The Critical Role of Safety

February 17th, 2016

JoeDarmodyBlogSafety in the workplace is an integral part of caring for the wellbeing of employees. A company has a responsibility to protect its employees and offer them a safe and healthy work environment. Going beyond the wellbeing of employees, safety is playing a bigger role on the business side of the company, says Geotechnology Corporate Risk Manager Joe Darmody.

“Increasingly, clients are using safety statistics as pre-qualifiers and differentiators in the proposal process,” says Darmody. “As part of many prequalification submittals, we are asked to document our safety programs and our path to improvement from a safety perspective; those efforts have only made us stronger as a company in the long-term.”

Geotechnology has always had a strong commitment and focus on safety. Within the past year, under Darmody’s direction, the company has taken additional steps to put safety at the forefront of all parts of the business.

Safety Logo_2in Round Sticker_PRINT-01Darmody has been with Geotechnology for nearly ten years in a variety of key positions. In January 2015, he assumed the role as the company’s first full-time Corporate Risk Manager.

“We are in an evolving industry and our safety culture must continue to evolve,” says Darmody. “Overall, we want to make sure our operational teams think more about safety from the beginning of a project with proposals and budgets all the way through completion.”

Darmody is responsible for safety, radiation, insurance, DOT compliance and much more. His previous project management and environmental group management experience helps him integrate safety throughout existing company operations. Better methods of communications have helped the company become even more consistent in its practices.

“We continue to look for ways to keep safety first and foremost throughout the company,” he says. “This is especially important because Geotechnology has grown so much during the past year and brought on many more people. Through newer text-based programs, a robust company-wide intranet and improved email capabilities, we’re now able to reach the entire company on a regular basis, which has made a big difference for us.”

This year began with a Safety Kick-Off event in each of Geotechnology’s 10 offices. Employees signed a banner signified that “I am Committed” to exceeding safety expectations this year and beyond. This comes in addition to safety being designated as one of the company’s six core values in 2015.

Darmody visits each office frequently throughout the year to stress the importance of getting new employees acclimated with the culture of safety. Those opportunities to address safety topics and conduct jobsite safety visits will continue regularly in 2016.

“Throughout our history, we have been committed to establishing and maintaining stringent safety programs,” said President and CEO Ed Alizadeh. “As we expand into new markets, we will incorporate that same high standard for safety across the country.”

Geotechnology is growing and expanding to better serve our clients in 2016 and beyond.

February 10th, 2016

Thank you to our clients, employees, and industry partners for making 2015 another successful year for Geotechnology. We are proud of our past accomplishments and the role we have played in our clients’ success. However, we are focusing on the future and how we can improve as a company. We have established three focus points for improvement in 2016: geographic expansion, safety leadership, and service enhancement.

Geographic Expansion: Geotechnology acquired the assets of Thelen Associates inAugust 2015, increasing our staff by 50% to almost 300 employees and adding substantial equipment, facilities and boots on the ground in Kentucky and Ohio. At the beginning of 2015, we also established satellite offices in Mississippi and Arkansas. As a result, Geotechnology enters 2016 with 10 offices in 8 states: MO, KY, TN, KS, OH, IL, MS and AR. This expanded geographic reach allows us to better serve clients in the Midwest, Midsouth and throughout the heartland. As clients, you rely on Geotechnology having the right specialty operators and equipment in reasonably close proximity to your projects. Thus, our geographic expansion is critical to more efficiently and effectively serve you. Some of the projects we are working on include the Archgrounds transformation in St. Louis, MO, the Mountain Parkway in Eastern KY, Lenexa Logistics office park in Lenexa, KS, new Baptist Hospital in Oxford, MS and Miami University’s Athletic Performance Center in Oxford, OH.

Safety Logo_2in Round Sticker_PRINT-01Safety Leadership: Geotechnology’s safety program is growing alongside our expanded operations. Safety is a core value of Geotechnology and is our highest priority. In January 2015, we selected Joe Darmody for the fulltime position of Corporate Risk Manager. Joe has the full authority and responsibility to implement safety and risk management tools to enhance the safety of our workforce. He is supported by a robust safety committee with representatives from each branch office and me. Each branch has a safety coordinator who leads the safety efforts in their respective offices. In late 2015, Geotechnology established a new safety logo to clearly identify the company’s commitment to safety. On January 4, 2016, employees in each of our offices participated in a Safety KickOff and placed their signatures on banners that read: “I am Committed.” Those banners now hang prominently in each office. As clients, you expect us to be safe on your projects and at your facilities, and we are committed to exceeding that expectation each and every day in each and every task.

Service Improvement: Geotechnology has focused on client service for all 31 years of our existence, and we continually seek to improve. Part of that effort to improve has been to seek direct feedback from our clients. Client responses to surveys in 2014 and 2015 indicate that 99% of our clients were happy with our services and 97% would utilize us again. While encouraging, we are not satisfied with those results and are actively working to improve our service to you. As part of our strategic plan, we are enhancing the project management and client relationship skills of our staff. We are also working to improve our client communication tools, including field data reporting and easier to read reports. Most importantly, we need to understand your objectives and work together to develop and execute an appropriate scope of services. Finally, we are expanding the services offered at several of our branches to include environmental, geophysics and deep foundation testing. If you have ideas about how Geotechnology could improve, please call me at 3149977440 or email me at ealizadeh@geotechnology.com.

Thank you for your continued confidence in Geotechnology. Let’s make 2016 great!

Ed Alizadeh, P.E.

President and CEO

 

If you would like to request information about any of our other services or book a Brown Bag Lunch, Contact us here >>

 

 

 

 

Why have a full-time roofing inspector?

December 28th, 2015

roofing2

Having a full-time roofing inspector on-site during an a roofing installation is a preventative measure that helps clients reduce the risk of leaks and the damages associated with improper installations.

An improperly installed roof can be very costly. Potential damages and financial loss resulting from a roof that has not been constructed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations can include: water damaged warehouse product, retail stock, office furnishings, or electronic equipment; reduction in productivity during repairs; health risks and environmental remediation due to mold growth; premature failure of roofing materials due to lack of fastening, application, or ponding water; and energy loss due to poorly placed insulation.  Geotechnology provides roofing inspection services for a variety of roof types. These include: EPDM (synthetic rubber); TPO (thermoplastic olefin or polyolefin); Built-up (multi-layer felt); Modified Bitumen; Metal; PVC (polyvinyl chloride); and CSPE (chlorosulfonated polyethylene). Our roofing observation and inspection services are typically provided on a full-time basis. With this level of service, our representatives observe construction activities for proper material placement and water tightness to avoid potential leaks. Full-time inspection can also mitigate risks of voiding the manufacturer’s warranty for roofing materials. For example, mold will not be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Other items that will void a manufacturer’s warranty include materials not being delivered in the original packaging; use of non-specified materials including fasteners, adhesives, and insulation; and materials installed on a roof that is not 100 percent dry. Full-time roofing services include observation of decking, insulation of fasteners and spacing, placement of membrane and flashings, inspection of metal coping and flashing, and inspection of saddles and crickets. Daily reports are produced documenting daily installation procedures and materials and may include a percentage of roofing completed in a day and number of roofers on-site.

Recent Geotechnology roofing inspection project experience includes:

General Motors Assembly Plants in Wentzville, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas, CenterPoint Intermodal Facility in Kansas City, Missouri and Amazon’s new warehouse in Lenexa, Kansas.

For additional information, please visit geotechnology.com or contact your branch’s CMT Manager: Jeff Klein, P.E. in St. Louis, MO; Justin Donovan. in Memphis, TN; Luke Heuerman in Fairview Heights, IL, Steve Damron in Overland Park, KS, Matt Barker in Erlanger, Kentucky, Lee Czor, P.E. in Lexington, Kentucky or Doug Fields in Cincinnati, Ohio . If you would like to request information about any of our other services or book a Brown Bag Lunch, contact us here.

Interested in events Geotechnology staff are attending?

Company Expansion & Acquisitions

November 6th, 2015

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Geotechnology Company Expansion Continues:
One of the goals of Geotechnology’s 5-year strategic expansion plan has been to expand our reach geographically and to do so in a way that will provide a benefit to our clients. September 17th marked the five-year anniversary of our expansion into the mid-south region with the acquisition of Hall, Blake & Associates (HBA). Hall, Blake & Associates was founded in 1979 in Memphis, Tennessee, has established an excellent reputation providing geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing and drilling services.

By combining forces with Geotechnology, Inc., HBA is now able to provide their clients with increased services due to additional equipment and staff experienced in environmental, geophysical and non-destructive testing capabilities. For those clients associated with our other offices, the merger infused an already talented staff with 26 additional engineers, geologists, drilling, laboratory and field staff along with HBA’s laboratory and other equipment.

The new company expansion and acquisition was finalized in 2010 and in 2013 the office moved to its current location at 3312 Winbrook Drive in Memphis. Since the acquisition, our Memphis office has been involved with a variety of landmark projects including the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, Shelby Farms Park with its Patriot Lake Expansion, Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford, and the newly opened I-240 flyovers.

It has been a pleasure to be a part of these regional projects. We look forward to continuing to provide you with our services for any of your future project needs.

September 17th also marked the one month anniversary of our significant expansion to the east.  Geotechnology and Thelen Associates came together bringing four new offices and over 100 additional staff to the Geotechnology team.  You can learn more about the Thelen Associates acquisition at our website:  geotechnology.com.   We appreciate your continued trust and remain interested in growing our business to better serve our expanding client base throughout the Midwest and Mid-South.

 

Geotechnology Announces Major Expansion

August 18th, 2015

THE_ForProjectsAugust 17, 2015 – Geotechnology, Inc., a leading provider of geotechnical and environmental engineering, geophysics, water resource management, materials testing and drilling services, has announced that it has purchased substantially all of the assets of Thelen Associates. Closing on the transaction occurred on August 17, 2015.

Thelen Associates, an engineering firm founded in 1971, provides geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing services locally in the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky area, and regionally in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee. Since 1971 Thelen has provided engineering, testing and construction review services for more than 35,000 projects. Currently, Thelen has 108 employees operating from four offices.

With the addition of Thelen, Geotechnology will have 280 employees operating from 10 offices. The company anticipates that number will increase with expanding project opportunities. This expansion allows Geotechnology and Thelen to efficiently and effectively serve clients throughout the middle part of the country.

Thelen’s projects include transportation infrastructure; commercial, institutional, industrial and retail developments; water/wastewater; dams and levees; and major sports facilities. Representative projects include the Paul Brown Stadium (home of the Cincinnati Bengals), the Cincinnati Reds Great American Ball Park, The Banks Project (a mixed-use development between the two stadiums), and the Kennedy Connector in Cincinnati, Ohio; RiverCenter high-rise office and hotel development on the Covington, Kentucky riverfront; the BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Kentucky; the KY 4 (New Circle Road) project and the University of Kentucky Gatton Business School in Lexington, Kentucky; the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky; Kentucky’s new Mountain Parkway Project in South-Central Kentucky; the Lawrenceburg Levee project in Lawrenceburg, Indiana; and the Miami University Farmer School of Business in Oxford, Ohio.

Geotechnology Offices 150817Geotechnology’s purchase of Thelen’s assets is part of a long-term strategic plan of geographic expansion. Founded more than 30 years ago in St. Louis, Geotechnology opened offices in Illinois and Kansas as demand for its services increased. In 2010, Geotechnology purchased Hall, Blake & Associates in Memphis. Earlier in 2015, the company opened two new branch operations in Oxford, Mississippi and Jonesboro, Arkansas. The Thelen acquisition provides a greater presence to Geotechnology’s current Midwest and Midsouth operations.

“This business decision was made based upon careful consideration of how to best augment our resources, assets and service lines,” said Geotechnology President and CEO Ed Alizadeh, P.E., J.D. “Thelen Associates has a highly regarded reputation in the industry, along with excellent staff and equipment. Currently, Thelen Associates does not offer geophysics or environmental services, which have been highly sought after services by our other clients. With more resources available, we will be able to help our clients solve problems and grow their businesses.”

“We are excited to be a part of the Geotechnology family,” said Thelen Associates President Don Thelen, P.E. “The pace of design and construction projects is more aggressive with each passing year. Increasing our capabilities, specialized staff and technologies will afford us even more opportunities and successes.”

Stormwater Assessments

August 7th, 2015

City of Ladue Stormwater AssessmentWith record rainfall in the St. Louis area in June 2015 (13.14 inches), many municipalities and residents struggled with devastating flooding. Some municipalities are taking proactive steps to address their stormwater management needs and help eventually reduce flooding issues. In March 2015, Geotechnology was retained by HR Green, Inc. to assist with stream and rapid geomorphic assessments of approximately 21 miles of streams within a St. Louis County municipality. The purpose of the assessments was to evaluate and document the existing conditions of various streams within the municipality as well as to identify problem areas. In conjunction with public input, hydraulic modeling, and existing complaint data, the results of the rapid geomorphic stream assessments will ultimately be used to help define the municipality’s Stormwater Management Plan as well as prioritize future stormwater projects.

The rapid geomorphic stream assessments were conducted along eleven tributaries of Deer Creek within the city limits in March and April 2015. Each tributary system was walked, and observations were recorded regarding geomorphic features, adverse stream conditions, erosional concerns, existing stabilization structures, evidence of flooding, riparian vegetation, and ecological function. Geotechnology assisted HR Green, Inc. in compiling the findings into a summary report that documented problem areas, which will be subsequently evaluated to address possible mitigation options.

For additional information, please email Michael Roark, R.G., LEED AP or call 314-997-7440.

Vibration Monitoring: Reducing Liability

June 26th, 2015

VMGeoBlast2For years, Geotechnology has been helping protect structures and reduce its clients’ liability related to vibrations from construction, demolition, or other industrial activities by performing precondition surveys and vibration monitoring services. Historically, vibration monitors have required ample space for setup, a well-founded protective system from the always chaotic construction or industrial environment, and plenty of “baby-sitting” hours for instrument setup, maintenance and data downloading. For these reasons, we are excited to have recently enhanced our vibration monitoring capabilities with
the use of a wireless and internet-
based vibration monitoring network.

INFRA Net2The vibration monitors provide automated, wireless transmission of data to Geotechnology via the INFRA Net website which saves time and enhances productivity throughout the duration of each project. The vibration monitors are compact, waterproof, and portable, each containing a geophone, datalogger, and communications capabilities. The small size of the vibration monitors makes them easy to mount on structures or couple to the ground in relatively out-of-the-way places with no wires to get in the way. The web-based software allows us to remotely set up, program and track the status of vibration monitors. The monitors send out immediate automatic notifications via text or email to assigned contacts at Geotechnology, Inc. in addition to the owner, project manager, etc., if a pre-assigned vibration threshold is exceeded. Also, recorded maximums can be plotted and analyzed over a pre-set time interval. Waveforms can be analyzed and reported immediately upon collection and without being on site. The internet-based system has allowed Geotechnology to provide more responsive vibration monitoring results with less effort and cost.

Special Inspections per IBC

June 11th, 2015

07222014 (5) reducedThe need for special inspections and qualified Special Inspectors is continuing to grow, driven by the desire to enhance public safety and verify that critical structural components of the building are properly constructed. Increasingly, municipalities and design engineers are required to satisfy the special inspection requirements included in chapter 17 of the International Building Code (IBC).

Geotechnology’s Construction Materials Testing Group (CMT) includes qualified trained staff to perform special inspections. Our CMT field representatives are certified by International Code Council (ICC), American Concrete Institute (ACI), Post-Tensioning Institute (PTI), American Society for Non-Destructive Testing (ASNT), American Welding Society (AWS), National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA), and National Institute for Certification of Engineering Technologies (NICET). Some of Geotechnology’s field representatives hold multiple certifications.

Special inspections are typically required for structural components of the building including the supporting soil, deep and shallow foundations, wood framing, concrete, reinforcing steel, masonry, structural steel, fireproofing, and exterior insulation and finishing systems (EIFS).

The design professional in charge is responsible for identifying specific components that require special inspection and incorporates a statement of required special inspections into the project documents. Those may include continuous and/or periodic inspections, depending on the item of work.

Geotechnology’s special inspectors then perform the tests and/or observations, issue electronic reports, and prepare periodic summary reports of our findings. If necessary, a deficiency punch list is generated. At project completion, we often prepare a final report, which includes the results of our observations and materials testing. For more information on special inspections, contact us.

Geotechnology Announces Human Resources Changes

April 10th, 2015

bailey codeyGeotechnology announced the promotion of Bailey Cody to the position of Human Resources Manager.

The company also announced that Karen Kunzelmann is retiring as its Director of Human Resources. Kunzelmann has been with Geotechnology for more than 10 years, and will continue to work with the company as a consultant.

Cody joined Geotechnology in 2012 as an intern, and became the company’s Human Resources Generalist in 2014. She earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Lindenwood University, and is pursuing her master’s degree in business administration, with an expected completion date of July 2015.

Requeil Hill

In addition, Requeil Hill has been promoted to the position of Human Resources Administrative Assistant.

Hill joined Geotechnology in 2004, has been a receptionist and has assisted the technical groups in St. Louis, as well as providing support to accounting, safety and HR at the corporate level.

In December 2014, Hill graduated with her Associate of Arts in Business Administration from St. Louis Community College.

She lives in St. Charles County and is registered as an on call volunteer with the American Red Cross. She works many of the American Red Cross blood drive events, such as the Women’s Expo, Women’s Survival Show, the Black Expo and the Charles Drew Blood Drive. She also loves to support charitable causes such as the American Heart Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Two new hires CMT and Accounting

April 3rd, 2015

MattMelly copyGeotechnology, Inc., a leading provider of geotechnical and environmental engineering, geophysics, water resource management, materials testing and drilling services, announced Matt Melly, P.E., joined its St. Louis Construction Materials Testing (CMT) group as a Senior Staff Engineer and Kerri Less has joined the Accounting Group in its St. Louis office as a Project Accountant.

Melly has experience working as a project engineer, technical specialist and construction inspector engineer. His experience with Nondestructive Testing (NDT) and steel testing will enhance Geotechnology’s already robust in-house capabilities.

A graduate from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a certification in Structural Engineering in 2009. Melly was also a member of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter and involved in the Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge teams.

Kerri LessPreviously, Less worked for BJC HealthCare Planning, Design and Construction for more than six years as a Financial Project Manager. She graduated from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., with a Bachelor of Accounting.

Less resides in O’Fallon, Mo. with her husband and three children. She volunteers at church, enjoys live music, outdoor activities, traveling and photography.