Geotechnical Illustrated: Sulfate Reducing Bacteria (SRB) – What is it?

Microbes live everywhere including the oceans. Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) are considered microbes. SRB is one of many common bacteria species that live throughout our ecosystem. Seawater is a primary source of SRB where a single gallon of seawater has roughly a few billion different kinds of bacteria. While most bacteria are aerobic and require oxygenContinue reading “Geotechnical Illustrated: Sulfate Reducing Bacteria (SRB) – What is it?”

How to Assess the Strength of Coal Combustion Residuals

Stability failures of impoundments involving release of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs; commonly known as coal ash,) like the one that occurred in Dan River Coal Ash Spill in 2014, have recently highlighted the importance of assessing the stability of CCR impoundments. CCR materials contain pollutants like Mercury, Cadmium and Arsenic. Without proper management, these contaminantsContinue reading “How to Assess the Strength of Coal Combustion Residuals”

The Value of Numerical Modeling for Geo-Structural Engineering

Numerical modeling uses complex computer programs to build a digital model of a site from which to calculate how a design will perform for various loading conditions. These methods avoid some of the simplifying and conservative assumptions that get made in simpler approaches. They help improve the efficiency of a design, predict how a design is likelyContinue reading “The Value of Numerical Modeling for Geo-Structural Engineering”

Geotechnical Illustrated: Good Vibrations or Not?

Heavy construction in densely populated cities can be conducted near neighboring buildings. Vibrations induced by such heavy construction are one of the most claimed causes of adjacent building damage. These vibrations can be generated by multiple types of equipment such as pavement breakers, excavators, or pile drivers. Such activities can generate short term vibrations orContinue reading “Geotechnical Illustrated: Good Vibrations or Not?”

Geotechnical Illustrated: What is your CPT Test Really Telling You?

In many cases with offshore filling construction, such as building and forming artificial islands in the middle of a body of water, borrow areas of suitable seabed materials must be first identified. A comprehensive soil investigation will subsequently help assess the suitability of the potential seabed borrow material to be dredged and used for engineeringContinue reading “Geotechnical Illustrated: What is your CPT Test Really Telling You?”

Geotechnical Illustrated: Risks of Spudcan Punch-through

Jack up rigs are used widely in offshore drilling and for offshore wind turbine installation. Such rigs can be often times supported by spudcan footings such as the ones shown below. However, there are multiple challenges in evaluating the capacity of such footings. Punch-through of spudcan legs for offshore barges is defined as rapid uncontrolledContinue reading “Geotechnical Illustrated: Risks of Spudcan Punch-through”

How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks on Your Business

If you haven’t recently heard, cybercrime and ransomware are at an all-time high across all industries. With business after business getting hacked, it is more important than ever to tighten up your security. When it comes to cyber-attacks, it is not a question of if, rather of when. To begin, let us cover the basics… What isContinue reading “How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks on Your Business”

The Top Three Project Plan Documents to Drive Success

What to do when you have no time to plan! The importance of project planning cannot be overstated. The Planning Phase offers the most significant opportunity to save time, resources, and money.  The main purpose of developing a Project Management Plan (PMP) is to break down the broad goals of the contract into manageable tasksContinue reading “The Top Three Project Plan Documents to Drive Success”

How Automated Geotechnical Testing Can Help in Today’s Laboratories

Commercial and academic geotechnical testing labs traditionally have required considerable time and effort to manually apply and monitor loads and pressures, adjust valves and regulators, and record data on paper (Figure 1A). Each of these time-consuming steps is prone to human error and operator subjectivity (not to mention some very late nights/early mornings in theContinue reading “How Automated Geotechnical Testing Can Help in Today’s Laboratories”

Time for an Audit? Don’t Panic!

Audits are a necessary “evil” that we all must endure when working in a geotechnical testing laboratory. Audits can be from an outside accreditation agency, a client for a specific project or simply an internal audit for quality review purposes. The scope of the audit may be a review of your quality system but itContinue reading “Time for an Audit? Don’t Panic!”