Calgary Geotechnical Society

Events


Welcome to the 2014–2015 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 Tuesday May 21, 2015
EventAGM – Calgary and National Reports, CyGS Awards and Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre, 3112 - 11 Street NE, Calgary (Main Hall)
Time 5:30 – 6:00 pm: Registration and Cash Bar
6:00 – 6:30 pm: Buffet Dinner and Wine
6:30 – 7:00 pm: Calgary National Reports, CyGS Awards
7:00 – 8:00 pm: Lecture
Speakers Malcolm Bolton, Ph.D., FREng, Professor, Cambridge University
  Professor Malcolm Bolton, FREng, graduated from Cambridge University in 1967 and took an MSc in structural engineering from Manchester University. From 1969 he helped Andrew Schofield to set up the UK's first geotechnical centrifuge facility in Manchester, continuing there as a lecturer and publishing his textbook "A Guide to Soil Mechanics" in 1979. He returned to Cambridge in 1980, where he was awarded a PhD in soil mechanics, and later became Professor of Soil Mechanics. He was the Director of the Schofield Centre from 1995 until he retired in 2013. He has published over 230 papers, working with 45 doctoral candidates, 15 of whom have studied fundamental soil mechanics, with 30 using physical models to investigate a great variety of geotechnical applications. Professor Bolton helped to draft BS8002 Earth Retaining Structures, served on the Hong Kong Slope Stability Technical Review Board, and frequently offers advice on soil-pipeline interaction. He holds various awards from the UK Institutions of Civil Engineers and Structural Engineers, and the Canadian Geotechnical Society, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He gave the 2012 Rankine Lecture "Performance-based design in geotechnical engineering".
Topic Performance-Based Design of Excavations in Clay
Abstract Engineering design consists of a sequence of decisions, which should satisfy objective performance requirements. This lecture...
  will argue that an assessment of geotechnical performance must always involve ground displacements, and that the traditional approach of specifying safety factors may be either wasteful or risky. Typical patterns of ground movement around excavations are introduced, as observed both in centrifuge model tests and through field monitoring, and as found in non-linear Finite Element Analysis (FEA). It will be shown that these deformation mechanisms can be simplified to provide routine assessments of excavation-induced displacements if the deformability of the ground can be specified.
This new approach is called the Mobilizable Strength Design (MSD) method. It requires the designer to estimate the shear stress-strain properties of characteristic soil elements within the appropriate deformation mechanism. Recent research has identified that the undrained stress-strain relation for all clays can best be idealised as a power curve capped at the peak undrained strength and that the key parameter to be identified is the shear strain required to mobilize half the strength. This mobilization strain varies over an order of magnitude depending on the degree of overconsolidation of the clay. It is the missing parameter in conventional geotechnical design calculations.
Displacements can then be calculated by applying the principle of conservation of energy to the deformation mechanism. This leaves the designer with an implicit assessment of deformations before any other checks, which might later be made by Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and ensures that the intended design performance can always be checked by monitoring during construction. Furthermore, MSD can be used to generate even simpler formulae and design charts: these have been used to organise field monitoring data from hundreds of excavations in Shanghai, as will be shown. The outcome is a design method that tailors itself precisely to the task in hand. For example, larger ground movements will be acceptable in green-field sites than where excavations are adjacent to existing structures, and this can be allowed for directly in design. Arbitrary rules, and arbitrary safety factors, can then be dispensed with.
Sponsors Mobile Augers and Research 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 AGM@cgygeosociety.org or phone Mauricio Pinheiro at 403-464-2113 by Monday May 18, 2015.
Please include your company name, phone number and indicate any dietary restrictions.

Date Tuesday May 12, 2015
EventMay – Spring Cross Canada Lecture Tour (CCLT)
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre, 3112 - 11 Street NE, Calgary (Main Hall)
Time 5:30 – 6:00 pm: Registration and Cash Bar
6:00 – 6:30 pm: Buffet Dinner
6:30 – 7:30 pm: Presentation
Speakers Nicholas Sitar, Ph.D., P.Eng., Professor, UC Berkeley
  Dr. Sitar is the Edward G. Cahill and John R. Cahill Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California at UC Berkeley. He received his B.A.Sc. in Geological Engineering from the University of Windsor in 1973, and his M.S. in Hydrogeology in 1975 and Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering in 1979, both from Stanford University. He taught in the Geological Engineering Program at UBC from 1979 to 1981. He joined the faculty in Geotechnical Engineering at UC Berkeley in 1981. Most recently, he served as the Director of the University of California Earthquake Engineering Research Center from 2002 to 2008.
Dr. Sitar's professional and research interests include engineering geology, geotechnical earthquake engineering, rock mechanics, groundwater modeling, groundwater remediation and the application of numerical and stochastic methods to engineering analysis. He is the author and co-author of over 170 publications in geotechnical engineering, engineering geology, groundwater and groundwater remediation. His particular interests in geotechnical earthquake engineering include seismic slope stability, seismic response of retaining structures and mechanically stabilized walls, and the performance of improved ground. In engineering geology, he has concentrated on the influence of the depositional environment on the properties of coarse sediments, debris flow initiation, and modeling of jointed rock masses.
His awards include the Huber Research Prize from ASCE in 1993, the Presidential Young Investigator Award from NSF in 1984, the Douglas R. Piteau Award from AEG in 1986, the James M. Robbins Excellence-in-Teaching Award from the Pacific District of Chi Epsilon in 1998, a Chancellor's Professorship from UC Berkeley 1998-2001, and the endowed Edward G. Cahill and John R. Cahill Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Most recently, he presented the Korean Geotechnical Society Award Lecture in 2012, the Hilf Memorial Lecture at the University of Colorado in 2012, as well as keynote lectures at the ASCE Geo-Congress in 2012 and Chilean Geotechnical Society Congress in 2014.
Topic On the Importance of Kinematics in the Analysis of (Large) Landslides
Abstract The most convenient methods of slope stability analysis rely on limit equilibrium solutions, which assume a pre-determined...
  slide plane geometry and rigid body deformation. However, many, particularly very large landslides are composed of many individual blocks that may be toppling, rolling or otherwise moving downslope in a manner inconsistent with the above assumptions. Example results of discrete body deformation modeling will be used to show that in such cases the traditional limit equilibrium methods would lead to erroneous and possible very unconservative conclusions.
Organizer Canadian Geotechnical Society
Funding Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique
Sponsors Geo-Slope International
KGS Group Consulting Engineers
Tetra Tech EBA
Thurber Engineering
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 CCLT@cgygeosociety.org or phone Mauricio at 403-464-2113 by Friday May 8, 2015.
Please include your company name, phone number and indicate any dietary restrictions.

Date Tuesday March 17, 2015
EventMarch – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre, 3112 - 11 Street NE, Calgary (Main Hall)
Time 5:30 – 6:00 pm: Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 – 7:30 pm: Presentation
Speakers Mickey Davachi, Ph.D., P.Eng., Senior Principal Geotechnical Engineer, Coffey.
  Dr. Mickey Davachi has a BSc and an MSc in Civil Engineering and a DIC, an MSc and a PhD in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering. He is a Senior Principal Geotechnical Engineer with Coffey. He has over 46 years' experience in providing technical specialist review and advise, project management, expert witness, study, planning, field investigation, design, construction supervision, dam safety review and safety evaluation for a wide variety of Canadian and International industry sectors including large-scale, oil sands, multi-disciplinary hydroelectric, water power, water resources, wind power, ports, marine, industrial, mining, pulp and paper and heavy civil engineering projects.
Topic Design, Construction and Performance of Oldman River Dam
Abstract The Oldman River Dam is a multipurpose project located in southern Alberta. It provides hydroelectric power, flood control,...
  flow-regulation and onstream storage of a dependable supply of water for multipurpose use and irrigation service. The 76 m high dam is a zoned earth and rockfill embankment with a central core of glacial till, shells comprising rock fill and sand and gravel. Internal filters and drains of processed sand and gravel control seepage through the dam and its foundation. It contains some 8.25M m3 of fill materials. The 25 m high spillway structure comprises a 110 m wide headworks transitioning to a 40 m wide chute and flipbucket energy dissipater. The Oldman River Dam was diverted through two, 900 m long concrete-lined tunnels, 6.5 m in diameter, in the left riverbank. The other major project features consist of a 1.5 km long dyke with a maximum height of 10 m, a 1.3 km long grout curtain up to 100 m deep, and two 1.5 km of 3 m diameter pressure-relief tunnels in the river banks. The powerhouse comprises two 25 MW horizontal Francis turbines.
CostFree
RSVPNot Required

Date Thursday February 19, 2015
EventFebruary – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre, 3112 - 11 Street NE, Calgary (Main Hall)
Time 5:30 – 6:00 pm: Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 – 7:00 pm: Presentation
Speakers Jeremy Boswell, M.Eng., P.Eng., Thurber Engineering Ltd.
  Jeremy Boswell obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees in 1980 and 1982, respectively, from the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa, specialising in geotechnical engineering, hydraulic engineering and project management.
Fifteen years of his career were spent working for the Fraser Alexander Group, an international specialist tailings contractor based in South Africa, in the fields of tailings design and operation, and solid and hazardous waste management. The next ten years were spent in environmental engineering consulting, environmental assessment, public accountability and sustainable development.
Since 2008, Jeremy has worked in Calgary, Canada, for Thurber Engineering. His focus has been on tailings and geotechnical engineering, serving variously as project director, multidisciplinary team leader, reviewer and primary report author of a number of tailings engineering projects in the Oil Sands, Alberta, Canada and elsewhere internationally. Jeremy has authored over 50 papers in tailings engineering and related fields.
Topic An International Perspective on Tailings Failures
Abstract Recent events in western Canada within the last year have focused our attention as geotechnical engineers within the mining...
  industry: we witnessed arguably the largest tailings failure worldwide ever (in terms of volume), coupled with a plunging oil price against an already depressed backdrop of low mining commodity prices.
This is perhaps an important time for us to pause and reflect on our work in tailings engineering, with a somewhat broader international perspective, and to ponder a few questions:
1. What are the leading mechanisms of failure for tailings facilities?
2. What are some of the lessons that may be learned from prominent international tailings failures in recent times?
3. What are some of the underlying risks that contribute to tailings failures?
4. Leaving aside the emergency response actions in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophic failure, what strategic actions can be taken by the geotechnical/tailings engineer, following a tailings failure?
5. What precautions could we take to improve the quality of our work?
CostFree
RSVPNot Required

Date Thursday January 29, 2015
EventJanuary – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre, 3112 - 11 Street NE, Calgary (Main Hall)
Time 5:30 – 6:00 pm: Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 – 7:00 pm: Presentation
Speakers Jerry Osborn, Ph.D., Professor of Geology, University of Calgary.
  Jerry Osborn is a Professor of Geology in the Geoscience Department at the University of Calgary, whose main interests are surficial and Quaternary geology, geomorphology, and environmental geology, and on the side, interactions between science and society. Thousands of students passing through his courses in the decades prior to 2013 listened to his forecast that the Big Flood was coming, and after the Big Flood came he served on Calgary's Expert Management Panel on River Flood Mitigation. His main line of research is Holocene climate change using glacial-history and lake-sediment proxies, but consulting activities have included aggregate searches, mass-movement hazards analysis, flood hazard analysis, and studies of river migration as applied to boundary-law litigation. When time allows he searches for the perfect pumpkin pie recipe and teaches his kids the value of listening to Bob Dylan.
Topic River Flooding in Calgary: History, Hydrology, and Politics
Abstract Flooding has played a more prominent role in the history of Calgary than today's citizens generally realize. The Mounties who...
  built their fort on top of a small hill above the Bow and Elbow rivers in 1875 apparently had more river smarts than succeeding residents and city councils; when huge floods struck in 1879 and 1897 the fort stayed high and dry. Overbank flooding of the two rivers was a pretty normal part of life in Calgary around the previous turn of the century, but then the rivers stayed within their banks between 1932 and 2005. The reasons for the lull are debated, but meteorological chance seems to be part of the story. In the interim development proceeded on floodplains; residents were happy to have riverside views, developers were happy to make money developing nice flat land, and city councils were happy to get property taxes. At the time of the 2013 flood there were in Calgary approximately 80 buildings in the floodway, 1520 buildings in the flood fringe, and 530 buildings in the "overland flow zone". Many citizens were unaware that they lived in a flood hazard area; part of the reason is a cycle of intentional ignorance in which home sellers on the floodplain like to keep the flood hazard quiet in order to maintain property values. The 2013 flood was generated by a long-lived storm situated over the headwaters of the Bow and Elbow rivers, superimposed on a melting snowpack. The flood on the Bow is calculated to be a little larger than a 100-year flood, while the Elbow flood was gigantic, perhaps a 500-year flood. But the hastily lowered Glenmore Reservoir decapitated the hydrograph such that the downstream flood was approximately 100-year in size. The city, province, and citizens are now trying to figure out what to do about the hazard, which could increase in scope in the future. Some voices in the City of Calgary, The Bow River Basin Council, and WaterSMART Alberta are pushing for soft solutions; flood fringe residents want to stay on the floodplain and favor hard solutions; the province is considering some combination. Jim Prentice's announcement of a go-ahead for a Springbank off-channel Elbow flood reservoir was made a few days before he announced a byelection in the Calgary-Elbow riding, home base for many Conservative Party supporters who live on the floodplain. That plan is currently stalled by affected Springbank residents who refuse to let surveyors and environmental assessors onto their land. The Glenmore Reservoir diversion tunnel scheme remains in limbo; whatever its long-term merits or lack thereof might be, its likelihood of approval diminishes as the price of oil declines. The wild card in the deck is groundwater flooding, poorly understood and not held back by dikes and berms.
CostFree
RSVPNot Required

Date Thursday December 11, 2014
EventDecember – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre, 3112 - 11 Street NE, Calgary (Alpine Room)
Time 5:30 – 6:00 pm: Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 – 7:00 pm: Presentation
Speakers Jim Henderson, Ph.D., P.Geoph., DTM Geosciences Ltd.
  Dr. Henderson is Director of Geophysics & Consulting at DMT Geosciences Ltd. in Calgary. He has been active in the field of Engineering Geophysics for 40 years. He is a Fellow of the Geoscientists of Canada and an Honorary Fellow of the Engineers of Canada.
Topic Minimizing Risk Through Applied Geophysics
Abstract Through a number of recent case histories, the role of geophysics in minimizing risk for siting of facilities, directional drilling...
  at river crossings, and for mining operations will be discussed. Each of the case histories will provide an example of the use of complementary geophysical methods required to meet project objectives. There will be a very brief discussion of various geophysical methods with the limitations of these methods emphasized.
CostFree
RSVPNot Required

Date Wednesday November 26, 2014
EventNovember – Fall Cross Canada Lecture Tour (CCLT)
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre, 3112 - 11 Street NE, Calgary (Alpine Room)
Time 11:45 am – 12:00 pm: Registration and Cash Bar
12:00 pm – 12:25 pm: Buffet Lunch
12:25 pm – 1:30 pm: Presentation
Speakers Ryan Phillips, Ph.D., P.Eng., C-CORE
  Dr. Ryan Phillips is Principal Consultant for geotechnical engineering at C-CORE and Director of their Dr. Jack Clark Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility in St. John's, Newfoundland. Ryan obtained his doctorate from Cambridge University under Professor Andrew Schofield, where he managed their centrifuge centre until joining C-CORE in 1993. Ryan has over 25 years of experience in physical modelling in geotechnics. He has helped solve engineering issues related to offshore foundation systems and onshore structures, such as pipelines. Ryan also holds a cross-appointment as an Associate Professor in Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science at Memorial University, has over 180 publications, and has received the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) Stermac, Quigley and Meyerhof Awards.
He represents the CGS as an executive Member and past chair of ISSMGE Technical Committee TC104 on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics, and is an Associate Editor for both the Canadian Geotechnical Journal and International Journal of Geotechnical Physical Modelling. Ryan is a board member of the Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique. He is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and a recipient of their CPR Engineering Medal for his service to CGS.
Topic Pipeline-Soil Interaction: Flowing Hot and Cold
Abstract Guidelines for the assessment of new and existing natural gas and liquid hydrocarbon pipelines subjected to potential ground...
  been improved. The bases for changes in pipe-soil interaction recommendations will be presented including rate effects in clay, oblique loading and backfilled trench effects. Two Canadian pipeline design considerations will also be presented for a cold gas pipeline in permafrost and a hot bitumen pipeline.
Organizer Canadian Geotechnical Society
Funding Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique
Sponsors AMEC plc.
BGC Engineering Inc.
Golder Associates Ltd.
InSitu Contractors Inc.
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 CCLT@cgygeosociety.org or phone Mauricio at 403-464-2113 by Friday November 21, 2014.
Please include your company name, phone number and indicate any dietary restrictions.

Date Thursday October 2, 2014
EventOctober – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre, 3112 - 11 Street NE, Calgary (Alpine Room)
Time 5:30 – 6:00 pm: Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 – 7:00 pm: Presentation
Speakers Peter Banzhaf, Dipl.-Ing., Head of Global Dam Services, BAUER Group.
  Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Peter Banzhaf, Diploma Civil Engineer from University of Applied Sciences in Munich, Germany. He is a Director in BAUER Spezialtiefbau GmbH (BST), Germany working for the company since 30 years. Peter Banzhaf worked for BAUER in many parts of the world managing projects and companies. On projects in different stages of development, he is providing consultancy services, i.e. for the barrier wall construction at Hinze Dam Upgrade, Australia. At present Peter Banzhaf is Head of Global Dam Services in the BST and Director in BAUER Dam Contractors International Ltd.
Topic Durable Cut-off Walls for Dams and Levees - Experience and Innovation for the Project Designed Solution
Abstract Embankment dams, tailing dams and levees are safe and durable structures designed to protect the public and private property...
  while serving their designed purpose.
For the inherent safety of these structures, cores or surface lining typically protect the subsurface part against erosion. Similar importance has the foundation. Uncontrolled seepage in the foundation could lead to severe damage or loss of the construction with severe consequences for people, property and infrastructure nearby.
Cut-off walls designed to mitigate seepages ensure the sustainability of the dam or levee. Moreover, in case of tailing dams, cut-off walls protect the groundwater from being polluted by soluble constituents of the tailings.
Concrete cut-off walls are well-defined elements, installed since decades, based on professional structural design, based on design of the materials installed and on proper quality control during execution. "You know what type of durable cut-off, at which location and of what material will protect the foundation of your structure ensuring sustainability".
Concrete cut-off walls constructed with the diaphragm wall method use the latest equipment available installed in alluvial soils as well as in rock, through boulders and in karst.
The equipment available allows installation to depths well beyond 150 m if required for the project. For shallower depth, the secant-pile wall often provides the more economical solution. Such walls are similarly installed in all types of soils and in hard rock.
An even more cost-effective way of cut-off provides the mixed in place technique. In soils, ideally granular, the prevailing material is mixed with cement-bentonite slurry forming a homogeneous and durable wall. Such walls are protecting levees and dikes since decades from erosion through seepage. The walls, being reinforced if required, proved staying in place even if the levee is overtopped by a flood.
CostFree
RSVPNot Required

Date Thursday September 11, 2014 – CANCELLED
EventSeptember – Regular Series Lecture
LocationAustrian Canadian Cultural Centre, 3112 - 11 Street NE, Calgary
Time 5:30 – 6:00 pm: Cash Bar and Light Snacks
6:00 – 7:00 pm: Presentation
Speakers Derek Uffen, Student/EIT Award Winner, BASc, EIT, Thurber Engineering Ltd.
  Mr. Uffen has experience with earth retaining structures and foundation construction. Specifically, he has experience with soil-structure interaction of sheet piles and cast in place piles on projects in Alberta's oilsands. In addition he has experience in the installation and reading of geotechnical instrumentation during which he was also responsible for recording and logging the soil and rock stratigraphy. Mr. Uffen has worked with a variety of site investigation methods including sonic, becker hammer, air rotary, mud rotary, solid and hollow stem augering and CPT. Mr. Uffen also has experience with soil lab testing and field density testing.
Topic Geotechnical Parameters of Crushed Limestone Backfill
Abstract Not provided
CostFree
RSVPNot Required