Posted in Deep Foundations, Geotechnical Engineering

Clyde N. Baker, Jr., A Geotechnical Giant (1930-2022)

From the Deep Foundations Institute:

DFI and the DFI Educational Trust are saddened at the passing of industry legend Clyde N. Baker, Jr., P.E., S.E., who retired after a successful career as senior principal engineer at STS Consultants and later as a senior consultant at GEI Consultants.

“Clyde was a giant in geotechnical engineering, who has been recognized with many awards over his years of designing foundations to support iconic tall structures,” says Theresa Engler, DFI executive director. “He graced the cover of the Engineering News-Record (ENR) after winning its Award of Excellence, as well as receiving the American Society of Civil Engineers OPAL Award, Ralph B. Peck Award, Martin S. Kapp Award, serving as the Terzaghi Lecturer and receiving DFI’s Distinguished Service Award. But what I remember most was his generous spirit in sharing his knowledge with other industry professionals and his genuine kindness and altruism.” 

In 2020, the Trust established the Clyde N. Baker, Jr. Foundation Engineering Scholarship Fund to honor Clyde’s extraordinary contributions to the deep foundations industry. To continue to provide scholarships in Clyde’s name, proceeds from this year’s DFI Educational Trust Gala Fundraising Dinner on November 3 in New York will benefit the Baker fund and the Trust’s General Fund. We hope you’ll join us or take this opportunity to be one of the supporters of the Baker fund by sponsoring the event or making a direct donation to the fund. The goal is to bring the fund to a self-sustaining level so we can provide perpetual scholarships in Clyde’s name for years to come.

Posted in Deep Foundations, Geotechnical Engineering

It’s Coming: Geotechnical Analysis One Grain at a Time

In going through some papers, I noticed this one, Friction anlysis of large diameter steel cylinder penetration process using 3D-DEM, whose abstract is as follows:

Large open-ended cylinder piles have been widely used for engineering foundation of port. The penetration process of the large-diameter steel cylinder exhibit complex behaviors, which is difficult to be measured by test and reproduced in numerical models. This study presents a friction analysis of large diameter steel penetration process by using the discrete element method (DEM), which can simulate large deformation and nonlinearity well. Centrifugal model and full-scale model were developed to analyze the sliding friction of the cylinder during installation and the contact force chain of soil particles. The validity of the DEM model was examined by comparing with theoretical values and published studies. Parametric studies were carried out to study the effects of contact parameters on side friction. Simulation results showed that, unlike pile penetration, there is no obvious soil-plug effect during the penetration process of large-diameter steel cylinder. Besides, the inside friction is smaller than the outside friction for large-diameter steel cylinder. What’s more, the computational cost of full-scale model based on the upscale theory was less than the centrifugal model. There is a close relationship between the side friction and micro contact parameters, which provides a reference for the follow-up study of cylinder or pile penetration using DEM.

Friction anlysis of large diameter steel cylinder penetration process using 3D-DEM

Put into simple terms, DEM models the soil by a grain-by-grain analysis of its response to load, which in this case came from 22 m O.D. open-ended pipe piles for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. Believe it or not, I seriously considered using something like this for the STADYN project, but was dissuaded from doing so because of complexity and stability issues. That’s probably for the best, because the program I was in encouraged a “roll your own” approach to computer code, and to be honest at my stage in life and background I wasn’t up to such a development.

One thing that helped the authors of this paper was the fact that the soils they were driving into was cohesionless, without the chemical bonding that comes with cohesive soils. It’s also interesting to note that these piles were vibrated into place; the whole subject of vibratory driving, its performance prediction and static capacity determination, is another long-running subject in this business.

Although the issues of cohesion and verification (always the fun part of geotechincal engineering) need further resolution, DEM is, in my opinion, the ultimate solution of the soil interaction question, and needs to be disseminated further in our industry.

Posted in Deep Foundations

Mary Ellen Large Joins Nicholson Construction — GeoPrac.net

Geotechnical specialty engineering and construction contractor Nicholson Construction is pleased to announce the addition of industry expert Mary Ellen Large, P.E, D.GE to the team. Ms. Large will be assuming the role of Client Care […]

Mary Ellen Large Joins Nicholson Construction — GeoPrac.net

Until recently she was Technical Activities Director for the Deep Foundations Institute, a fact which takes some digging to ascertain on their website.

Posted in Deep Foundations, Geotechnical Engineering, Pile Driving Equipment

Reconstructing a Soviet-Era Plastic Model to Predict Vibratory Pile Driving Performance — vulcanhammer.info

The latest in our series of monographs on vibratory pile drivers, this one takes us back to the beginnings of vibratory pile driving in the Soviet Union. It was prepared for the ReSEARCH Dialogues at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in April 2021. The vibratory driver that started it all: the Soviet BT-5, used […]

Reconstructing a Soviet-Era Plastic Model to Predict Vibratory Pile Driving Performance — vulcanhammer.info
Posted in Deep Foundations

Video of 2011 Pile Load Test Failure in Singapore — GeoPrac.net

A static load test was being performed on (presumably) a group of piles at a construction site on Gilstead Road in Singapore in 2011 when the massive pile of concrete blocks toppled over, blocking the […]

Video of 2011 Pile Load Test Failure in Singapore — GeoPrac.net