August 24, 2016, 12:00 pm


August 24, 2016, 2:30 pm



We invite you to join us for a live online Web Conference (and recording available later online) on August 24, 2016. Case histories will be presented on the performance of existing earth retention systems using a variety of innovative techniques. The merits of computer methods vs hand methods for sheet pile wall design will also be considered. Learn from past MSE wall failures so your future projects are built to last. Get up-to-date information on the new LRFD specifications in the FHWA soil nail manual affecting the design of ERS’s.

The conference will consist of two 60-minute sessions with three 20-minute presentations each. There will be a ½ hour break in between the sessions. The first session will begin at 12 pm Eastern and the 2nd session at 1:30 pm Eastern. Each presentation will include some questions and answers. Can’t make the live event? No problem, it will be available on the Geo-Institute website for viewing at a later time. The link will be sent to all registrants.


  • Gain insight into the new FHWA soil nail manual
  • Learn from both contractors and designers how to complete successful projects
  • See different ERS systems and the project constraints that led to their use
  • Learn from past successes and failures
  • Each attendee will receive a certificate of completion for 2 hours of professional training





  • Stan Vitton, PE, PhD, Associate Professor Michigan Technological Univ., President of GeoEngineering North, LLC
  • Kevin M. Dawson, PE, Vice President with Hayward Baker, Inc., New England office. Office Manager and practicing geotechnical engineer specializing in design and construction of ground improvement, grouting, excavation support, underpinning, drilled micropiles, drilled shafts, and driven pile projects.
  • Barry D. Siel, PE, Geotechnical Engineer at the FHWA Resource Center
  • James M. Schmidt, PE, PEng, DGE, Principal and Director of Transportation and Infrastructure with Terracon Consultants, Inc.
  • Keith R. Moser, PE is owner of Geomo Enterprises, Inc. and a geo-structural engineer specializing in design and construction of retaining walls
  • John H. Edens, PE, Senior Design Engineer, Dallas office, Hayward Baker Inc.


Sponsor packages:

This is a free event that provides sponsors an excellent opportunity to show case their company and services. This revenue will be used to support ASCE-GeoInstitute activities.

Gold Sponsor: One slide $350

Silver Sponsor: Small Logo $200 included in one slide with other companies

Please contact: Joel Dellaria, for more information


Presentation Abstracts

Title: Does anyone do sheet pile wall design hand calculations anymore?

Prepared by:      Stan Vitton, PE, PhD, Associate Professor Michigan Technological Univ., President of GeoEngineering North, LLC

Recently, I participated in the development of a “Sheet Pile Wall Design Manual” for a state DOT that was part of a training class for contractors who submit sheet pile wall designs for DOT approval. I had not taught sheet pile design before but had supervised a couple of senior design classes, which had a sheet pile design component, so I viewed this project as a good way to become more familiar with sheet pile design. I completed eight sheet pile wall designs involving cantilever, anchored and soldier pile wall designs for cohesionless and cohesive soils and compared my hand solutions to solutions from a commonly used sheet pile design software program. What I learned was rather humbling and frustrating. The presentation will outline these two learning outcomes.


Title: Jet Grouting for Earth Retention and Underpinning Applications:  Methods and Risk Mitigation

Prepared by: Kevin M. Dawson, P.E., Vice President with Hayward Baker, Inc.

Hayward Baker successfully performs jet grouting in congested, sensitive work areas for foundation underpinning and earth retention applications.  Inclusion of robust geotechnical instrumentation and data acquisition systems have proved to be critically important in managing Owner and Contractor risk during project delivery.  The presentation will highlight the design, implementation, and geotechnical instrumentation for two recently competed projects in New England; MIT.nano Enabling Project and Holyoke Medical Center.


Title: Advances in Soil Nail Design and Construction

Prepared by:    Barry D. Siel, PE, Senior Geotechnical Engineer at FHWA

Recent advances in the state-of-the-practice for soil nail walls that are addressed in the document include:

  • The implementation of the Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) platform.
  • Information on new or emerging soil nailing technologies.
  • The inclusion of design examples based upon the SNAP-2 computer program.

This paper presents the procedure to verify structural resistances in an LRFD format using load factors from AASHTO (2014) and results from ASD-based slope stability analysis.  This paper also presents considerations for the use of hollow bar soil nails (HBSN).


Title: MSE Wall Engineering – A New Look at Contracting, Design, and Construction

Prepared by:      James M. Schmidt, PE, PEng, DGE, Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Since the mid-1980’s Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) retaining walls have grown in popularity and use. The author was requested by a transportation authority to perform forensic investigations on numerous MSE walls that were constructed and were exhibiting signs of movement and distress.  The forensic investigation findings revealed that there were major disconnects among the geotechnical engineer of record, the design engineer, the MSE wall designer, and the contractor.  The author subsequently recommended the development of a position designated the MSE Wall Engineer.  The role of the MSE Wall Engineer is to mitigate poor performance of future walls by providing a single source of oversight for development, design and construction, and construction documentation.


Title: General Services Building, Washington, D.C.

Prepared by:      Keith R. Moser, PE is owner of Geomo Enterprises

Smithsonian National Zoo, General Services Building and Retaining Wall, Washington, D.C. – Innovative 30,000-sf MSE/soil-nail/shotcrete/precast hybrid retaining wall is 2016 Washington Building Congress Award winner for precast concrete and specialty painting. Variable, piedmont site-geology includes existing fill and residual soil over weathered and competent rock. Precast veneer covers MSE/soil-nail/shotcrete structure. Custom form-liners and specialty paint effectively hide precast joints and mimic existing natural stone walls on adjacent parkway.


Title: Wade Park, Frisco, Texas – Permanent Soil Nail and Shoring Walls

Prepared by:      John H. Edens, PE, Senior Design Engineer, Dallas office, Hayward Baker Inc.

Construction began in February of 2016 on Wade Park, a Luxury Urban Retail development project located in Frisco, Texas. Construction Manager Balfour Beatty chose Hayward Baker as their support of excavation specialty contractor for the 175-acre mixed-use development project. The earth retention system consists of permanent soil nails and tiebacks with a structural shotcrete face to support an excavated cut of nearly 50 feet. Soil Nails were installed and a 3” thick temporary facing applied as excavation progressed with an additional 8” permanent shotcrete facing applied after completion of the excavation. The project includes over 80,000 SF of excavated wall face along the project perimeter.

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