March Madness

January 2011 » Features » EVENTS
Geotechnical engineering and 3D imaging topics prevail at conferences in Texas.
Stephanie Hildebrandt

While sports fans around the nation try to predict the outcome of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, the civil engineering industry will be experiencing a different kind of March Madness. First, engineers are invited to attend Geo-Frontiers 2011 in Dallas, from March 13-16. Then, they’ll have the opportunity to attend SPAR International 2011 in Houston, from March 21-24.

Geo-Frontiers
Co-organized by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Geo-Institute (G-I) organization, the North American chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (NAGS), and the Geosynthetics Materials Association (GMA), Geo-Frontiers 2011 aims to present new developments in geotechnical engineering technologies. Engineers, environmental specialists, and water or transportation regulators will have the opportunity to visit more than 120 exhibitors and earn as many as 32 professional development hours (PDHs) by attending technical programs, workshops, and short courses.

To get more specific, the conference will hold the following eight, full-day short courses worth seven PDHs each on the first day of the conference:

  • Advanced Principles of Slope Stability Analysis;
  • Augured Cast-In-Place (ACIP) Piles: Design, Construction, Load Test, and Case Studies;
  • Design and Construction of Bottom Liner and Cover Systems;
  • Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil;
  • Instrumentation, Monitoring, and Condition Assessment of Foundations & Geo-Structures;
  • Application of Geophysics to Geotechnical Problems;
  • Geosynthetic Test Procedures and Material Specifications; and
  • Recent Trends in Ground Improvement.

Throughout the rest of the conference, attendees can take part in concurrent technical paper sessions.

Each day of the conference will feature a lecture from an engineering award recipient. The first lecture comes from the recipient of the H. Bolton Seed Medal for outstanding contributions to teaching, research, or practice in geotechnical engineering. The second day’s lecture is named in honor of Ralph B. Peck, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, and comes from a geotechnical engineer selected for outstanding contributions to the profession through the analysis and publication of case histories. The third day of the conference features the Karl Terzaghi Lecture, given by an individual honored for his or her exemplary contributions to the field of geotechnical engineering. The last lecture comes from Junichi Koseki, Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo. The aim of the lecture is to help promote cooperation of information exchange between the geotechnical engineering profession and the geosynthetics industry by giving an eminent practitioner the opportunity to undertake a lecture tour on the subject of geosynthetics in geotechnical engineering.

On the last day of the conference, Geo-Frontiers 2011 also will host the Geosynthetic Research Institute’s annual GSI Conference (GRI-24). The theme of this year’s conference is Enhancing Sustainability Using Geosynthetics. It will encompass all types of geosynthetics and all types of applications, each of which is viewed from the context of sustainability.

Full registration for Geo-Frontiers 2011 includes all scheduled activities except for the short courses, which are an additional $295 when purchased on or before Feb. 21, and $350 when purchased after Feb. 21. Full registration for members of G-I, NAGS, IFAI, GMA, or any other supporting organization is $695 when purchased on or before Feb. 21, and $795 when purchased after Feb. 21. Full registration for non-members is $805 on or before Feb. 21, and $905 after Feb. 21.

For more information, visit www.geofrontiers11.org

SPAR International
What is driving success in 3D imaging and positioning markets? That’s the question SPAR International 2011 is determined to answer. Professionals from surveying, civil infrastructure, process manufacturing, fossil and nuclear power, transportation, offshore construction, discrete manufacturing, mining and natural resource management, LiDAR service providers, shipbuilding, and defense and security organizations are invited to attend.

The conference will offer more than 40 educational sessions, which attendees can use to earn PDHs. The conference also features two-hour pre-conference workshops and boot camps on Monday, March 21. The topic for both boot camps is 3D laser scanning, with one focused on industrial applications and the other on civil, transportation, and building applications.

Other educational topics include: Process/power; manufacturing; mobile survey/LIDAR; transportation/civil; new technology; geotechnical, mining, and tunneling; scan to BIM; asset management; digital heritage preservation; and security planning and forensics. According to www.sparconference.com, attendees also will take away the following business and technical knowledge:

  • They will better understand scan-to-BIM workflows for building and civil infrastructure projects and learn how construction companies are winning new business, reducing change orders, and speeding up schedules through better sequencing and coordination with BIM deliverables founded in 3D laser scanning.
  • They will learn how to take the cost and risk out of industrial plant revamp projects by updating scanning workflows.
  • Attendees will be challenged to assess the impact of laser scanning on their workflows. They also will be exposed to new scanning hardware at the conference.
  • They can learn about building Web portals to provide point cloud and survey data together with digital photographs and associated databases.

Full-conference registration for surveyors, engineers, project managers, service providers, and asset owners is $595 on or before Jan. 28; $695 on or before March 13; and $795 after March 13. For additional registration packages, visit www.sparconference.com


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