The Geotechnical Division Annual General Meeting

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1 The Geotechnical Division Annual General Meeting The SAICE Geotechnical Division hosted the Annual General Meeting on the 21 st November 2013 in Midrand and the highlight of the AGM was the presentation of awards. The Barry van Wyk Award is awarded annually to the author of the best final year dissertation on a geotechnical topic at a South African University. In 2013 the Barry van Wyk award was awarded to Catherine Purchase from the University of Pretoria for her dissertation titled The classification of soils based on the results of dissipation and piezocone tests. Catherine Purchase reciving the 2013 Barry van Wyk Award from SAICE President, Petere Kleynhans The JE Jenning s Award is presented annually by the Geotechnical Division to honour the late Prof. J E Jennings and the outstanding role played by him in the development of geotechnical engineering in South Africa. The award is presented to a member of the Geotechnical Division who is the author of a meritorious publication relevant to geotechnical engineering in South Africa published during the previous year, either in South Africa or elsewhere. The awarded was not presented this year. The South African Geotechnical Medal is awarded to an individual who, in the unanimous opinion of the Division Committee, has made a significant contribution to furthering the art and science of geotechnical engineering in South Africa. The 2013 SAICE Geotechnical Medal was awarded to Dr Johan Lourens and Dr Desmond Webb. Dr Lourens was on hand to receive the award and presented some highlights of his professional career. The Geotechnical Medal was awarded to Dr Desmond Webb at the Jenning s Memorial Lecture which took place in Durban in February The award was received by Buzy Dukhan. Dr Johan Lourens receiving the 2013 SAICE Geotechnical Medal from SAICE President, Peter Kleynhans. Bazy Dukhan accepting the 2013 SAICE Geotechnical Medal on bahalf of Dr Desmond Webb.

2 The Division also paid tribute to the late Professor Geoff Blight who sadly passed away on the 7 th November Dr Irvin Luker from the University of Witwatersrand worked with Geoff for over 30 years and had a few kind words of praise. Dr Irvin Luker from the University of Witwatersrand had a few kind words for Geoff Blight The Jenning s Memorial Lecture 2014 In February 2014, The Geotechnical Division was honoured to have Professor Paul Mayne presenting the 2014 Jenning s Lecture. Paul and his sister Cathy were treated by Peter Day to a South African adventure in the Kruger National Park accompanied by Gehard and Yvonne, SW, Martin and Michelle. Enjoying a cold beer in the Arican sun The 2014 Jennings Memorial Lecture, titled GeoCharacterization of Piedmont Residua by In situ Tests was presented in Cape Town (University of Cape Town), Durban (Assagai Hotel) and Pretoria (University of Pretoria) and was attended by over 200 geo practitioners and students. Professor Mayne spent the lecture presenting case studies on shallow and deep foundations solutions in weathered saprolitic residual soils in the USA. It must be noted that the North American geological profiles are well suited to the continuous cone penetration test rather than the abrasive standard penetration test (SPT), as bedrock depths may regularly be encountered at 40m below the surface. Paul Mayne concluded the lecture by highlighting the effects of sample disturbance on laboratory testing readings and encouraging the incorporation of more rigorous intrusive testing in the field. On behalf of the Geotechnical Division, a word of thanks to Peter Day for hosting Paul and Cathy and to Jeffares & Green, Kaytech and Geosure for sponsoring drinks and dinner for the Durban lecture. Paul Mayne presenting the Jenning s Memorial Lecture in Durban (left) and posing with young engineers (right).

3 Jenning s memorial lecture held in Pretoria. Short course on Geo Characterization by In situ Testing Paul and Cathy enjoying South African steak with Geotechnical Division committee members. A one day short course in Geo characterization by in situ testing was presented by Paul Mayne on the 7 th February in an attempt to consolidate the concepts introduced in the Jenning s Memorial lecture and introduce geo professionals to dynamic penetrometer testing applications. The short course was well attended by 120+ geo practitioners. Paul Mayne began the course by emphasizing (ASTM D4633) energy efficiency correction and calibration of in situ penetrometer testing, as standard empirical readings such as number of blows and cone resistance may vary due to the personnel and apparatus utilized at a specific site. Professor Mayne encouraged the use of Geophysical methods in the detailed design phase of civil foundations, contrary to the feasibility study incorporation of geophysics on the African continent. The course revolved around the importance of the shear wave velocity (m/s) reading in determining the unit weight, strength and liquefaction potential of residual soils. Professor Mayne concluded the course by listing the advantages of continuous penetrometer testing and encouraging geo professionals to reduce the excessive cost of laboratory testing with more cost efficient and reliable in situ testing. 5 th International Mining and Industrial Waste Management Conference The 5 th International Mining and Industrial Waste Management Conference took place on the March 2014 at the Orion Safari Lodge in Rustenburg. The conference was co hosted by the Geotechnical and Environmental Divisions of SAICE with the particular focus sustainable residue disposal. Particular highlights include presentations from local and international experts, with keynote presentation by Professor David Williams from the University of Queensland. The conference was attended by 111 delegates and attracted 27 papers. The Division would like to thank our sponsors Fraser Alexander, Stefanutti Stocks, Golder Associates, Knight Piesold Consulting, Jones and Wagener Consulting Civil Engineers, Paterson & Cooke and Aecom. Professor David Williams presenting the keynote lecture (left), conference exhibitors (right) at the 5 th International Mining and Industrial Waste Management Conference.

4 Upcoming events South African seminars focusing exclusively on Dolomites were held in November 1981, May 1996 (under the auspices of the Department of Geology at the University of Pretoria) and September 1987 (hosted jointly by the Department of Geology, University of Pretoria and the Council for Geoscience). In the intervening 17 years, there have been numerous advances in our approach to development on dolomite land, one of which was the publication of SANS 1936 Development on Dolomite Land in August There is general recognition that some of the provisions of SANS 1936 are compromise positions and that further consultation with industry is required in preparation for the revision of the standard in To this end, the Council for Geoscience, the SAICE Geotechnical Division, SAIEG and the University of Pretoria have joined forces to organise a Dolomite Seminar which will be held at the Council for Geoscience on 24 th and 25 th June This initiative will also involve other organisations with a significant interest in the subject including the NHBRC, the National Department of Public Works and SABS Technical Sub committee SABS TC 059/SC 03. The purpose of the seminar is twofold. Firstly, it is to inform the industry on the contents and application of SANS Secondly, it will look at new developments within the industry including the development of rational methods for hazard assessments and the role of the geotechnical/geological model in this process. The intention is that the understanding gained from the seminar will form the basis for the next update of SANS 1936 which is due in The Geotechnical Division will host the 8 th South African Young Geotechnical Engineers Conference from 17 th to 19 th September, The theme this year is Cultivating the Future of Geotechnics and is intended to establish a network forum and opportunity for young geotechnical engineers to better acquaint themselves with the industry and products available. This takes place in a young environment where all presenters and most of the delegates are under the age of 35. The conference is held every three years and aims to provide delegates with the opportunity to develop their writing skills and publish a technical paper which will be published in the conference proceedings. In addition presenters can exercise presenting skills in front of a more forgiving audience and delegates attending can all learn from like minded peers. This conference will take place amongst the luscious vines of the Spier Wine Estate in the heart of the Western Cape. Geotechnical practitioners under the age of 35 in the mining and civil construction industry. More experienced geotechnical practitioners are encouraged to motivate the YGE s working under them to attend the conference and explain the advantages of presenting their work at the conference. Codes of Practice A sub committee is being formed to look at updating the Lateral Support in Surface Excavations COP (1989). We are calling on members that would like to serve on such a committee. Please forward your contact details and interest to Gavin Wardle The following is an initial list of issues that need to be considered in the update (The sub committee might identify others). Expand / add a section on Soil Nail design. Review and expand section on proof testing of working (temporary) anchors for routine testing. Add a section on Soil Nail testing. Consider the application of Limit State Design for Lateral Support Design (There is some doubt in the Euro code as to whether Limit State Design is the best method of design for Lateral Support). Look at Euro Code, BS 8002, BS8006 2:2011 and BS 8081 retaining structures / Ground Anchorage. Increase the list of case histories and measured movements. ISSMGE News and Conferences The Tunisian Association of Soil Mechanics (ATMS) is pleased to invite you to the 16th African Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering to be held from April 27 to 30, 2015 in Hammamet, Tunisia. The conference will provide a forum for exchange and discussion between engineers, professionals, scientists, researchers, equipment or solution providers operating in the field of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering. For more information, please go to The Organizing Committee of IS Seoul 2014 would like to invite all of you to the 8th International Symposium on Geotechnical Aspects of Underground Construction in Soft Ground (IS Seoul 2014) to be held in Seoul, Korea from August 25 to 27, The symposium is organized by TC204 of ISSMGE and the Korean Geotechnical Society. For more information, please go to

5 The Austrian Society of Engineers and Architects (founded 1848) and its Geotechnical branch (founded 1936 by Karl Terzaghi), the Austrian Member Society of ISSMGE (ASSMGE) would like to you to attend the 15th Danube European Conference on Geotechnical Engineering (DECGE) in Vienna, 9 11 September The event marks the 50 th Anniversary of DECGEs which started in Vienna, For more information, please go to TC 207 Soil structure Interaction and Retaining Walls, together with the Russian National Mineral Resources University, Georeconstruction Engineering Co. and Petersburg State Transport University will host the International Conference on Geotechnical Engineering, Soil structure Interaction, Underground Structures and Retaining Walls on 16th to 18th June, 2014 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. For more informaiton, please go to