Northeast Chapter hosts 'Meet & Greet' at Top Golf

 

On October 6, 2021, dozens of professionals in the pile driving industry in New Jersey, New York and beyond gathered at the Edison, New Jersey TopGolf for the PDCA Northeast Chapter annual Meet & Greet event.

Chapter President Tim Fogarty addressed the members and requested their support to help build the membership of the Chapter. He also discussed upcoming Chapter programs and meetings scheduled for early 2022. F
rank Peters, PDCA Executive Director, updated attendees on news and events including the 2022 PDCA Annual Conference coming to Phoenix, Arizona in February 2022. Before the short program concluded, all those in attendance introduced themselves on the microphone to the full group. The balance of the evening involved networking, a barbeque dinner and a golf challenge. Many thanks to those who participated in this successful and fun event.
              
The PDCA Northeast Chapter is grateful for the generous support of the event sponsors, which included: George Harms Construction Company, Inc.ICE-International Construction Equipment USA, Consolidated Pipe and Supply Company, Inc., and M T Kaye Steel Products, LLC.


Posted in Chapter News.

Gulf Coast Chapter Hosts Dinner, Program at L'Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge

The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter gathered for the regularly scheduled Third Quarter 2021 Membership Meeting in Baton Rouge. This is a popular event from the Chapter each year because it is held at the L'Auberge Casino Hotel on the scenic waterfront of the mighty Mississippi River.

Attendees enjoyed a social hour prior to a dinner and program. Chapter President Kirt Jackson presided over a short business meeting of the Chapter membership. PDCA Executive Director Frank Peters  attended and briefed members on news and upcoming event information for the pile driving industry. The event was sponsored by American Piledriving Equipment (APE) and Nucor Skyline. Andres Buritica, a Business Development representative from Skyline gave a short program.

PDCA thanks the Gulf Coast Chapter for continuing to provide a strong and active, local presence in Louisiana and beyond. Additionally, the Chapter has assisted PDCA in coordinating a special site visit at member company Gulf Coast Pre-Stress Partners (Pass Christian, MS) as an optional field trip during the upcoming DICEP technical conference to be held September 15-17 in New Orleans. 

The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter has scheduled it's fourth and final meeting of 2021 for November 18th; it will take place at Messina's Restaurant in Kenner, LA. More information and registration will be available closer to the event.


PDCA E.D. Frank Peters updates Gulf Coast Chapter during Q3 meeting

Andres Buritica of Nucor Skyline presents technical program to Chapter

 

Posted in Chapter News.

South Carolina Chapter Gathers for "Night at the Joe"

                        

The Pile Driving Contractors Association of South Carolina Chapter hosted a 'Night at the Joe,' a social outing for Chapter members and friends to watch minor league baseball at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park where the host the Charleston RiverDogs (Tampa Bay affiliate) held off a spirted challenge by the Columbia Fireflies (Kansas City affiliate) with a final score of 4-3.

The family affair delivered
 an evening of fun, fellowship, and a little shop talk for all attendees. Prior to the first pitch, the group indulged in a ballpark picnic at Doby's Deck (upper deck behind third base) then settled in to their designated block in Section 208 (just below Doby's Deck). 

Thanks to all members and friends who attended 'Night at the Joe;' the PDCA-SC reconvenes for a business and dinner meeting on August 12th at Charleston's Town and Country Inn & Suites.

                                               
 




 

Posted in Chapter News.

Northeast Chapter Clay Shoot Draws Dozens of Competitors


Coplay, PA (June 25, 2021): Nearly 50 pile driving industry professionals participated in the PDCA Northeast Chapter 6th Annual Sporting Clays event, the first post-Pandemic function of the Chapter. It took place Friday, June 25, 2021, at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in Coplay, Pennsylvania. A highly anticipated event each year, the clay shooting competition enables the Chapter to provide scholarships to area students and continue offering important, professional development opportunities for deep foundations professionals in the region. The competition takes place on a shooting range which features 15 different stations offering different shooting challenges - shooters are scored and the winner receives a trophy and the all-important braggin' rights! 

This event could not have been possible without several generous sponsors. Those included Event Sponsor ICE-International Construction Equipment, Lunch Sponsor George Harms Construction Company, and Cigar Sponsor ECA-Equipment Corporation of America. Shooting Station Sponsors included American Pile and Foundation, American Piledriving Equipment, Frank T. Peters, Hammer & Steel, ICE-International Construction Equipment, John B. Wright Insurance, Nucor Skyline, Patrick DiCerbo/Northwestern Mutual, Patriot Construction and Industrial and R. Kremer & Son Marine Contractors.

 



Posted in Chapter News.

Value Engineering at New Port Terminal Presented to SC Chapter

Charleston, SC (May 20, 2021): For nearly a decade when preliminary studies began, the new Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal serving the South Carolina Ports Authority operations in Charleston has remained one of the highest profile port projects on the U.S. East Coast. While Phase 1 of the terminal opened in March 2021, the full project continues to take shape thanks to ongoing work by the numerous contractors, suppliers, equipment manufacturers and engineers who have been involved with various facets of the complex facility.

Insight Group of North Charleston, SC is one of the geotechnical engineering firms that has contributed to this massive project. On Thursday, May 20, 2021, professionals from the firm shared the presentation 'Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal - BUILDINGS & CANOPIES - VALUE ENGINEERED FOUNDATIONS'  before an assembly of the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter membership during their quarterly dinner meeting. Presenting on behalf of Insight Group were Dr. Susheel Kolwalkar, PE and Ryan N. Keiper, PE.

In addition to the technical presentation, members gathered for a social/networking hour before a buffet dinner and brief membership meeting. During a raffle sponsored by the Pile Driving Contractors Association, Brad Glover and Bill Thomas each won a $50 PDCA BUCKS voucher, good for use on logo merchandise or educational resources available at The PDCA Store. The event took place at the Town & Country Inn on Savannah Highway in Charleston; event sponsors included; Koppers, Consolidated Pipe & Supply, Van-Smith Concrete, Nucor Skyline, ICE-International Construction Equipment, Junttan, Pile Master, SJ Hamill Construction, Terracon, Insight Group, Palmetto Pile Driving, Cape Romain Contractors and Parker Marine Contracting Corp.

See below for photos from the Second Quarter Dinner meeting of PDCA of SC, the group will gather again for the third quarter on August 12th, watch your inbox for more details as the event draws closer.

 
 

Posted in Chapter News.

Scholarship Shoot a Big Success at PDCA Pacific Coast


Birds Landing, CA (April 30, 2021): The PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter hosted the 10th Annual Scholarship Shoot at Birds Landing Hunting Reserve. Shooters gathered for a competitive clay shooting event, followed by a luncheon and several great prizes. The Pacific Coast Chapter thanks all sponsors, donors and participants. The annual event benefits the Chapter's Scholarship Fund which assists student applicants who are pursuing careers in deep foundations construction.

Posted in Chapter News.

Charleston Engineer Kolwalkar to Represent SC Chapter on PDCA Board


With a resume that includes an early civil engineering career in India and the Middle East, a completed masters degree and PhD in the U.S., and an impressive list of high profile projects in the Charleston, S.C. region, Susheel Kolwalkar of Insight Group confesses that active engagement in recreational table tennis provides him necessary relaxation and enjoyment when he needs a break from the demands of his career. He clarifies that it is known as 'ping pong' in the U.S.

Dr. Kolwalkar recently earned appointment to the PDCA Board of Directors from his peers in his local Chapter; he now serves as the PDCA South Carolina Chapter Representative. "I've been with the local PDCA chapter for five years; four as an elected board member and now Chapter Vice President," he explained. "I attend all quarterly meetings and technical seminars. And I never miss an oyster roast! It's a great industry gathering where we talk shop in a relaxed setting."


"When I attend chapter events, it provides a good networking platform where I can share and acquire knowledge from other like-minded individuals who strive to advance the pile driving industry," he said.

Noting Charleston contains a geological composition that favors driven pile foundations, his six years there have brought many welcome, professional challenges and numerous, satisfying final products. A notable example; "Insight Group recently completed deep foundation testing services at the new Hugh Leatherman Terminal and the connecting Port Access Road and Tidewater Road bridges. This is a $1B project and the most important infrastructure project that the South Carolina Ports Authority has ever constructed and the only new terminal under construction in the United States."

With more than 20 years experience as a professional engineer, Dr. Kolwalkar has also helped shape the future of the industry through academia. He conducted research at Cleveland State University and taught a variety of civil engineering courses at Ohio's Youngstown State University. "Teaching at YSU was useful while training and mentoring several interested deep foundation testing professionals."

By day, the Senior Geotechnical Consultant at Insight Group is part of a highly-skilled, collaborative team of engineers and scientists which provides consulting services to contractors, designers and owners. But he does enjoy time away from the grind. "I like spending time with family and friends...listening to different music and playing table tennis, or 'ping pong' as it's known in the U.S. Also, I've voluntarily served on the Executive Committee of the India Association of Greater Charleston (IAGC) between 2017 and 2019." Oh, and we've already established, he doesn't miss an Oyster Roast (pictured).

In his newest, voluntary role with the PDCA Board of Directors, Susheel Kolwalkar joins Association leadership which oversees all administrative, educational, advocacy and event activity for the pile driving contractors, equipment manufacturers, industry suppliers and affiliated engineers.




Posted in Chapter News.

Can a Chapter Host Successful, Virtual Event? 85+ say 'Yes,' attend PDCA SC

Virtual Quarterly Meeting Draws Big Crowd

The PDCA of South Carolina Chapter has been able to get an answer to a question shared by many in the construction association world; "can a Chapter that has a strong tradition of regular, live meetings host an event that is 100% virtual?" The question was answered with a resounding "yes" after the February 4th Quarterly Meeting of the Chapter.

Based on a widespread, positive response to the initial meeting announcement, then more than 85 participants accessing the two-hour meeting and technical presentation through the Zoom platform, it was clear that the paramount function of a Chapter executing meaningful engagement with its members is possible through a web-based format. While a live, in-person event which brings important networking and social interaction in addition to general meeting components and a presentation, is a preference for many who participate in Chapter functions, ongoing health concerns have forced the pivot. And South Carolina's PDCA Chapter has successfully pivoted.

The event took place from 3:00-5:00 PM EST on February 4, 2021. Using technical and organizational resources from the PDCA national office, Chapter President Jason Moore convened more than 85 Chapter members and other friends from the Southeastern U.S. region for a business meeting followed by a popular technical program (which provided PDH credit). Presenter Mohamad Hussein (pictured), EVP and Principal Engineer with GRL Engineers, gave a 90 minute program entitled Dynamic Pile Testing: Basic Principle, Capabilities and Effective Applications. Thanks to generous sponsorship, this program was offered to participants at no cost.

If you are involved in a PDCA Chapter and are interested in learning more about resources available to you to host a virtual program, please contact the PDCA offices.

Posted in Chapter News.

Three Students Earn PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter Scholarships

Oakley, CA: PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter President Dermot Fallon announces that three students in California who are pursuing higher education in a construction field and have demonstrated an interest in the pile driving industry have each received a $1500 scholarship. The 2020 awardees are:

Erick Medina (pictured, left)

Erick is a first generation college student attending his third year at California State -Sacramento. He is pursuing a bachelors degree in Construction Management with a minor in Business Administration. During the summer of 2020, Erick completed an internship at Foundation Constructors Inc. in Oakley where learned to assist Project Managers with takeoffs, track jobsite materials and production. He says that the experience has provided him valuable perspective on the role of Project Managers in the pile driving industry and has prepared him for a future in deep foundation construction. As an intern, Erick visited several Foundation Constructors Inc. jobsites where he learned about the different pile types such as pipe piles. He also observed their safe installation. Erick says of his time at Foundation " I have found great interest in pile driving through this opportunity and I hope that with my degree in construction management and continued experience, I can continue to become a larger asset in the pile driving industry"



Connor Free (pictured, right)

Connor Free, first learned about the pile driving industry during a tour of the Balfour Beatty Transbay project in downtown San Francisco. This was a major, heavy civil project with dewatering, CIDH pile installation, excavation and shoring. Connor became genuinely interested in the complexities he observed at this jobsite and the experience ultimately lead him to study Engineering at California State University - Chico; he is currently a third year student at the school. In anticipation of an engineering degree, Connor aspires to influence the pile driving industry. Based on some of the ideas he shared in his scholarship application, he exhibits a vision that challenges the status quo; he suggests innovative pursuits toward new and faster means to drive piles. Also, he embraces the idea of joining with developers in constructing a machine that could drive two piles at once. An environmentally conscious student, Connor indicated support for cranes to burn greener fuels such as hydrogen, electricity or even plant based oils.
    
Zander Kuthe (pictured, left)
Zander Kuthe is a first year student at California State University - Fresno. In his application, Zander indicates that as a biology major he can "influence the pile driving industry by helping to find new ways to power pile driving rigs and other heavy civil machinery so they don't burn fossil fuel like diesel." Zander believes that reducing carbon emissions from pile driving equipment as well as expanding the use of natural resources, the construction industry can contribute to a necessary reduction in pollution. He is aspirational to become involved with equipment innovators who strive for cleaner, safer and more efficient construction equipment which will benefit future generations.


 

Posted in Chapter News.

She's the First Female to Win South Carolina's 'Nigels Scholarship'

Emma Larsen Earns Coveted Award; Thanks Members at South Carolina Chapter Event

Charleston, SC (November 12, 2020): The recipient of the the coveted "Mac" Nigels Scholarship is, for the first time in the history of the award, a female Cadet from The Citadel. Attendees at the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter's fourth quarter dinner meeting on November 12th heard an inspiring acceptance speech from Cadet Emma Larsen (pictured, center), who graciously thanked the Chapter for the honor. Each year, the Chapter presents this scholarship to a civil engineering student from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina who, according to his/her professors, demonstrates "strong character, integrity and exemplary grade point average."

Ms. Larsen, accompanied by Professor Simon Ghanat and others from Civil Engineering at The Citadel, is in her Junior year at the school where she is both a Dean's List qualifier and Regimental Leader. She stood alongside Chapter President Jason Moore (pictured, left) while Scott Nigels (pictured, right), son of the late McLeod "Mac" Creighton Nigels, presented the award consisting of a commemorative plaque and a $2000 monetary gift. The socially distanced and face-masked audience of PDCA members and others in the pile driving industry heartily applauded Ms. Larsen for this notable accomplishment.

The annual scholarship dates back to 2007 and is presented in the name of "Mac" Nigels who was a highly respected civil engineer in Charleston following his 1955 graduation from The Citadel.

Also from the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter's quarterly dinner meeting on November 11th, Dr. Guoming Lin, VP of Terracon Consultants in Savannah delivered a presentation on pile testing for the Kinder Morgan Elba Liquefaction Project. The event was limited to 60 attendees to comply with social distancing recommendations; the popular program reached capacity as contractors, engineers and suppliers from South Carolina and beyond arrived at the Town & Country Inn and Suites in North Charleston. See photos of attendees below, including the slide thanking the event sponsors:

Posted in Chapter News.

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