CalGeo E Newsletter

March 9, 2011

Peace, Love & CalGeo

Wayward Sons in Concert at Berkeley Annual Conference

By Dave Hamilton
Hamilton & Associates Inc.

Wayward Sons

In celebration of CalGeo’s 40th Anniversary (1971-2011) and this year’s Annual Conference Berkeley location, the closing night dinner and entertainment will feature Hollywood’s infamous 70’s arena rock tribute band Wayward Sons. Some of the artists they’ll cover include 70s legends The Who, Free, Journey, Queen, Styx, Foreigner, Boston and Kansas. With the band dressed in costumes from the era, they personify a cast of characters that are both sexy and hilarious. So come take a trip back in time to an era where tight pants, big hair and hairy chests ruled the world. Wayward Sons guarantees to satisfy all of your guilty pleasures, musically...or otherwise!

CalGeo Board Member David Hamilton is a member of the band, where he is known by his alter ego Rik Dürscale. For more information, hilarious bios, pics, and videos about the band see You’ll love it!

This year’s conference and closing night is a must attend event! Come in costume and be a part of the fun.



Peace, Love & CalGeo »

It’s Not Too Late To Register For The Conference! »

Member News »

Help Wanted »

Technical Corner »

GeoChallenge Student

Contest: Landslide of the Month »

CalGeo Website »

It’s a Winter Wonderland in the High Sierras »

Safety First »

Understanding Engineers »



It’s Not Too Late To Register For The Conference!

Don’t fret if you missed our early bird registration date. There’s still time to register for our annual conference at the regular rate until March 21. To download registration forms and to pay online Click Here.


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Member News

Welcome New Members of CalGeo!


Active Members:

Irvine Geotechnical
145 N. Sierra Madre Boulevard, #12
Pasadena, CA 91107
Primary Rep: John A. Irvine, President
Phone: (626) 844-6641


Stratum Geotechnical Consultants, Inc.
1098 East Front Street, Unit A
Ventura, CA 93001
Primary Rep: Rory “Tony” Robinson, CEO
Phone: (878) 222-8568


Affiliate Member:

SRT (Slope Reinforcement Technology)
4125 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Ste. #170
Danville, CA 94506
Primary Rep: Richard Short, President
Phone: (925) 736-6659


Individual Member:

John Maier
Purcell, Rhoades & Associates
1041 Hook Avenue
Pleasant Hills, CA 94523
Phone: (925) 932-1177



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Help Wanted


SPC Geotechnical, Inc. has an opening for a Geologist with 3 to 5+ years of experience. Registration preferable. E-mail resume to or fax (714) 630-0326.


Group Delta Consultants, Inc is searching for Geotechnical Senior and Project Engineers. Join California’s fastest growing geotechnical engineering firm with eight certified laboratories, five offices and an outstanding backlog of major projects including design-build, educational facilities, ports, rail and roadways!

Office locations are Torrance, Irvine, El Centro, Ontario, and San Diego. For confidential consideration, please send resume to or fax (949) 450-2108

For complete information on these job openings, Click Here.


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Technical Corner

Instant Brick Paved Road

By Rex Upp
Upp Geotechnology, Inc.

Tiger-Stone is a Dutch paver laying machine that produces brick roads

Landslide over freeway
We don’t have many brick-paved public roads in California, but apparently they have enough in Holland to warrant developing a brick laying paving machine. Tiger-Stone is a Dutch paver laying machine that produces brick roads. Paving bricks are dropped into the angled trough by a front-end-loader. Men help to spread them in the trough as they drop into the forming jig. As the electrically operated crawler moves forward along a pre-laid sand base layer, all the bricks are packed, held together by gravity, and descend the sloping ramp on to the road. Of course in California, the bricklayers who are out-of-work because of this machine probably would be entitled to prevailing wages anyway. For more photos click here.


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GeoChallenge Student Competition

Four So. Cal. Universities Advance to Nationals

Cal Poly Pomona's 2011 GeoChallenge project

Cal Poly SLO was the winning team in the Regional 2010 MSE Wall competition, completing a 150 lb. load on a model box reinforced with paper strips.


The GeoChallenge Student Competition this year will take place in Dallas on March 14. The competition will consist of design and testing of a model MSE Wall reinforced with paper strips, and subjected to vertical and lateral loads. Universities throughout the country prepared design papers, and 16 were selected to advance to the nationals. Those 16 universities will be competing for the prestigious Atterberg Cup. Four of the five Southern California universities that presented design papers advanced to the nationals (Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly SLO and UCLA) and all were placed within the top ten, with CSUF in the No. 1 spot! That is an incredible success rate!

Congratulations to our Southern California universities for the outstanding job. These hard working, creative young students will be the leaders of tomorrow’s Geotechnical Engineering Community. It looks like we’ll be in good hands.

To view the video of Cal Poly Pomona’s 2011 GeoChallenge project, click here. The video shows a compilation of clips showing the wall design being loaded to failure (beyond the design loads). In the final design, it only takes about 3-5 pounds of extra horizontal load, in excess of the 25 pound design criteria, to induce a failure. This confirms that our design is very efficient in only holding the design load given in the problem statement. It also shows that our loading analysis and material strength designs are very close to what we discovered in our testing and research.


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Landslide of the Month

Name that landslide!

Landslide over freeway
CalGeo President Siamak Jafroudi has offered to buy a drink at our 2011 Annual Conference Friday night’s reception for the first person (not on the CalGeo board) who e-mails him the location and date of this impressive landslide. Email him at


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CalGeo Website

Call for Member Highlights

Tiger-Stone is a Dutch paver laying machine that produces brick roads
No, Karl Terzaghi is not a member of CalGeo. If he were, I’m sure you would find his highlight on our web site. We encourage all of our member firms to submit the highlights of their Active Member Designees to our website, so other professionals can learn more about our members. A new highlight appears on each CalGeo webpage every time the page is clicked. The highlights can also be viewed by clicking here, or by clicking the “Member Highlights” button under the “Membership” tab. Go to the bottom of the “Member Highlights” page to add your highlight and be sure to include in a photo.


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It’s a Winter Wonderland in the High Sierras

Snow packed mountains
We hope you have a chance to visit the High Sierras this season, but we’re not asking you to write your narrative in the snow. Just sit down with your laptop in front of the fire and write an article for e.Geo that your geoprofessional colleagues will find informative or interesting. Please include a photo if you have a good one. Our Publication Standards will help click here.


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Safety First

Punctures and Cuts

Courtesy of the State Compensation Insurance Fund

Punctures and cuts are common on-the-job injuries. The best way to deal with cuts and punctures is to avoid getting them in the first place.

Follow safe work practices and know how to use your tools properly. Inspect, maintain, and replace your tools, when necessary. Always use the correct tool for the job. Ensure that blades on cutting tools are sharpened; dull cutting surfaces can cause accidents. When working with sharp tools, always know where both of your hands are at all times. Practice good housekeeping with your sharp and cutting tools by sheathing and storing them properly. Place tools far back on workbenches and shelves, not against the edge where someone walking by might get stuck.

Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate to your job tasks such as gloves, safety glasses, work boots, gauntlets, and chaps. If you have to pick up broken glass or metal shards, use a broom and a dustpan or pieces of cardboard. Never pick up broken glass with your bare hands. Dispose of sharp objects properly in rigid sided containers that will not get punctured and split. Label these containers with the word “Sharp” to warn coworkers of the hazard. Never reach into a garbage can with your hands or try to “tamp” it down with your hands or booted feet, in case someone has improperly disposed of a sharp object or even a syringe. To properly dispose of syringes, pick them up with tongs and place them into hard plastic medical “sharps” waste containers.

If you receive a puncture or cut on the job, notify your supervisor immediately. Get medical attention, if your suspect infection. If your wound was caused by stepping on a nail or other sharp object in contact with the soil, you may be exposed to the bacteria that cause tetanus. Consider getting regular boosters for tetanus every five to ten years. If your wound was caused by a needlestick, seek medical testing and treatment due to a potential exposure to blood borne pathogens. Consider a Hepatitis B vaccination, if you are exposed to potential needlesticks.


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Understanding Engineers

A New Regular Column to Lighten Your Load.

By Rex Upp
Upp Geotechnical Inc.

A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.

The engineer fumed, "What's with those guys? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such inept golf!"

The priest said, "Here comes the green-keeper. Let's have a word with him."

He said, "Hello George, what's wrong with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"

The green-keeper replied, "Oh, yes. That's a group of blind firemen. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."

The group fell silent for a moment.

The priest said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."

The doctor said, "Good idea. I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there's anything he can do for them."

The engineer said, "Why can't they play at night?"


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