Current Issues, New Tech Focus Of CIGMAT Conference

By Traci Read, Managing Editor | May 2012, Vol. 67 No. 5
Professor Jean L. Briaud, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, with C. Vipulanandan.

Professor Jean L. Briaud, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, delivered the seventh Mike O’Neill Lecture on “Unsaturated Soil Behavior for Practicing Engineers.” He shared the current understanding of the behavior of unsaturated soils and methods to characterize their behavior. Also discussed were the approaches used in the design of shallow foundations and embankments. This was followed by a presentation by Dr. Vipulanandan on “National Trends in the Performance of Water Pipelines in the Active Zone.”

During the fourth session, dam safety issues around the country were highlighted with speakers Wade Anderson, director-South West Division, Dam Safety Production Center – United States Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa, OK; Professor Chandra S. Putcha, California State University, Fullerton, CA; and Warren Samuelson, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Austin, TX.

Echoing the opinion of many attendees, Ray C. Barker, P.E., senior project manager, KBR, said that after attending five CIGMAT conferences, he’s found it to be an “excellent venue for learning about new developments in technology and research.”

Mike H. Pezeshki, P.E., managing engineer-Public Works & Engineering, city of Houston, concurred. “I haven’t missed any of them (CIGMAT conferences). It’s a great conference where each year, experts in the geotechnical field are invited to present. Hearing about new technologies and learning about what is happening in the business is always valuable.”

The convention’s closing activity was a reception held in the exhibit area where participating voters judged the students’ posters on research activities at CIGMAT and in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In addition to conference participants, city, county and industrial leaders had an opportunity to network and win door prizes.

Conference proceeding are available on the CIGMAT web site at cigmat.cive.uh.edu. The CIGMAT 2013 will be held on March 1, 2013 at the University Hilton, University of Houston.