benefits of Arrogance: Lessons of the Failure Kind for the Geopractitioner
Abstract Ignorance and arrogance are all too common in the design professions. It is comforting to not know what one does not know....
  And, there are benefits to being arrogant: why waste time on having a colleague check your work if you know what you are doing? Why go through the pain of further education or professional development? Why should engineering geologists talk to geotechnical engineers (and vice versa)? After all: “I know enough geowhatever to get by.” But ignorance leads to blissful mistakes and arrogance results in occasional spectacular, famous and expensive failures. A few lessons are offered, particularly to the engineering geologist/geotechnical engineer/environmental scientist who thinks he/she knows it all.
CostFree
RSVPNot Required

Date Thursday September 17, 2009
EventSeptember – Regular Lecture Series
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Chamika K. Haththotuwa, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate, University of Calgary
Winner of the Calgary Geotechnical Society's 2009 Student Travel Award
  Chamika Haththotuwa completed a BSc in Engineering and a Diploma in Business management in Sri Lanka. His innovative undergraduate research was selected as the best environmental research project and awarded a national accolade, the Young Innovative Engineer Award, by the Sri Lankan Institute of Engineers. After completion of his undergraduate studies he worked for the National water board and on several World Bank environmental projects, before arriving in Canada to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Calgary. His MSc research has been highlighted on a CBC news feature about the application of Biofilter technology to the oil and gas and solid waste industry in Calgary. He has since moved on to PhD studies on gassy silt sands, the result of which has to potential to revolutionise the geotechnical industry. Chamika was featured in the winter 2009 issue of the U magazine - University of Calgary, highlighting this cutting edge research and as recognition for his achievements he received the Klohn Crippen Berger Scholarship in fall 2008. This award is awarded to a gifted geotechnical engineering student as nominated by the Civil Engineering Department. Chamika has brought many honours to himself and his research group such as a Best presentation award - for MSc and PhD research and a CSCE (Canadian Society for Civil Engineering) Best poster award for his PhD research. At present, Chamika is the Graduate Student Representative in the Civil Engineering Department and was the founder of CSCE Graduate Student Chapter where he served as the president for two (2) years and remains an advisor to the present chapter committee. Chamika truly is an example of the quality of research and students which the University of Calgary attracts and produces. After completion of postgraduate studies, Chamika hopes to work to the geotechnical industry and to use his remarkable multidisciplinary and leadership skills for the betterment of a sustainable society.
TopicBehaviour of Silty Sands
Abstract Numerous soil failures have been documented in silty sands, particularly in coastal and offshore soils. This presentation draws...
  upon critical state framework to characterize the effect of silt on the response of loose silt-sand mixtures. The result of triaxial testing using Ottawa sand and Penticton silt mixtures are presented. Analyses indicates that the steady state line is particularly sensitive to silt contents.
CostFree
RSVPNot Required