Colorado Association of Geotechnical Engineers - Event Information

Event Name:CAGE October Presentation
A Perspective on Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls
Pushing the Limits or Pulling Us Down
Dr. Robert C. Bachus, P.E., D.GE
Geosyntec Consultants
Kennesaw, Georgia

Many will argue that fill walls, particularly mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls, represent a boom to the U.S. geotechnical practice and are a testament to the valuable and innovative contributions by geotechnical practitioners.  Many examples can be cited to demonstrate the profession’s ability to push the limits in terms of wall height and creative applications.  These success stories notwithstanding, there have been several reported MSE wall failures that should give the profession pause for concern.  There are indications today that the profession’s lack of attention and focus has started to reverse the impressive trends of innovative practice.  These failures should remind us that we have to remain ever mindful of the basic tenants of good geotechnical engineering practice and that we cannot afford to lose sight of important geotechnical considerations and perspective regarding the design and construction of MSE walls and slopes.  This presentation strives to once again highlight important lessons regarding the design and construction of MSE walls from both big and small projects.  It will also include specific recommendations to halt this disturbing trend before it has potentially severe consequences. 

Presenter Bio
Dr. Bachus is a civil engineer with more than 40 years of experience, with an expertise in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering.  He started his professional career as a member of the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he taught for 11 years before joining Geosyntec Consultants in 1990, where he is a Senior Principal.  The firm specializes in geotechnical, environmental, and water resource engineering, with >1,200 employees in its 75 offices in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.  His research and project activities cover a wide range of topics, including dams and levees, landslide assessment, landfill design and performance, soil/rock properties, geosynthetics, and forensic engineering.  He has worked extensively on the properties and beneficial use of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) and geotechnical data management and visualization.  He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Georgia Tech and Co-chairman of the Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Soil and Rock Properties.
Event Date:10/14/2020
Event Time:12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Mountain
Location:via Webex
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