Calgary Geotechnical Society


Welcome to the 2012–2013 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 Thursday May 23, 2013
EventCalgary and National Reports, CyGS Awards & Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Registration and Cash-Bar
6:00 pm – Welcome and Dinner
6:30 pm – Calgary and National Reports, Presentation of CyGS Awards
7:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Peter K. Robertson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta; Technical Advisor, Gregg Drilling & Testing Inc., USA
  As Technical Advisor to Gregg Drilling & Testing Inc., Dr. Peter Robertson brings more than 40 years experience as an educator, researcher, consultant and practitioner specializing in the areas of in-situ testing and site investigation, earthquake design of geotechnical structures, and soil liquefaction. Peter is recognized as an expert both nationally and internationally in the areas of in-situ testing and soil liquefaction. He has been a consultant to various industrial clients and insurance companies in North America, Asia and Europe for projects involving liquefaction evaluation for major structures, stability of on-shore and off-shore structures, landslides, stability of natural slopes and tailings dams, and use and interpretation of in-situ tests. He is the co-author of the primary reference book on Cone Penetration Testing (CPT). He has also authored or co-authored over 250 publications as well a popular CPT Guide that is freely available via the Gregg website. With support from Gregg, Peter has also assisted in the development of several inexpensive CPT-based interpretation software programs and has presented a series of free webinars on the CPT in an effort to enhance education and practice.
Peter continues to provide some private consulting to a wide range of clients.
TopicEvaluating Flow (Static) Liquefaction using the CPT: an Update[1]
Abstract Flow (static) liquefaction is a major design issue for large soil structures such as mine tailings impoundments. Robertson (2010)...
  evaluated case histories to show how the cone penetration test (CPT) can be used to evaluate the potential for flow (static) liquefaction. The case histories indicate that very young, very loose, non- or low-plastic soils tend to be more susceptible to significant and rapid strength loss than older, denser and/or more plastic soils. Soils with high plasticity tend to be more ductile than soils of low plasticity. Low plastic, highly sensitive, fine-grained soils that have a shear strain at peak undrained shear strength less than about 2% and a rapid loss of strength are more likely to experience rapid strain-softening and flow liquefaction than more plastic soils. This presentation will show additional case histories that support the proposed CPT-based method. A case history will also be presented that includes ground improvement in a non-plastic silt where CPT pore pressures went from pre-ground improvement positive to post-improvement negative values. The important issue of stress normalization under high confining pressure will also be discussed. As tailings impoundments get larger, the issue of stress normalization is becoming more important.
[1]Keynote lecture to Tailings & Mine Waste'12 Conf., Colorado, Oct., 2012.
Sponsor Mobile Augers and Research Ltd.
Cost $40 per person; Free for full-time students
Pay at the door by cash or cheque only; pre-registration is required.
RSVP By email to or phone 403-532-5692 by Monday May 20, 2012.
Only a limited number of walk-ins will be accepted. Please include your company name, phone number and indicate any dietary restrictions.

Date Tuesday April 16, 2013
EventSpring Cross Canada Lecture Tour (CCLT)
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:45 am – Registration and Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Buffet Dinner
6:30 pm – Presentation
Speakers Bob Cameron, B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., P.Eng., Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  Bob lives in Fort McMurray, Alberta. He is a Principal Geotechnical Engineer with Syncrude Canada Ltd. and supports the operation of Oil Sands Mining and Tailings Construction and related Projects. Bob is the head geotechnical advisor for Syncrude.
Bob has worked on a multitude of projects over the last 29 years with Syncrude. Bob has been the geotechnical design engineer or lead engineer on 13 of Syncrude’s tailings dam and has been involved in all stages from preliminary concept, design, construction, monitoring, licensing, to annual performance reports. He remains the engineer-of-record for many of those dams.
Bob's first dam design was the Highway 63 In-Pit Berm/Dam starting in 1992. It was 42 million cubic metres, was built in 2.5 years through winters down to -40 degrees Celsius and used engineered lift thicknesses of 1 m compacted by 170-ton payload heavy haulers . It was ranked by the Alberta Professional Engineering and Geoscience Association (APEGA) as one of the top 100 engineering feats in the last 100 years, in Alberta. One of the most recent Syncrude dams currently being designed by his team and currently under construction since 2007 is 4 km long, with a maximum height of 92 m, with a total volume of overburden soils in the order of 180 million cubic meters. Bob has co-authored and presented over 14 papers on some of these dam designs and practical construction considerations in Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) Conferences and for the Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM).
Bob also has been the lead designer or reviewer of Overburden Dump Fill Disposal sites. He was the responsible geotechnical engineer to sign-off the geotechnical issues for the first Overburden Dump in the Oil Sands Industry to get a Reclamation Certificate meaning it was reclaimed and turned back over to crown land. The largest current dump designed by Bob’s team and currently under construction is between 200 to 300 million cubic meters.
Bob also has experience in mine pit wall design and has co-authored 3 related papers presented at CGS and CIM Conferences. He has also co-authored papers on Haul Road designs, retaining walls and foundations on deep fills. He has also worked on dragline mining, truck & shovel mining, pipeline corridors, foundation designs for heavy equipment, piling designs for infrastructure and recently on the new centrifuged tailings to allow for quicker tailings reclamation.
Bob has been extensively involved with the current “Oil Sands Tailings Dam De-Licensing (Decommissioning) Committee” to revert dams back to landforms and has made two presentations on this issue at Canadian Dam Safety Association (CDA) conferences.
Bob's graduated from the University of Toronto with his Bachelor‘s degree in Geological Engineering in 1982, and then in 1985 with a Master‘s degree in Civil Engineering both with a Geotechnical Specialty.
Topic Compaction and Design Tips for Constructing Fills at Rates Up to 25 Million m3/Year
Abstract Placement and compaction of fills in dams requiring construction rates up to 25 million cubic meters per year, and completed...
  volumes up to 180 million cubic meters, require changes to conventional geotechnical practices. These large volumes demand construction with large equipment. Experience has been obtained over the last 22 years to perfect how to do this and how to perform proper QA/QC. To complete such large dams thicker engineered lifts up to 1 m were required. Compaction needed to be performed by large dozers and fully-loaded heavy haulers with payloads as large as 190-tons to 400-tons. Some of the readily available soils required to be used, included well-dry-of-optimum fills and high-plasticity clay fills that traditionally would not be included. These large projects sometimes required construction throughout winter at temperatures sometimes lower than -30 degrees Celsius. Since frozen fill will not compact to a stable structure, time intervals for compacting non-frozen fill at various winter air temperatures will be suggested. An easy one-page graphical compilation of all compaction data for an entire dam including lab standard and modified Proctors, optimum water contents, field densities, field corrections, current year data versus historical data, and percentages of field tests allowed above or below selected field parameters will be shown. These noted changes in construction methods and use of well-dry-of-optimum fills can impact the dam design around; seepage, piping, hydraulic fracture, lighter density fill, pore pressure impacts on short term stability, long term stability, settlement timing, and inundation settlement, and must be properly considered and included prior to using these construction methods. Construction costs using large equipment are significantly less than the cost of traditional methods.
Organizer Canadian Geotechnical Society
Funding Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique
Sponsors BGC Engineering Inc.
ConeTec Investigations Ltd.
Golder Associates Ltd.
JD Mollard and Associates (2010) Ltd.
Cost $40 per person; Free-of-charge for full-time students
Pay at the door by cash or cheque only; pre-registration is required.
RSVP By email to or phone at 403-216-8992 by Friday April 12, 2013.
Please include your company name, phone number and indicate any dietary restrictions.

Date Thursday March 28, 2013
EventMarch – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 am – Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 pm – Presentation
Speakers Kazuhide Sawada, Dr.Eng., Associate Professor, River Basin Research Center, Gifu University
  In 1993, Dr. Sawada obtained his undergraduate degree from Gifu University, where he conducted numerical simulation using an elasto-viscoplastic model for clay. Two years later, he obtained a Master's degree also from Gifu University. He joined Gifu University in 1995 as a research associate. In 2001, he obtained his doctorate from Kyoto University (thesis title: Numerical Analysis of FEM with Cosserat Theory and ALE(arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian) Method).
In 2002-2003, Dr. Sawada was visiting scholar at the University of Calgary with Prof. Richard Wan. There, he studied reinforced liver dike using geo-synthetics and slope disaster mitigation using GIS.
In 2005, he was appointed Associate Professor, River Basin Research Center, at Gifu University. His research focused on large deformation analysis of soil based on fluid dynamics. Lately, he has been conducting studies on 3D-ground configuration by UAV.
Topic Research Topics on Geotechnical Laboratory in Gifu University
Abstract It is well known that we have various natural disasters in Japan, such as earthquake, liquefaction due to earthquake motion,...
  slope failure caused by heavy rain and so on. In Gifu prefecture, we have almost all the geo-disaster aforementioned. So it is important to predict the effects of these natural disasters to human activity. In this presentation, some research topics conducted at the geotechnical laboratory in Gifu University will be briefly introduced.
RSVPNot Required

Date Thursday Febrary 21, 2013
EventFebruary – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 am – Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 pm – Presentation
Speakers James P. Murphy, M.Eng., P.Eng., Sr. Pipeline Engineer/Trenchless Specialist, Integrated Pipeline Projects
  James P. Murphy, P.Eng., M.Eng. took his civil engineering degree at the university of Western Ontario and his Master of Engineering Degree specializing in Geotechnical Engineering also at UWO, graduating in 1978. Jim has worked for both tunneling and directional drilling contractors. He spent four years in London, Windsor, Calgary and Kamloops working for Golder Associates. 17 years were spent in the Mechanically Stabilized Earth Industry for The Reinforced Earth Company in Vancouver and the Hilfiker Retaining Company in Vancouver. While in this industry he completed projects from the Chilean and Peruvian Andes in South America to the Red Dog mine in Alaska and from Parksville on Vancouver Island to Little Narrows, Cape Breton Island along the way learning to speak Spanish. Jim has been consulting in the pipeline world in Alberta since 1998 and has worked on the horizontal directional drilling aspects of projects such as Northern Gateway and the Alaska Gas. He has worked on projects for most of the major pipeline companies in Alberta. 8 months were spent working on the Curtis Island project taking the project through completion of the first two pipelines and completing the pilot hole intersect on the third crossing. Jim currently consults for Integrated Pipeline Projects as their trenchless specialist, on horizontal directional drilling. IPPCL is one of the three prominent pipeline consultants in Calgary. He has authored and co-authored as well as presented papers to the NASTT, CGS and the ISTT Sydney annual conferences.
Topic Crossing Gladstone Harbour Using HDD, Gladstone, Queensland, Australia
Abstract The Gladstone Area Water Board is contracted to supply water and sewer services to a number of LNG Facilities being...
  constructed on Curtis Island at the south end of the Great Barrier Reef. As the harbor is a migratory route for whales, Horizontal Directional Drilling was selected as the method for crossing the harbour. The harbour is very active with substantial maritime traffic. A total of three separate crossings were required within a narrow Right of Way utilizing high density polyethylene (HDPE). Prior to the LNG facilities and the pipeline construction no development had existed on the island. All equipment, materials and manpower needed to be taken over on barges, ferries and water taxis creating a difficult and expensive logistics problem for construction. A tight timeframe was imposed on the in-service dates of the first two pipelines. This is the most expensive and longest duration HDD project to date in Australia. It was the first utilization in Australia of HDD intersect technology and the European optical gyro steering technology for the three 2.1 km directional drills. Construction began at the start of November 2011 and completion is planned for March 2013.
RSVPNot Required

Date Thursday January 17, 2013
EventJanuary – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 am – Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 pm – Presentation
Speakers Ken Been, Ph.D., P.Eng., Principal, Geotechnical Engineer, Golder Associates
  Dr. Been played a leading role in investigation, design and construction in support of offshore exploration in the Canadian and Alaskan Beaufort Sea in the 1980s, including pipelines, sand and gravel islands, hybrid structures and spray ice islands. He has also been involved in design of offshore pipelines in ice environments since 1989, most recently including projects off Sakhalin island and in the Caspian. Until recently, Dr. Been was responsible for Golder Associates services to the oil and gas industry worldwide, working out of Houston. He was responsible for site investigations and geotechnical engineering for LNG or gas processing projects in the USA, Caribbean, Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Qatar, Peru, Australia and Papua New Guinea. He currently works in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for Golder Associates new operations in Atlantic Canada. He is a registered professional engineer in Canada, USA and the United Kingdom, has published a book on soil liquefaction and over 50 articles on in situ testing and foundation engineering. He also serves on several technical committees for design codes for offshore structures.
Topic Offshore Pipeline Design for the Kashagan Project
Abstract The Kashagan project in the North Caspian Sea, when fully developed, could include as much as 1000 km of buried pipelines,...
  umbilicals and power cables. Since the North Caspian freezes each winter, these structures are subject to loads from ice scouring and stamukha formation associated with moving ice. The high cost of deeper burial to reduce risk of damage to pipelines means that considerable effort has been put into the data collection and design methods for pipeline during the various stages of the project. This presentation will document the practice (from a geotechnical perspective) that has developed through the ten years of data collection, studies and engineering design for the Kashagan Project.
RSVPNot Required

Date Thursday December 13, 2012
EventDecember – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 am – Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 pm – Presentation
Speakers Bruce Smith, M.Sc., P.Eng., WorleyParsons
  Bruce Smith graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario in 1967.
He served for three years in the Royal Canadian Air Force, during which time he spent four months installing communications equipment in the vicinity of Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island in Nunavut. On many occasions he got heavy equipment bogged down on the tundra which gave him a close up and personal interest in the behaviour of permafrost.
Bruce attended the University of Alberta and graduated with a Masters Degree in Geotechnical Engineering in 1972. While at the University he was very fortunate to work closely with Dr. Derek Nixon and undertook the laboratory testing that confirmed the validity of a theory of thaw consolidation of permafrost that was developed by Dr. Nixon.
Since that time, Bruce has practiced geotechnical engineering on a wide variety of projects in Western and Northern Canada and has spent much of his career working on engineering projects in permafrost.
Topic The Effects of Clearing and Grading on Terrain in the Mackenzie River Valley
Abstract One of the major concerns addressed during the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry in the mid-1970s was that the construction of...
  winter access roads and pipeline right-of-ways would lead to widespread thaw settlements and instability of permafrost terrain in the Mackenzie Valley. During the summer of 2004, the authors conducted detailed field inspections of over 100 sites located in the Mackenzie River Valley that had been disturbed by the construction of winter roads and pipelines since the mid-1960s. The field inspections found that surface leveling, for winter roads and pipeline construction, including partial or total removal of the surface organic layer, and the construction of cuts and fills in permafrost terrain did not, in the vast majority of locations, lead to significant surface erosion, thaw settlements or slope instability. A notable exception is in the thick, ice rich peat bogs, which are primarily located between Fort Simpson and northern Alberta. It is concluded that in most terrain types in the Mackenzie Valley, except peat bogs, there appears to be no significant benefit gained by using thick compacted snow or ice roads for the construction of winter roads and pipeline right-of-ways.
RSVPNot Required

Date Thursday November 15, 2012
EventNovember – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 am – Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 pm – Presentation
Speakers Jim Graham, Ph.D., D.Sc., P.Eng., Professor Emeritus, University of Manitoba
  Jim Graham holds Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees from Queen's University, Belfast. He retired from the University of Manitoba in 2002 and is now involved on a part-time basis as Professor Emeritus.
He has published more than 200 articles on a wide range of subjects, mostly related to properties of clays. His research topics include effects of yielding, loading rates and time, temperature, incomplete saturation, chemical change, and hydraulic conductivity. Other work includes slope instabilities and embankment performance. He was formerly President and Secretary General of the Canadian Geotechnical Society and Scientific Editor of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal.
His contributions have been recognized by the Legget Medal from the Canadian Geotechnical Society; a Fellowship, Stirling Medal and K.Y. Lo Medal from the Engineering Institute of Canada; the Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education from Engineers Canada; and the Saunderson Award for Excellence in Teaching from the University of Manitoba.
Topic Natural Processes and Strength Degradation
Abstract Many engineering projects are designed on the basis of laboratory tests using so-called 'undisturbed' samples of clay taken from...
  the field. There is a tendency to test only intact specimens and discard specimens that appear disturbed, fissured or otherwise weaker. It is known, however, that natural processes such as wetting-drying, freezing-thawing, desiccation, heating-cooling, and alterations in chemistry can affect the structure of clays and significantly change their compressibilities, hydraulic conductivities and strengths. For example, plastic clays that have been fissured by desiccation or freezing cannot reliably provide peak strength resistance in slopes and under engineered embankments. The paper shows examples of projects where natural processes degraded the strengths of natural and reconstituted clays. The case histories in the paper provide a reminder of the importance of recognizing natural processes and the limitations of laboratory measurements when selecting appropriate parameters for numerical modeling.
Graham, J., Alfaro, M., and Blatz, J.A. 2011. Natural processes and strength degradation. Special Volume on Bifurcations, Instabilities and Degradations in Geomaterials. Collected papers from IWBDG2008, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, 2008. Richard Wan, Mustafa Alsaleh& Joe Labuz, Editors, publ. Springer, New York, NY.
RSVPNot Required

Date Thursday Octorber 25, 2012
EventFall Cross-Canada Lecture Tour (CCLT) 2012
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:45 pm – Registration and Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Buffet Lunch
6:30 pm – Presentation
Speaker Mike Jefferies, P.Eng., Golder Associates
  Mike is a civil engineer with 35 years of experience, mostly in consulting but ten years of that with “owner” companies. It was this ten years with owners, and in the Canadian Arctic with Gulf Canada Resources in particular, that provided an enormous opportunity to “push the envelope” and which led to the most significant of his contributions to engineering (or, more accurately, engineering science).
A keynote speaker at international conferences on Arctic offshore engineering, hydraulic fill construction, and liquefaction, Mike has published some seventy-five papers ranging across ice loading of offshore platforms through to rock fracture grouting. But he is generally most known for the state parameter approach to soil characterization - an approach that has become one of the most cited innovations of the past twenty-five years of geotechnical engineering.
The state parameter work led to an invitation to write a book on soil liquefaction, now sold-out with a second edition pending. As will be evident from a quick glance at the book, Mike is an exponent of the heresy that geotechnical engineering must be based on applied mechanics, not geology, and that the critical state is fundamental, readily measurable, unique, and something every geotechnical engineer should appreciate.
Topic Looking towards Beaufort Sea Development – Experience of Design, Regulation and Reality with the Molikpaq 1984-91
Abstract The Molikpaq was a ‘bottom-founded barge’ drilling platform used for oil exploration at four locations in the Beaufort Sea 1984-91,...
  before being deployed offshore at Sakhalin Island (Russia) as a production platform in 1997. These areas are ice covered for some (much) of the year, the ice is thick, the ice moves, and the moving ice causes intense cyclic loads as it crushes against the structure. In the case of the Molikaq, dynamic loading from ice crushing was roughly an order of magnitude more severe than any of the recent very damaging M7+ earthquakes. Ice-induced vibration brought the Molikpaq within minutes of platform-loss on 12 Apr 86.
The Molikpaq is an impressive steel structure, some 100 m square in plan and founded at nominally 20 m depth. This external appearance hides the main engineering feature - the ‘structure&lrquo; is simply a steel box to retain hydraulically placed sand, with effectively all the platform's resistance to ice load coming from that sand. Geotechnical interest comes from the behavior of the sand under the ice loads applied to it. The ice loads itself is also interesting, with the platform stiffness influencing the ice loads realized.
When viewed in comparison to earthquakes, there is very little experience with the cyclic aspects of ice load. And when the Molikpaq was designed in the early 1980’s there was really rather scant knowledge of ice load magnitude - much of the knowledge was at small scale with uncertain extrapolation to real offshore platforms. Nevertheless, the design criteria did include cyclic ice loading scenarios. These scenarios were quasi-static, with no vibration of the platform expected.
Cyclic loading and hydraulically placed sand usually lead to specifying ground modification, and the initial design was configured around vibroflotation. But, vibroflotation would require significant additional time in the already tight construction window of open-water season. Based on the test data on the proposed construction sand, which showed dilatant behavior at very loose densities, the Molikpaq’s designers proposed centrifuge testing to confirm the adequacy of undensified hydraulic fill under the cyclic ice load scenarios - benign behavior was found. The acceptability of undensified fill was given further weight by the then-prevalent doctrine of ‘static bias’. Finally, ‘drainage time’, which relates to the rather slow period of load cycling, was viewed as a key performance parameter with considerable effort being placed on working with free draining (as opposed to silty) sand. These considerations lead to the Regulator giving a permit for deployment of the Molikpaq with an undensified, hydraulically-placed, sand. However, the uncertainties were recognized and the Molikpaq was equipped with some 600 sensors and a high-speed data acquisition system to measure loads on the platform, the platform response, and sand behavior. There was also a full-time monitoring team and near real-time assessment of the data - good use of the ‘Observational Method’.
Experience during the first winter season 1984-85 was generally in accordance with design predictions, although extended periods of ice-induced vibration at far greater frequency than the design scenarios were encountered. The benign sand behavior in this extended vibration led to some confidence, although ice thickness crushing against the platform was less than 0.6 m. The second winter 1985-6 involved rather thicker ice, with several interactions with 2 m - 3m thick ‘multi-year’ ice. One particular interaction, on 12 April 86 involved the continuous crushing of ice averaging about 3.5 m thick; this interaction extended over some twenty minutes, with ~1000 cycles of induced platform vibration > ~15% g. The sand fill showed rising pore pressure from cyclic mobility in the part closest to the ice, with the drainage limiting the increase in that pore pressure, until about ten minutes into the interaction; at that point the drainage lost control and full-cyclic mobility developed in a small part of the core adjacent to the ice loaded face of the structure. This zone of cyclic mobility continued to develop and expand in the following ten minutes as ice loading continued and became more extreme. The situation stabilized when the ice flow buckled and became grounded, which then damped out the cyclic loading.
Questions that arise from this incident include: How could this type of ice loading have been missed from the design scenarios? With hindsight, there was prior experience in Alaska that should have been given greater weight. Can the centrifuge be trusted for proof-of-concept? Actual sand fill conditions in the as-deployed confirmatory testing showed markedly better sand fill properties than in these tests, and the far better drainage time more than compensated for the change in ice load frequency. Is the ‘Observational Method’ appropriate for assessing liquefaction potential? The Molikpaq experienced numerous events at ~4% g for far greater durations than 12 Apr 86 but without any indication of potential cyclic mobility. And, is drainage an option to control liquefaction? The 12 Apr 86 sand behavior was partially drained and there is an indication that just slightly better drainage would have completely controlled the response to ice load.
Both ice and geotechnical factors will be discussed, as well as some suggested answers to the four questions posed above.
Organizer Canadian Geotechnical Society
Funding Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique
Sponsors BGC Engineering Inc.
EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.
Golder Associates Ltd.
Thurber Engineering Ltd.
Cost $40 per person; full-time students are free of charge.
Pay at the door by cash or cheque only; pre-registration is required.
RSVP By email to or phone Hamid B. at 403-532-5692 by Monday October 22, 2012.
Please include your company name, phone number and indicate any dietary restrictions.

Date Thursday September 20, 2012
EventSeptember – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre
Time 5:30 pm – Cash Bar
6:00 pm – Lecture
Speaker Morteza Mohamadi, Ph.D. student, University of Calgary
Winner of the Calgary Geotechnical Society's 2012 Student Travel Award
  Morteza Mohamadi is now pursuing his studies towards Ph.D. degree at the University of Calgary under the supervision of Dr. Richard Wan. He obtained his Masters’ and bachelors’ degrees form Sharif University of Technology (Tehran, Iran) and Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman (Kerman, Iran), respectively. His postgraduate research background covers diverse areas of geotechnical engineering including geotechnical earthquake engineering, rock mechanics and mechanics of unsaturated soils. Morteza has authored and co-authored several conference papers. Before starting his PhD at the University of Calgary, Morteza worked as a geotechnical engineer at Mahan Zamin Sakht Engineers Co. in Kerman, Iran, where he was involved with settlement analysis of building on collapsible soils and site selection based on the ground water analysis. He has also offered the “soil mechanics and foundation engineering” course as lecturer at Azad University of Kerman. The Calgary Geotechnical Society has recently selected to sponsor him to attend the 2012 Canadian Geotechnical Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Topic Anisotropic Thermo-Mechanical Failure Criterion for Shale
Abstract The thermal extraction of heavy oil from deep oilsand deposits using steam injection represents a challenging geomechanical...
  problem with coupled multiphysics. The process of injecting high-pressure/high-temperature steam into an oilsand reservoir makes the material follow the constant deviatoric stress path with decreasing effective mean stress, prone to unstable material behavior. This instability is highly favorable in the case of interbedded shale (IBS) laminations which would facilitate steam migration and bitumen flow and result in enhanced oil recovery. On the other side, the cap-rock shale in this process should be kept mechanically intact in order to avoid steam runaway. These seemingly contradictive objectives can be successfully achieved via using a robust failure criterion that can predict material failure under the aforementioned stress path with either mechanical and/or thermal loading as a main driver. Based on current experimental data on shale samples, a generalization of Matsuoka-Nakai failure criterion was proposed in order to predict nonlinearity and nonzero cohesion of failure envelope in the meridian plane. Thermal flattening of failure envelope was also incorporated into the criterion using 1) a thermal evolution law for material parameters and 2) scaling of temperature effects. Finally, the thermo-mechanical failure criterion was modified to incorporate inherent anisotropy with respect to strength. All material parameters were determined for Tournemire shale which demonstrated that the proposed criterion can predict anisotropic thermo-mechanical failure of shale samples reasonably well.
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