Soils Lab Manager Leads ASTM International Subcommittee

June 30th, 2010

Kendra Adams, RG, has been chosen to lead a subcommittee of ASTM International. She serves as Manager of the Geotechnical Group’s Soils Laboratory in the St. Louis office. ASTM International, originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world and is the trusted source for technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services.

Ms. Adams has been selected to chair the subcommittee for Rock Mechanics. As the chair, she is the technical contact for 33 ASTM Standards. Ms. Adams also serves as vice-chair of the subcommittee for Strength and Compressibility of Soils. Both of these committees report to the Committee for Soil and Rock, which has more than 900 members from 40 countries, and develops or reviews more than 350 standards. She has also been tasked with drafting two new standards.

“ASTM is critical to our operations. Everything we do in the lab centers around the ASTM standards. Making sure they are up-to-date and relevant to current industry practices is one of the many goal the volunteers at ASTM work on at the meetings.”

She holds a Bachelors Degree in Geology and Geophysics, and a Masters Degree in Geological Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (UMR), and is a registered Geologist.

Ed Alizadeh Elected Chairman-Elect of ACEC Missouri

June 18th, 2010

Ed Alizadeh, President and CEO of Geotechnology, was elected to the position of Chairman-Elect of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Missouri (ACEC/MO) on the 2010-2011 Board of Directors. Ed’s involvement began in 2008 as Vice-Chairman. The state association, headquartered in Jefferson City, Missouri, is comprised of over 100 of Missouri’s leading engineering companies. Specific goals for the 2010-2011 Board include helping member firms survive the economic downturn, enhancing ACEC’s image to the public and supporting legislative issues of interest, and continuing the expansion of liaison committees with key groups.

Read the announcement in St. Louis Construction News and Real Estate.

8 Ideas to Help With Project Efficiency…from your Geoprofessional

June 10th, 2010

Staying on budget and on schedule while maintaining quality is the challenge and goal of every project, but the reality is that there are speed bumps and unknowns. We want to help reduce those situations or provide knowledge in helping to resolve them as they relate to geotechnical, environmental, drilling and testing services. We’ve included a handful of ideas that we’ve culled from both lessons learned and successful implementation. We’d love to discuss them with you to see if we can be of assistance in planning a successful project.

1.  Conduct an environmental audit of existing operations at the planning stage to assure expansion plans are environmentally compliant and to avoid fines and negative public relations.

2.  Reliable estimates are possible with adequate design and schedule information. When early preliminary budgets are based upon assumptions, commit to revisiting those estimates and provide appropriate contingencies.

3.  Review the testing budget and scope with the project team. Careful planning increases the team’s understanding of the project requirements and assures that observations and tests are conducted in a timely and efficient manner.

4.  When conducting environmental assessments, assess all potential issues that could impact future development. Issues that may be omitted from the list but could be important include mold, lead paint, wetlands, floodplains and endangered habitat.

5.  Consider lump sum contracts and evaluate them to see if they would be a good fit for the project.

6.  Consider pre-drilling pier holes to reduce schedule and budget risk, better define quantity of rock removal and enhance safety.

7.  Ask for regular tracking of fees at certain milestones. Periodically update estimate of final costs.

8.  Negotiate scope and fee with geotechnical, environmental and materials testing consultants. Through negotiation, a scope and fee can be established that is just right for your project. Procuring these services through a low bid process only encourages a low initial fee. A negotiated scope and fee development focuses more on the total project cost implications of the recommendations made by your foundation and environmental consultants, which are much more significant than the consulting fee.

Vince Epps Becomes 14th Missouri RG

June 1st, 2010

Vincent Epps, RG earned his professional certification to be a Registered Geologist in the State of Missouri. Epps joined Geotechnology in 2009 as a Geologist in the Geophysical Section of the Environmental Group. In addition to assisting with geophysical surveys, he performs Environmental Site Assessments and is a Missouri  licenced asbestos and lead inspector. He is the 14th Missouri Registered Geologist currently working at Geotechnology.