CalGeo E Newsletter

July 20, 2015

President’s Message

By: Larry Taylor, G.E. - Taylor Group


Mike Laney presents new president Larry Taylor with gavel
Mike Laney presents new president Larry Taylor with gavel
President's Message »
CalGeo Board of Directors Election »
Like Us On Facebook »
Salary Survey Needs Your Participation »
Outstanding Project Award »
Technical Advisory Committee Update »
Emerging Professionals »
Member News »
Job Board »
Safety First »
Find us on Facebook

As I step into the role of President of CalGeo at the start of its 45th year, I find myself considering the past to see how it might help me to focus on what's ahead. A lot has changed since the time this Association was founded 44 years ago as the Soil and Foundation Engineers Association (SAFEA). Consider how things like technological changes, advances in geotechnical science/engineering, regulatory requirements, employer/employee relationships, and other factors have changed the way geotechnical consulting firms do business now as compared to then. Some big changes.

A lot has not changed. Soil and rock are still soil and rock and the fundamental way in which we work with our clients to help them deal with the geotechnical aspects of their projects has not really changed all that much – we just have a bigger and more sophisticated toolbox than we did in the past. And many of the most challenging issues that prompted our founding Member firms to band together have not gone away. In fact, many of the long-standing non-technical issues which profoundly affect our businesses have simply become more complex - like complying with prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements or managing the tight wire act of practicing an imperfect science with imperfect people in an ever-more litigious society while at the same time being asked to indemnify our clients.

The persistent issues that were a unifying force 44 years ago remain at the core of why CalGeo exists. These are difficult issues that will probably never go away, but mitigating their impacts on our profession requires that CalGeo must continue to grow. The equation is simple:

Larger Association = Louder voice = Ability to affect change where it is needed. (Equation 1)

Click here to read the complete message.


CalGeo Board of Directors Election Results

New Board Member, Mike Cazeneuve of Geotechnologies, Inc.

Ballots for the election of CalGeo Directors and Officers were tallied as part of the general membership meeting during the CalGeo Annual Conference on April 23, 2015. CalGeo's Board of Directors consists of twelve members who are responsible for management of the Association's activities and affairs. The Directors consist of five officers and seven Directors-at-Large.

CalGeo is pleased to announce the election of our new Director – Michael Cazeneuve, PE, CEG. Michael joined Geotechnologies, Inc. in 1999. The company is a full service Geotechnical Consulting firm in Glendale, California and was a founding member of CalGeo in 1971. Now in his 16th year with the firm, Michael is an integral part of the company and is involved with most of the business and technical operations.

Michael has been an active supporter of CalGeo for many years, and has managed the annual golf tournament expertly! He attended his first CalGeo Annual Conference in 2010 at Torrey Pines, where he received a warm welcome from many of the members and affiliates associated with the organization. It was there that he recognized the value of CalGeo and its members to our profession. Since then, he has attended every annual conference and many of the regional technical seminars. He looks forward to expanding his support and involvement with CalGeo by serving as a member of the board.

Thank you Danny Cohen for your dedication to the Board

Larry Taylor (Taylor Group, Inc.) assumes the position of President, with Hannes Richter (Stoney-Miller Consultants) elected Vice President/President Elect, Bob Lokteff (Blackburn Consulting) elected as Treasurer and Dave Hamilton (Hamilton & Associates) elected as Secretary. Outgoing President Mike Laney (Terracon) remains on the Board in the role of Immediate Past President. Current Directors Neal Berliner (Geocon), Chris Diaz (Diaz-Yourman & Associates), Rob Fingerson (Holdrege & Kull Consulting Engineers), Judd King (Earth Systems), Martin McIlroy (Taber Consultants), and Mike Moscrop (GMU Geotechnical, Inc.) were re-elected to another term on the Board.

Danny Cohen of JC Baldwin stepped down from the board this fiscal year, but we know that he will stay involved in many ways. We thank him for his years of service and expertise.


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Like Us On Facebook!

CalGeo has a new Facebook page! Thank you Lindsey Angell of Golder Associates and Judd King of Earth Systems for getting it up and running. Like us here Find us on Facebook and let others know in your organization too!

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Salary Survey Needs Your Participation

If you are an Active Member firm, you should have recently received the salary survey form in your email. We hope you will participate, and if you do you will receive a free copy of the survey once it is compiled and published.

You do not need to be a member to participate — and you can still receive a free copy if you fill it out. However, participants must be a Geotechnical Consulting firm in private practice. If you'd like to be part of the survey and don't have a copy, contact Marsha Myers at for a copy.

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Outstanding Project Award

Honorable Mention Winner-Geocon Inc.

Adobe Estates (Laurel Pointe)-159 Lot Residential Development in Vista, CA

By: Tory Reist/Geocon Inc.

Geocon Incorporated performed several field investigations that included extensive drilling, laboratory testing, slope stability analyses and shear pin design in order to provide geotechnical recommendations for a 159-lot residential subdivision developed by Pulte Homes in Vista, California. The identification of landslides, remolded clay seams, fissured claystones, hard rock, significant groundwater and the presence of an existing subdivision above and school site below a large proposed cut slope created challenges for the project. The use of a conventional buttress to stabilize the slope was not possible because temporary backcuts would expose existing subdivision homes to potential slope failures or movement. An alternative of excavating narrow slot cuts was found to be economically infeasible. Therefore, special slope stabilization measures were considered that included shear pins and tie-backs. Because the tie-back anchor solution would require drilling beyond the property boundary, a 182 shear pin stabilization system was recommended. In addition, stabilization fills and a deep shear key were necessary to provide an acceptable factor of safety for the project.

For full article, click here.

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Technical Advisory Committee Update

By: Siamak Jafroudi, Petra Geosciences, Inc.

Many of our members received a public meeting notice from the Department of State Architect (DSA) via e-mail for attending the 2015 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle, Structural Safety Public Meeting. This was the second meeting notice of many, the date of which was set on May 4, 2015. Despite the short notice, Board Members Rob Fingerson and Bob Lokteff attended the Sacramento and Past President Siamak Jafroudi attended the Los Angeles simulcast sessions.

Many of the subjects of interest to geoprofessional society had apparently been discussed in the first meeting. The subjects of the recent meeting related to concrete masonry and wood structures. Regardless, the group emphasized that the word "registered professional" for selecting the number and locations of the boreholes should refer to the "registered geotechnical engineer".

The main body of the 2016 Code will be discussed in public meetings in August and September of this year. The Technical Advisory Committee plans to be present and vocal at those meetings.

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Emerging Professionals

By: Danny Cohen, J.C. Baldwin, CalGeo Past President

Last year CalGeo successfully launched an Emerging Professionals group in northern California, focused on bringing together young engineers working in the geotechnical profession in the Sacramento area. We would now like to move ahead and expand this effort by starting Emerging Professional groups in southern California. The group is intended to help transition young engineers and geologists who have been involved in student chapters during their college years and are now entering the work force.

If you are a young engineer or geologist just embarking on your professional career, know some young engineers or have some young engineers working for your firm who you think would be interested in joining such a group or would benefit from becoming involved in this type of group, please have them contact Danny Cohen at 760-519-2564.

We would like to get groups started in the San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles areas, which will depend on the level of response and interest we receive. Our goal is to find some courageous leaders who will step forward and help keep the group active with the support and participation of CalGeo. We hope that the groups can become self-sustaining, maintaining a regular schedule of meetings and speakers that suits their purpose. We look forward to hearing from you.

Emerging Professionals Mission Statement

- To create a place where students and young professionals can acquire information, training, and advice from experienced engineers and geologists, and personally connect with the Geotechnical community.

- To establish a foundation for future members to build upon, while also strengthening relationships, bridging the gap between academia and business and connecting engineers and geologists.

- To promote community awareness of the geotechnical profession, and to develop enthusiasm for the fields of engineering and geology.

- To inspire our youth, and give them the power to make an informed decision regarding geotechnical career paths.

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Member News

Gregg Drilling is excited to announce that we have listened to our clients and we have added two highly in-demand new services.

As of July 6th, 2015 you will now be able to book, directly with us, for:



For more information, click here.

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Job Board

Visit our website for the latest information on current available positions throughout the industry, including:

Laboratory Manager with NMG Geotechnical, Inc.
CAD Designer with Farrell Design Build
Project Geotechnical Engineer with Ninyo & Moore Geotechnical & Environmental Sciences Consultants

If you're LOOKING for help throughout the year, we also have a number of resumes on our website at

Chance Helical Pile Engineering Design and Construction Seminar
Thursday, August 13th
San Rafael, CA

In this one day seminar, participants will receive an in-depth historical, theoretical and practical review of helical anchors and piles. Topics include applications, design specifications and installation methodology of helical anchors, tiebacks and piles. In addition, an anchor installation demonstration and a full scale compression load test will be performed.

Gary Seider, P.E., Engineering Manager with Chance Civil Construction will present the theory and design of helical anchors. Gary will cover value engineering, how to address lateral stability, and ICC Engineering Services Report and Los Angeles Research Reports. He will also review HeliCAP Design Software, Helical Pulldown Micropiles and Combination (round hollow / square solid) piles. Jeff Martin, P.E., Technical Application Engineer for Pacific Helix, will present case histories for recently completed projects.

Who should attend this event? Structural Engineers, Geotechnical Engineers, Building Officials and contractors who are responsible for the design, qualification or installation of foundations and earth retention systems.

For more information and to register:

Fee: $75.00 / 6 Professional Development Hours

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Safety First


Courtesy of the California State Compensation Insurance Fund

Burns can be caused by a number of sources: heat, electricity, chemicals or radiation. Stay alert to the potential burn hazards on your job, wear personal protective equipment when necessary, and learn the basics for burn first aid. Quick action and proper first aid can lessen the effects of a burn and, in some cases, save a life.

Contact with extreme heat in any form causes burns. The first action in a burn situation is to stop the heat source or break contact between the heat source and the skin. Because the body holds heat and continues to burn until the skin cools, even with a minor burn, a person can go into shock. For most burns, cool the burn with water. Unless told to by a medical professional, never use butter ointments, which may seal in heat and cause infection. Never break a burn blister; it protects the burn area from infection.

For burns caused by electricity, turn off the electric power at the source. Don't touch the victim until all wires are clear. Make sure the victim's breathing and heartbeat are regular and seek medical attention immediately.

If the burn is from a chemical, locate the chemical container and follow the label directions for treatment, consult the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or call the Poison Control Center. Remove any contaminated clothing. If the eyes are affected, flush for 15-30 minutes. For acid chemicals, immediately flush the area for 15-20 minutes. For dry chemicals, brush the chemical off the skin — but not with bare hands — and then flush it for 15-20 minutes. Get professional medical attention as soon as possible.

Stay alert to possible burn hazards, use all recommended protection devices, know the location of wash stations, and know where emergency phone numbers are posted.

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