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DFI Traveling Lecturer

The DFI Traveling Lecturer is a prominent industry expert selected annually to travel and present a series of lectures to university students, professional groups and industry associations. The program promotes the field of geotechnical engineering and deep foundation construction by encouraging students to explore a career in the deep foundations industry, providing information on topics of interest to members of the industry, and raising awareness of how DFI and its activities support the industry. The lecture series runs from September 1 – August 31.

The 2021-2022 DFI Traveling Lecturer

Thomas D. Richards, Jr., P.E., D.GE

Tom Richards is retired chief engineer and now consultant at Nicholson Construction Company. For over 30 years at Nicholson, he dealt with technical aspects of a multitude of specialized geotechnical projects using micropiles, anchors, soil nails, diaphragm walls and numerous grouting techniques. Richards’ responsibilities included design, quality control, research, testing and instrumentation. He was active in numerous committees of DFI, ADSC, PTI and ASCE, leading to frequent commenting on FHWA and other industry documents. He is a past chair of DFI’s Micropile Committee and the Anchored Earth Retention Committee, and remains active on a few DFI and ADSC committees. He is also a member of The Moles. In 2019, Richards was awarded DFI’s Distinguished Service Award.

2021-2022 Traveling Lecture Series Topics

There are several lectures to choose from under the broad topic, “Stories for 30 years of micropiles, anchors, diaphragm walls and grouting.”

NOV 4, 2021 – 10:10–11:05 a.m. CENTRALGeo-Institute, St. Louis Chapter is hosting the “Structural & Geo-Confluence” conference in St. Charles, Missouri. This is an in-person event at the “St. Charles Convention Center” St. Charles, Missouri. Tom will present his “Mandalay Bay Micropiles” lecture. View flyer for registration details
NOV 16, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. EASTERNGeo-Institute, Delaware Chapter is hosting an online session. Tom will present, “Intro to Diaphragm Walls” lecture.Register here
FEB 3, 2022 – 12:00 p.m. EASTERNASCE Florida Chapter is hosting online session. Topic to be announced shortly.Registration details announced in January 2022
FEB 16, 2022 – 4:00 p.m. CENTRALMissouri University of Science & Technology is hosting an online session of “Current Rock Grouting Practice for Corps of Engineers.” Registration details announced in January 2022
MAR 24, 2022 -Time TBDGeo-Institute of Pittsburgh will host DFI’s Traveling Lecturer at their Annual dinner. Tom will present “Mandalay Bay Micropiles.”Time and venue to be announced pending Covid restrictions
APR 22, 2022 8:30 a.m. PACIFICCalifornia Geotechnical Engineers Association is hosting its Annual Conference at the Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, Lake Tahoe, California. This is an in-person event. Traveling Lecture topic will be “Working Platform Calculations: Lessons From Using FPS & BRE Methods.”Registration details announced in spring 2022

Dam Anchors

Dam anchors are more high tech than traditional ground anchors. Specific details of the resentation include partially
debonded design, stage grouting design, hole stabilization, borehole surveys, water tightness testing, grout and redrill, tendon installation, and general construction access.

Current Rock Grouting Practice for Corps of Engineers (COE)

This lecture reviews grouting methods based on the COE 2014 grouting manual and covers more nerdy details than Dave Paul covered on Mosul Dam in his traveling lecture from 2020-2021. Topics include typical hole layouts, grout mix design, borehole surveys, lugeons, effective grout pressure, apparent lugeons and computer aided grouting.

Mandalay Bay Micropiles

This presentation is a case history of 536 emergency micropiles installed to control settlement occurring at a rate of ¾ inch per week of a large hotel under construction in Las Vegas. This was one of those projects of a lifetime!

Intro to Diaphragm Walls

Diaphragm walls are a method of creating a cast in-situ reinforced concrete retaining wall using the slurry supported trench method. As such, they are often known as slurry walls. However, the new and better term is “diaphragm walls.” Concrete diaphragm slurry walls were first introduced in the United States in the 1960s and have found a niche in urban environments such as San Francisco, Boston, New York City and Washington, DC. Topics of this presentation include the application, construction process and design methods for diaphragm walls..

Static Pile Load Tests: Rules, Do’s, Don’ts, Acceptance

Static pile load tests are used for many pile foundations, especially for almost every micropile project. Topics covered in this presentation include: typical procedures and equipment, new ASTM rules, strain gauges, acceptance criteria, and what is apparent elastic length?

Working Platform Calculations – Lessons from Using FPS u0026 BRE Methods

Working platforms are the subgrade for construction equipment especially large drill rigs. An industry- wide working group including DFI, ADSC and PDCA has been formed to improve design and construction practices that ensure safe working platforms for equipment used to install deep foundations. In addition, the UK Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) has published a calculator to determine bearing pressure under tracked equipment, and the UK Building Research Establishment (BRE) has published a method for determining gravel work platform thickness for bearing resistance of the subgrade. This presentation shares these tools and lessons learned from working with these methods.

2020-2021
David B. Paul, P.E. Managing partner of Paul GeoTek Engineering and retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
2019-2020
Willie M. NeSmith, P.E.Former chief geotechnical engineer for Berkel & Company Contractors.
2018-2019
John R. Wolosick, P.E., D.GE, F.ASCEDirector of engineering at Hayward Baker Inc. (HBI) and past president of DFI