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Event Details

Recent Advances in the State-of-Practice of Ground Modification

  • 29 Mar 2014
  • 7:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Grand Concourse, 100 W. station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, PA


Registration is closed


One of the biggest obstacles to the use of many ground improvement technologies is that there are no uniformly accepted design guidelines for consultants to rely on in preparing a design. In the last 5 years the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed and published design guidance on many ground improvement technologies that are being used extensively today. This seminar will present FHWA design guidance for the following technologies; deep mixing; aggregate columns (i.e., stone columns and rammed aggregate piers); vibroconcrete columns; column supported embankments; and shored mechanically stabilized earth (SMSE).

Participants will be provided with electronic copies of the FHWA design manuals for deep mixing, column supported embankments and SMSE. The seminar will wrap up with a demonstration of the GeoTechTools website. A website developed under the direction of FHWA to provide a selection and guidance system on the use of 50 ground improvement technologies. It is the one place to go to find out the most current state-of-practice and state-of–art when your project requires ground modification.

The seminar will be conducted by Dr. Jim Collin, P.E., president of The Collin Group, Ltd. Dr. Collin has led the use of column-supported embankments on load transfer platforms in the United States. The design methodology used to design these structures was pioneered by Dr. Collin, and it has contributed to the growing use of column supported embankments with load transfer platforms. He was the principal investigator for an FHWA research program to develop design guidelines for column supported embankments (Collin, J.G., Han, J., and Huang, J. (2005), “Design Recommendations for Column Supported Embankments” Federal Highway Administration FHWA-HRT).

Dr. Collin is co-author of the FHWA manual “Ground Improvement” (FHWA NHI-06-019) and has been teaching the NHI Ground Improvement course to State DOTs for over a decade. He is also part of a team that just recently finished a new FHWA Design Manual on Deep Mixing for Embankment and Foundation Support.

More recently, Dr. Collin was a principal investigator for the SHRP2R02 project on “Geotechnical Solutions for Soil
Improvement, Rapid Embankment Construction, and Stabilization of the Pavement Working Platform.” The culmination of the research program was the development of a web based Ground Improvement selection and guidance system.

Upon completion of the course the participants will be able to:
  • Use Geotech tools to assist in the selection of a ground improvement technology appropriate for their project
  • Understand the current FHWA guidelines for the design of soil mixing as a form of ground improvement
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of aggregate columns
  • Know where to find detailed information on FHWA guidance on the design of aggregate columns
  • Perform design checks of vendor supplied designs for vibro-concrete columns
  • Discuss the differences in the catenary and beam method for the design of load transfer platforms forColumn Supported Embankments
  • Perform preliminary design for Shored MSE wall following the latest FHWA guidance.

Click here to download the short course brochure.

PAYMENT IS REQUIRED AT THE TIME OF REGISTRATION.  Please pay online via PayPal or contact Steve Lowden (contact information supplied on the brochure) to pay by check.

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