Geotechnical Society of Edmonton

NEWS 2010

Posted November 1, 2010 (Updated January 4, 2011)

Event: December 7, 2010

GSE: Dr. Bill Haneberg, Distinguished Jahns Lecturer in Engineering Geology - The Landslide That Ate Laprak

Location: Edmonton Petroleum Club (11110 - 108 Street)

Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm

Cost: $25 Members, $30 Non-Members, $5 Students

Located in a remote region of western Nepal and 2 to 3 days' walk from the nearest road, the Himalayan village of Laprak is built atop a large landslide that began moving during an exceptionally heavy rainstorm in 1999 and continues to move today. Part travelogue and part technical presentation, this lecture introduces the geologic setting of Laprak and its influence on slope stability, the use of modern technology like digital terrain modeling and finite element simulations to better understand the landslide, the challenges of dealing with geologic hazards in a isolated part of a developing country...more>>

Posted November 16, 2010

Event: December 7, 2010

GSE/U of A: Dr. Bill Haneberg, Distinguished Jahns Lecturer in Engineering Geology - I Left My Probability Density Function in San Franciso

Location: University of Alberta, NREF Room 2-001

Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Cost: Free

A landslide hazard assessment project covering steep and heavily forested slopes in the middle of San Francisco provided a unique opportunity to use high-resolution airborne LiDAR data for traditional engineering geologic mapping and rational probabilistic slope stability modeling of the same area, with some interesting results...more>>

Posted May 6, 2010

Event: December 5 - 8, 2010

U of A/OSTRF/CONRAD: 2nd International Oil Sands Tailings Conference

Location: Mayfield Inns and Suites, Edmonton, Alberta

The Oil Sands Tailings Research Facility (OSTRF) and the Canadian Oil Sands Network of Research and Development (CONRAD) are pleased to announce the Second International Conference on Oil Sands Tailings to be held in December 2010. Bringing together experts and interested individuals to address tailings technology and management in Alberta's Oil Sands Industry, the conference offers the most recent developments in oil sands tailings and management to the international community through invited speakers and select technical presentations. Keynote speakers will address the most challenging issues regarding oil sands tailings and management, significant research efforts to overcome these challenges and how industry is responding.

Posted September 13, 2010 (Updated October 15, 2010)

Event: October 29, 2010

GSE/CGS Cross Canada Lecture: Dr. Sarah Springman, ETH Zurich - The Rüdlingen Landslide Experiment

Location: Royal Glenora Club, 11160 River Valley Road

Time: 11:45am - 1:30pm

Cost: $30 Members, $40 Nonmembers, $10 Students

A large scale field experiment was conducted on a steep 38° forested slope with preliminary field monitoring of sensors installed at depths from 15 to 150 cm, including tensiometers, TDRs, piezometers, rain gauges, pressure cells, acoustic sensors and deformation probes, prior to triggering a landslide by means of artificial rainfall. The project was designed to enhance the understanding of triggering processes and initiation mechanisms by replicating the effects of a heavy rainfall event in May 2002, in which 100 mm rain fell in 40 minutes, causing 42 surficial landslides...more>>

The CCLT is organized by the Canadian Geotechnical Society, with funding through the Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique.

Sponsorship provided by:

  • Thurber Engineering Ltd.
  • BGC Engineering
  • LVM
  • Reinforced Earth Company Ltd.

Posted September 13, 2010 (Updated October 8, 2010)

Event: October 6, 2010

U of A Seminar: Dr. James K. Mitchell, Virginia Tech - Ground Improvement for Mitigation of Seismic Risk to Existing Embankment Dams

Location: ETLC Building, University of Alberta

Time: 4pm Reception, 5pm Presentation

Cost: Free

Additional Details on U of A Civil Engineering website

The majority of major embankment dams in operation today were constructed many years ago - before the implications of the large 1964 earthquakes in Anchorage, Alaska and Niigata, Japan jump-started geotechnical earthquake engineering. Only thereafter was it appreciated that there could be major risks to dams that had not been realized at the time of their original construction. The near catastrophe following the failure of the Lower San Fernando Dam in California in 1971 served to accelerate the re-evaluation of the seismic safety of many dams. Mitigation of seismic risk is now one of the major applications of ground improvement...more>>

Posted August 31, 2010 (Updated October 15, 2010)

Event: September 27, 2010

GSE: Annual Fall Wine & Cheese Event

Location: Faculty Club, University of Alberta

Time: 5:30 - 7:00pm

Cost: $5 Members, $10 Non-members, $5 Students
(Student cost includes membership for the year)

The 2010/2011 season will begin with the traditional Annual Wine and Cheese event. Come out and connect with students and colleagues in the local geotechnical community!

There will be two short presentations from current Ph.D. students at the U of A: David Elwood on Estimating Soil Properties Using Deformations Associated with Deep Excavations and Abraham Mineneh on Relevance of Collisional Flow Mechanism in Dry Granular Flow...more>>

The 2010 N.R. Morgenstern Student Award was presented to David Elwood at the close of this event:Elwood-2010 Morgenstern Award

Posted September 15, 2010

PD Opportunity: Trisoplast BV

Date: Oct. 4 and 5, 2010

Mr. Mike Naismith of Trisoplast BV from Holland will be in Edmonton on October 4th and 5th presenting a seminar on Polymer enhanced mineral barrier systems. Trisolpast is Europe's leading manufacturer and installer of mineral barrier systems for waste management and mining applications. Any companies interested setting up an in house seminar can contact John Mooney at or 519.400.4124

Posted September 10, 2010

Dr. Jack Clark - September 4, 2010

Calgary Geotechnical Society - Recent Passing of Dr. Jack Clark

The Calgary Geotechnical Society (CGY) is saddened to hear about the recent passing of Dr. Jack Clark, a leader in the field of geotechnical engineering in Canada, who had a special connection to Calgary. For more details on Dr. Clark's life and accomplishments, please use the following link ( to access the CGS home page and download his obituary.

Posted August 13, 2010

U of A Request: Canadian Geotechnical Conference Proceedings

Members of the Edmonton Geotechnical Society:

The Geotechnical group at the University of Alberta are in the process of scanning all the Canadian Geotechnical Conference Proceeding for the Society and need some help. We are missing a few editions and wondered if anyone has any of the following proceedings and would like to donate them to the University for us to scan. It would mean dismantling the book in order to scan it electronically. These are the proceedings that I am missing:

  • 1st - 1948
  • 17th - 1964
  • 19th - 1966
  • 20th - 1967
  • 21st - 1968
  • 22nd - 1969
  • 24th - 1971

Thank you for any assistance that the members can give us, Sally Petaske (email or phone: 780.492.2176)

Posted April 27, 2010 (Updated May 18, 2010)

Event: May 10, 2010

GSE: 2010 AGM with Wayne Tomlinson - Northwest Anthony Henday Drive P3 Project- Designer's Point of View

Location: University of Alberta Faculty Club, 11435 Saskatchewan Drive, Edmonton

Time: 5:30pm - 8:00pm

$40 Members, $45 Non-members, $10 Students

The 2010 AGM will begin the proceedings with reports from the Executive. The GSE is current seeking a Vice-President and Member-at-Large. Please contact Sean Birch if you are interested.

Following the AGM, Wayne Tomlinson will be presenting about the Northwest Anthony Henday Drive project from the designer's perspective including the geotechnical challenges and innovations AECOM and their geotechnical sub consultant, EBA Engineering, have had to address and an overview of the current construction status...more>>

Posted March 24, 2010 (Updated May 6, 2010)

GSE: Online Membership Survey Regarding Conference Surplus Usage

Closed May 1, 2010

The GSE Executive is conducting a survey to get the membership's opinion on how to spend the surplus the Society received for its role in hosting the 2008 Canadian Geotechnical Conference. The survey can be accessed on-line at the link above and will require just a few minutes of your time to answer 3 short questions on whether the money should be spent national or locally and, if spent locally, which of several possible initiatives you would support. For those that prefer, this survey will also be available in hard-copy at the Symposium and at monthly talks.

May 6 Update: Survey closed with 70 responses out of a membership of about 200! Results will be presented at the AGM on May 10. The Executive thanks you for your input.

Posted March 23, 2010 (Updated May 6, 2010)

Cancelled due to lack of response

U of A/CGS: International Short Course on Permafrost Engineering - Effective Design and Construction in Permafrost Regions

Instructors: Kevin Biggar, P.Eng., Ph.D; K. Wayne Savigny, Ph.D., P.Eng., P.Geo., P.Geol.; David C. Sego, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Upon completion of the course you will:

  • Have a working knowledge of logistic challenges of building in Northern Regions.
  • Understand the origin and different types of ground ice.
  • Know how to determine the existing thermal regime and impact of changing environmental conditions on this regime.
  • Understand the unique behavior of freezing, frozen and thawing soils and understand how to design for these conditions.
  • Know how to evaluate and design foundations and slopes in permafrost.
  • Be exposed to case histories related to hydrocarbon pipelines in permafrost, mine design, tailings impoundments under Arctic conditions and pile foundation support systems in regions of saline permafrost.

Posted December 15, 2009 (Updated April 7, 2010)

Event: April 21, 2010

CGS/GSE: Cross Canada Lecture Tour, Mr. Don Hayley, P.Eng., FEIC - Global Warming and Northern Infrastructure - an Update on Adaptation Strategies for Design of Foundations on Permafrost

Location: Edmonton Petroleum Club (11110 - 108 Street, Edmonton)

Time: 11:30am - 1:30pm

$30 Members, $40 Non-members, $5 Students

Climatic warming trends have been most significant in the arctic. That land mass coincides with the region of permafrost, where ground conditions for support of infrastructure are temperature dependent. This presentation will provide an update on current thinking with respect to climate warming and its effects on permafrost in Canada. The state of practice for accounting for climatic uncertainties in design methodology will be described...more>>

The CCLT is organized by the Canadian Geotechnical Society, with funding through the Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique.

Sponsorship provided by:

  • AMEC Earth & Environmental
  • BGC Engineering
  • Golder Associates
  • Reinforced Earth Company

Posted April 14, 2010

Event: April 21, 2010

CGS/U of A: Cross Canada Lecture Tour, Mr. Don Hayley, P.Eng., FEIC - Design, Construction and Operations of Dams in Permafrost Regions

Location: NREF 1-001, U of A Campus

Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Mining in the Canadian north has taken on new importance with discovery of diamonds and increased prices for both precious metals and base metals. Diamond mining in the Northwest Territories began in 1998 with the opening of Ekati Diamond Mine and has expanded to include two additional producing mines. Mining in regions of permafrost has focused attention on the challenges of building dams for water management and waste containment. This presentation focuses on the unique characteristics that frozen ground and ground ice present when planning, designing and constructing earth and rockfill dams on a permafrost foundation...more>>

The CCLT is organized by the Canadian Geotechnical Society, with funding through the Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique.

Sponsorship provided by:

  • AMEC Earth & Environmental
  • BGC Engineering
  • Golder Associates
  • Reinforced Earth Company

Posted April 12, 2010

Event: April 15, 2010

U of A: Graduate Seminar, Mr. G. Ward Wilson, Ph.D. - New Directions in Mine Waste Management

Location: NREF 1-003, University of Alberta, Edmonton

Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm


Various topics directed at the design and closure of de-watered tailings impoundments will be discussed during the presentation...more>>

Posted March 10, 2010 (updated March 23, 2010)

Event: March 31, 2010

U of A: 2010 8th Annual Retaining Wall Competition

Location: Room L2-020, Markin/CNRL NREF Building, University of Alberta

Time: 4:30pm Construction Start, 6:00pm Wall Testing


Come watch NAIT defend their title from last year! Participants are required to construct a 0.3m x 0.3m x 0.3m retaining wall using only dry sand, 2 pieces of geotextile, 5 sheets of newsprint, 20 popsicle sticks, and a box of 100 paperclips. Completed walls are loaded to failure with prizes for the Strongest Wall, Best Prediction of Wall Strength, and Most Innovative Design. Judging will be provided by the local geotechnical community.

Posted February 15, 2010 (Updated March 20, 2010)

Event: March 25, 2010

GSE: 2010 Annual Symposium - AM: Ground Improvement by Hayward Baker & PM: Local Geotechnical Engineers, Encore Presentation of Papers from 2009 CGS Conference

Location: Edmonton Petroleum Club (11110 - 108 Street, Edmonton)

Time: 8:30am - 4:00pm

$100 Members, $110 Non-members, $20 Students (Early Bird deadline has passed)

Ground Improvement Techniques by Tim Avery of Hayward Baker: an overview of selected ground improvement methods, including deep dynamic compaction, vibro compaction/replacement, deep soil mixing (wet and dry), compaction grouting and jet grouting.

Encore Presentations of selected papers from the 2009 CGS Conference in Halifax by local geotechnical engineers.

NOTE: Registrations are final, no-shows will be billed, and substitutions allowed.

Posted March 4, 2010

APEGGA: Election 2010

APEGGA 2010 Election closes March 28 at noon

Posted February 1, 2010 (Updated February 15, 2010)

Event: February 25, 2010

Dr. Mohammed Sakr, P.Eng., Almita Manufacturing Ltd. - High Capacity Helical Piles - A New Dimension for Deep Foundations

Location: Room L005, Engineering Technologies Annex, NAIT Campus

Time: 11:45am-1:30pm

$15 Members, $20 Non-members, $5 Students

This presentation highlights the recent direction towards the use of large diameter helical piles to support heavy commercial and industrial loads. Helical piles offer high compressive and uplift capacities (three to five times that of traditional driven steel piles with the same shaft diameter and length), rapid speed of installation, suitability for construction in very limited access conditions, installation in frozen or swampy soil conditions and cost effectiveness...more>>

Posted December 15, 2009 (updated January 14, 2010)

Event: January 27, 2010

Mr. Iain Bruce, President, BGC Engineering Inc. - Karst, and its Influence on Tailings Dams I Have Known and Loved

Location: Royal Glenora Club (11160 River Valley Road)

Time: 11:30am-1:30pm

$30 Members, $40 Non-members, $5 Students

Karst is found world wide. It is a complex and often underestimated (misunderstood) landform that can have a significant impact on engineering structures, particularly dams. Some dams have leaked. Some have never filled. Recognition of karst and an understanding of the methods of formation are required to provide sound engineering. This presentation will summarize how karst forms and how to recognize and classify it and follow up with examples from projects in Papua New Guinea, The Dominican Republic and Peru...more>>

Posted January 19, 2010

CGS: GEO2010 Update

GEO2010 Abstract Submission Deadline extended to January 31, 2010

Posted January 19, 2010

CGS: 2011 Conference Update

Canadian Geotechnical 2011 Colloquium Speaker - Nominations due January 31, 2010

One of the highlights during the CGS Conference every year is the Colloquium. It is that time of year that the Society asks for nominations for potential speakers. The call for nominations for the Colloquium presenter is done two years before the Colloquium is to be presented. The deadline for submitting nomination documents for candidates for Canadian Geotechnical 2011 Colloquium is January 31, 2010. In order to make the process a success and the honour meaningful, it is necessary to receive a sufficient number of nominations. The CGS is encouraging all CGS members to nominate individuals who they may feel are deserving of the opportunity to become the 2011 Colloquium speaker...more>>


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