Groundhogs

The Groundhog is our official yearly newsletter.

2020 Groundhog

The 2019-2020 season started with a vision meeting at Shannon & Wilson’s office attended by members were the new officer corps was elected. Our vision is “Enhancing collaboration among groups serving our profession by seeking and being responsive to member feedback, maintaining and improving the group’s website and seeking and improving joint activities with affiliated organizations. We also plan to continue improving organization and day-to-day operations of the group to facilitate information sharing and informed decisions based on the current budget and past data.”

Our group continues to support the UW graduate program through the Robert D. Holtz Endowed Fellowship. Established in 2007 with an initial endowment of $50,000, this find has grown to over $400,000. In 2015 we made a pledge to contribute $125,000 within 5 years with matching contribution from UW on meeting that pledge. This year our group will complete that donation to the fund.

2019 Groundhog

The 2019-2020 season started with a vision meeting at Shannon & Wilson’s office attended by members were the new officer corps was elected and confirmed and our vision for the year discussed. We saw heavier work load faeb by the Education Chair in the 2017-2018 season due to additional dinner meeting and short course activities, so we added the Education Co-Chair position to share the duties.

Our vision is: “Enhancing collaboration among groups serving our profession by seeking being responsive to member feedback, maintaining and improving the groups websites and seeking and improving join activities with affiliated organizations. We also plan to continue improving organization and day-to-day operations of the group to facilitate information sharing and informed decisions based on the current budget and past data.

2017 Groundhog

In response to a 2015 request to evaluate common approaches for ground improvement design as it relates to the use of ground improvement to mitigate against liquefaction and.or to improve Site Class, the Seattle Geotechnical Group formed a technical ground improvement (GI) committee to evaluate an comment on the request. The GI Committee was open to tall interested parties and included engineers representing small, medium and large sized geotechnical engineering firms in private practice, geotechnical specialty contractors, university professors and staff from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI).

Between January and July 2016 the GI Committee met several times and ultimately developed a document titled “Commentary Guidelines for Ground Improvement Using Discrete Elements”. Following a 45 day membership comment period, on October 12, 2016, the Group’s officers voted to approve the document and provide it to SDCI.

2016 Groundhog

Happy Groundhog’s Day and welcome to the 2016 edition of The Groundhog! The ASCE Seattle Section Geotechnical Group and Seattle Geo-Institute Chapter (SSG/SGIC) produces this publication annually to share group announcements, provide member firms with a forum to share their achievements over the previous year, and discuss our group’s activities and goals.

As President of the SSGG/SGIC, I get to be the face of the group – welcoming you to meetings, send- ing out all of the group announcements, and writing these introductions. However, the real work of this group is done by our officers and volunteers, and I would be remiss not to recognize them here.

We are happy to continue our relationship with the University of Washington’s Geo-Institute Graduate Student Society (GIGSS) Chapter. We’ve seen an increase in the number of students attending our meetings, several of the students are volunteering to help put on our events, and we have been able to provide financial assistance to their group to support their meetings.

2015 Groundhog

The ASCE Seattle Section Geotechnical Group / Seattle Geo-Institute Chapter is proud to announce that our 32nd Annual Spring Seminar will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 on the University of Washington campus at Kane Hall. Based on feedback from our members, the topic of the seminar this year will be Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering.

We are pleased to announce our speakers will include Dr. Steven Kramer and Dr. Joseph Wartman from the University of Washington and Dr. Jonathan Stewart from UCLA. A number of regional experts will give presentations on local projects. Presentations will cover practical design and construction as well as developments in research.

In addition to the specific topic presentations, the Spring Seminar will include our annual Service Award Presentation, exhibitor displays, and hosted lunch and breaks. Seminar attendees will be eligible to receive 0.8 Continuing Education Units (CEU) or 8 Professional Development Hours (PDH). We are also planning a 1-day short course which will be held on Friday, May 1, 2015.

2014 Groundhog

Once again we asked our membership to tell us which topics you were interested in learning about for our annual Spring Seminar. The vote counts were very close for several topics including geotechnical earthquake engineering, drilled foundations, and instrumentation. The board voted and instrumentation was the selected topic for the 2014 Spring Seminar. The ASCE Seattle Section Geotechnical Group / Geo Institute Seattle Chapter is pleased to announce the 31st Annual Spring Seminar titled Geotechnical Instrumentation. This year’s seminar will be held on Saturday, March th 29 , 2014 at the University of Washington Kane Hall.

This year’s seminar is organized into four subtopics: Subsurface Monitoring Technologies and Instrumentation, Data Acquisition, Management and Presentation, Surface Monitoring Technologies, and Remote Sensing. We are pleased to announce our keynote speakers will be W. Allen Marr of Geocomp Corporation and Martin Beth of Soldata Group. In addition to these keynote speakers, we have confirmed a number of local, regional and national experts who will give presentations about their specialty topics. This year’s speakers represent many sides of the project dynamic, including owners, contractors, consultants and academia. The Spring Seminar will include exhibitor displays and hosted lunch and breaks. Seminar attendees will be eligible to receive 0.8 Continuing Education Units (CEU) or 8 Professional Development Hours (PDH).

2012 Groundhog

During the last trimester of 2011, we organized one dinner meeting per month between September and December, and participated in the Seattle DPD landslide awareness meetings in October and November. Tentative events for the first trimester of 2012 include monthly dinner meetings between January  and April, a Short Course in conjunction with the Spring Seminar on Friday May 11th, and the 29 .

Annual Spring Seminar on Saturday May 12th, which will focus on Earthen Dams and Levees. Similar to last year, the Spring Seminar will be held at Kane Hall at the University of Washington Seattle cam- pus. We also made some upgrades and improvements to our website, seattlegeotech.org, and added some useful information and links.

We are still excited about the transition last year to the Geo-Institute (G-I) Seattle Chapter. The Geo- Institute was created by ASCE in 1996 as a specialty membership organization focused on the geo– industry, and is one of ASCE’s eight Institutes. We are exploring avenues to make this transition work for a better exposure and reach of our group to support the progress of the geo-professional community through a collaborative and a mutually beneficial affiliation. If you are interested in learning more about what this transition means to our group and our members, feel free to email me your questions.

2011 Groundhog

Our group remains financially strong. Over the past 4 years, we have been taking losses at all our din- ner meetings and subsidizing the losses from the revenues we make on the Spring Seminar, short courses, and the Groundhog. This term, we negotiated a new contract for our dinner meetings on the east side to break even. We sent a survey to our members to explore the idea of moving all dinner meetings to the east side; the survey results were in favor of continuing to alternate the meetings be- tween the east and the west side, and finding a cheaper venue on the west side, rather than raising the $35 fee. We are continuing our tradition of identifying company sponsors for students, reducing the dinner fee to $15 for non-reimbursed public officials, and allowing free walk-ins for the presentation only.

This year, we are planning a $5000 matching donation to the University of Washington Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). We initiated this matching donation in 2007 and have been able to make it every year since then. We are expecting a representative of the EWB to give our group a presentation during the February or March dinner meeting on the work their chapter has been doing.

2010 Groundhog

Membership has been growing consistently over the past few years and has held steady over the last year, with our current membership at 610. This membership represents significant growth in local firms as well as new company moves into the Puget Sound area during past two to three years. A primary focus of the Membership Committee is to keep up with membership changes, email address changes and solicit active involvement of businesses practicing in the Puget Sound area market. Anyone wanting to be included on the Geotechnical Group’s email distribution list, needing to update their email address, or provide names of potential new members should contact the chair of the membership committee, Bo McFadden PE, LEG at bmcfadden@geoengineers.com.

In addition, the Membership Committee has a subcommittee which recognizes meritorious service by members whose past efforts on behalf of the Geotechnical Group deserve recognition. These awards are made annually at the Spring Seminar.

2009 Groundhog

Puget Sound Engineering Council hosted a mentor night at Seattle University and Edmonds Community College for students either already enrolled in engineering programs or considering engineering as a major this past fall. The purpose of the mentor night was to bring practicing engineers together with students and to inspire the students, most of whom were sophomores and juniors, towards a career in engineering. The event included a panel discussion with representatives from various engineering disciplines followed by one-on-one mentoring of students. Students were able to meet with mentors in their disciplines and also learn about the different areas of engineering.

Members of ASCE Seattle Section Geotechnical Group shared their experiences and educated students (and even a few parents) about geotechnical engineering. We were hopefully able to inspire some students towards a career in geotechnical engineering. ASCE Seattle Section Geotechnical Group plans on continuing our involvement in future mentoring activities.

2008 Groundhog

Congratulations to our members! Your contributions over the years have helped establish the approximately $135,000 Robert D. Holtz Endowed Fellowship at the University of Washington. The fellowship will go a long way to support Geotechnical Engineering at the University and throughout our local community.

At our group’s 2007 Spring Seminar, we dedicated $50,000 to establish the Holtz Fellowship. We challenged our members and member firms to donate an additional $50,000 to reach an important level of $100,000; important, because the State would contribute an additional $25,000. Not only, did our members meet this level, but they exceeded it!

2007 Groundhog

Welcome back to our annual publication of the Groundhog! In this issue we bring you news from the local geo- technical community as well as information on the ASCE Seattle Section Geotechnical Group, including our upcoming dinner meetings and the April 21, 2007 Spring Seminar entitled “Robert D. Holtz Honorary Technical Symposium”.

I would like to begin by thanking this year’s outstanding officer team, which has continued our tradition of excellence, and improved many of our programs. Jeff Fowler (City of Seattle), our President-Elect, is coordinating this year’s Spring Seminar. Sean Caraway (Cornerstone Geotechnical), our Secretary, put this publication together and keeps the officers on-track by developing meeting agendas and minutes. Dave Pischer (Landau Associates) stepped forward as the Group’s Treasurer. Alan Macnab (Condon-Johnson & Associates), our Membership Chair, has overseen the growth of our Group to almost 600 members. Laureen McKenna (Shannon & Wilson), our Education Chair, continues our strong educational program, with multiple field trips, short courses and dinner meetings. Eric Heller (GeoEngineers), our Public Relations Chair, has helped make our Group and profession more visible. Mark Rohrbach (LACHEL FELICE), our Immediate Past-President, has been working diligently with several other senior members of our community to recommend measures to focus our future efforts and finances

2006 Groundhog

Welcome to the 2006 version of the Seattle Geotechnical Group’s annual publication of the Groundhog. This issue brings news of recently completed group activities, ongoing activities, active committees, and planned future events including up- coming dinner meetings, the upcoming sheet piling short course and the 23rd annual spring seminar “Soft Ground Engineering”, which will be held on May 20, 2006.

The strategic planning process initiated by Keith Ward and finalized by Doug Lindquist has resulted in an expanded officer corps and a clear understanding of the group mission and vision as stated on the following page. This year is the first year under the new officer structure and our current officers are making progress towards accomplishing the group mission and making the group vision a reality.

2005 Groundhog

Welcome back to our annual publication of the Groundhog! In this issue we bring you news from the local geotechnical community as well as information on the ASCE Seattle Section Geotechnical Group, including our upcoming dinner meetings and the March 12, 2005 Spring Seminar on “Tunneling in the Pacific Northwest.”

I would like to begin by thanking this year’s outstanding officer team for keeping me on my toes and developing ideas to better serve our membership. Mark Rohrbach (LACHEL FELICE), our President-Elect, is coordinating this year Spring Seminar. Mike Harney (University of Washington), our Secretary / Treasurer, put this publication together and greets everyone at our monthly dinner meetings. Scott Zajac (Golder), our Program Chair, organized last year’s spring fieldtrip and has put together an excellent set of dinner meeting speakers including two Terzaghi lecturers. Wendy Mathieson (Shannon & Wilson), our Technology Chair, is getting our organization into the 21st Century with improved payment options and a group-controlled website. Keith Ward (City of Seattle), our Past-President, has led our past presidents through a series of strategic planning meetings for our group.

2001 Groundhog

It has been a busy time for the Seattle Section Geotechnical Group. The Planning Committee has been meeting at least monthly since August. In August and September, our primary focus was finding speakers for the dinner meetings and making arrangements for a new dinner location in Bellevue. The speakers for the remaining meetings of this year are included in the “Geo- Schedule.” We have worked hard to find who we think would be good speakers with something our member’s would be interested in hearing. If you have suggestions for other dinner meeting topics, please let one of the group officers know.

Since October, the committee has been planning the spring seminar. This year’s seminar, Practical Aspects of Slope Stabilization & Erosion Control (Biotechnical and Soil BioEngineering), will be held on April 28 at the University of Washington. Once the program has been finalized and speakers contacted, more information will be published in future issues of the Groundhog and posted to the Section’s website.

2000 Groundhog

The beginning of the new millennium has been a busy time for the Seattle Section Geotechnical Group. In the recent months, the primary focus of the Group has been organizing the annual Spring Seminar that was held on April 1, 2000 at the UW. Under the guidance of Bob Metcalfe, the planning committee organized a very successful and educational Spring Seminar.

I would like to thank once again all of the individuals and their firms/organizations that helped make the 200 Spring Seminar a success. For those that were note able to attend the seminar, attendees benefited from the experience of experts in the field of geotechnical instrumentation, including keynote speakers Gordon E. Green and P. Erik Mikkelsen.

1999 Groundhog

In late January and early February the ASCE and AEG joined forces with the City of Seattle to present three public meetings on Landslide Prevention. More than 220 people attended the meetings which were held in Seattle communities of Magnolia, Mount Baker, and West Seattle. Bob Chandler of Seattle Public Utilities started off each meeting with an overview of the City’s landslide prevention and education program.

He was followed by Bill Laprade of Shannon & Wilson who presented a summary of the Seattle Landslide Study and an overview of the predominant landslide types for the particular neighborhood in which the meeting was being held. Then a three member panel discussed how landslides occur, the predominant causes, prevention measures, and slope stabilization measures.

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