It Became a Big Deal, But How Did IFCEE Start? One PDCA Visionary Can Tell You

South Carolina Chapter leadership, (L-R): Board Members Jason Moore, Greg Canivan, Immediate Past President John King (standing), special guest Mohamad Hussein, President Kent Parker

In case you hadn't heard, IFCEE 2024 is right around the corner and the entirety (we hope!) of the deep foundations construction and engineering industry is finalizing travel plans to Dallas, TX to attend the triennial event at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, from May 7 - 10, 2024. Short for the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo, IFCEE dates back to 2009, and has convened every three years, since then. It is a highly successful collaboration among some of the biggest stakeholders in deep foundation construction, including PDCA, the International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC), the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), and the GeoInstitute (G-I) of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Each convention features industry and technical education, exhibitors who bring the latest in foundation technologies, a massive, outdoor equipment show, inspiring presentations, unequalled networking, and plenty of memorable fun.

One might wonder, how did all this start? PDCA Technical Committee Chairman Mohamad Hussein is someone who knows the history well. The Executive Director for Global Industry Relations at GRL Engineers, Inc. and Pile Dynamics, Inc., and world-renowned civil engineer, has had decades of involvement with all the deep foundations organizations mentioned above. He conceived the idea for an 'industry-wide convention' and effectively advocated for the first event, which came to fruition a few years later. Many people may know that he was involved in the original concept of IFCEE, but we asked him to tell the story in his own words:

"The seed for the first of its kind mega-event encompassing all aspects and organizations of foundations was planted by myself and a few others in 2005 when I was Chair of the Deep Foundations Committee of the ASCE's Geo-Institute by a wishful suggestion to various industry leaders.  What became the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo (IFCEE) in 2009 was a phenomenal success. Fifteen organizations from around the world (including the then relatively young PDCA) were involved.  Over 2,500 attendees took part in the 52 technical and professional development sessions and enjoyed the unprecedented outdoors and indoors equipment exhibitions ($150-million worth of equipment, as I recall).  The technical presentations and papers were compiled in the 2,000-page, 3-volume proceedings books that represented the state-of-the-art and practice of foundations engineering.  IFCEE has since become the industry's landmark that everyone looks forward to every three years." (Mohamad Hussein, in his own words, about the origin of IFCEE.)

In March, the PDCA South Carolina Chapter hosted Mohamad for dinner the evening before he would present at the Chapter's Driven Pile Technical Seminar the next day. During that dinner, Chapter leadership held a short recognition ceremony applauding Mohamad's contributions to PDCA and celebrating his operative work that put PDCA on the stage as a key partner in IFCEE with the biggest organizations in deep foundation construction.  

Thanks to the work of Mohamad and the dozens of others that joined his campaign for IFCEE as an entity in the 2000's, and PDCA's initial inclusion in the industry marvel, the PDCA of today can enthusiastically promote the 2024 event that is almost here. As we have told you, IFCEE 2024 will include some PDCA-specific events such as the festive Texas Chapter Happy Hour on Wednesday evening (5/8), the venerable E.A.L. Smith Awards Lecture featuring a presentation from Dr. Richard Hartman on Thursday morning (5/9), and the PDCA 2023 Awards Ceremony & Luncheon taking place on Friday (5/10) where we will honor the 2023 Project of the Year Awards and Association Awards winners during a FREE, 90-minute luncheon. And just a heads-up to all PDCA members attending IFCEE next month, a special gift from PDCA will be waiting for you, so make sure to connect with someone from PDCA staff during your time in Dallas. And make sure to introduce yourself to Mohamad Hussein, he will be there! 

click to Register for IFCEE

ifcee archives
(L-R) ASCE President, Geo-Institute President, IFCEE Chairman M. Hussein,
US Army Corp of Engineers Lieutenant Commander, ADSC President, and PDCA President.

These archives about the first IFCEE in 2009 are from the collection of Mohamad Hussein

Read PileDriver Magazine, Issue #2, in its Digital Edition, Here

click here to read the full issue

Don't miss the latest edition of PileDriver magazine, coming soon to your mailbox. Never fear, it's available here in digital format, just click the image. Read about...


Clark Foundations, LLC had to overcome several challenges to successfully build a temporary support of excavation (SOE) system for The Stacks, a mixed-use development in Washington, D.C., that features three 14-story buildings and a combined 300,000 sq. ft., below grade garage. Clark designed and built the SOE system for the construction of the underground garage structure, with the overall depth ranging from 32 to 42 feet.

Clark Foundations, LLC relied on a team of PDCA members including Equipment Corporation of America, Dawson Construction Plant, GeoQuip/HPSI, PILECO and Triad Metals to get the job done successfully.

Read the article


Your Friendly Columnist, Dear Darling checks in to answer a reader

Reader Question: "Dear Darling: for those on the fence about involvement in an association and its value, what are your thoughts on the tangible and intangible gains? Any advice for someone who's joined and is considering the next best step?"

Guest columnist and past president of PDCA Buck Darling responds: "In my case monetary gain had little to do with my decision to join PDCA. There are more benefits than those that are calculable!"

Read what Buck has to say about how participating in industry associations have made his life better.

Interview: Justin Lijo, Trevcon Construction

"I'm interested in marine construction... It's the uniqueness of every project and the challenges that we face working on the water. It's exciting that everything is different all the time."

This year marks Justin Lijo's 20th anniversary with Trevcon Construction. Today, he's the company's chief estimator.  Read all about his career so far in this issue's Interview column.

Solutions to Your Workforce Issues

If you missed PDCA's Value Driven Webinar that featured a panel of five PDCA contractor members discussing their current workforce challenges and what their companies are doing to combat those concerns, don't skip this Q&A article.

From corporate culture, college recruitment, employee referral programs, safety and more, the panel consisting of Warren Baker from DFI Piling; Scott Callaway from Cajun Industries, LLC; Brooke Chitwood from Bowen Engineering Corp.; Brian Heck from Goettle; and Michael Wysockey from Thatcher Foundations covered a lot of ground. Learn strategies to help you and your business with staffing.

Foundations for Tomorrow

UBC Pile Drivers & Divers is training its members to be field-ready and future-proof. Did you know that contractors can suggest training courses if they see a knowledge gap in the field?  Read more

PDCA Toolbox Talk: Exclusion Zones

Exclusion zones are critical for pile driving safety. Exclusion zones identify restricted areas where high potential hazards are more likely to occur, shielding workers and bystanders from those threats. Read the article and see the Toolbox Talk in PileDriver, and don't forget to download the PDF from PDCA's website and use it with your crews.

DON'T FORGET! Registration for IFCEE 2024 is OPEN!

Still on the fence? Don't be! Join thousands of deep foundations professionals in Dallas, May 710, 2024. Register today!

Register to Attend FREE Lunch, Awards Ceremony After IFCEE

(L-R) Ed Bisono and ASAP Group, Michael Simpson and Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering,
Clayton Signor and Texas Pile, are among 2023 Project of the Year Award winners which will be honored on May 10, 2024.

Registration is required to join PDCA in celebration of the 2023 Project of the Year Awards winners in a special ceremony and luncheon on May 10th at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, immediately following formal programming at IFCEE 2024. It is FREE to attend, but is a separate event and registration from IFCEE, so reserve your seat now! The following winning companies and projects will be recognized on stage and presented their trophies, during this special event:
  • Forefront Deep Foundations, Inc. - Mexico-U.S. Port of Entry Bridge Widening over the All-American Canal
  • Texas Pile, LLC - Z Modular San Marcos
  • Richard E. Pierson Construction Co., Inc. - Tradepoint Atlantic Inner Berth Bulkhead Improvements, East Berth
  • Cape Romain Contractors, Inc. - Noisette Creek Pedestrian Bridge
  • Pacific Pile & Marine - Port of Alaska Petroleum & Cement Terminal Phase 2
  • Richard Goettle, Inc. - Montgomery County SMART Project
  • ASAP Group - Central Everglades Planning Project New Waters EA A-2 Stormwater Treatment Area
  • Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering - Surfside Beach Pier Replacement
In addition to the 2023 Project of the Year Awards, the 2023 Association Awards will be presented to the winning individuals. There is no cost to attend this special event, however, since a lunch will be provided, you are REQUIRED to register in advance so you and your party may be accommodated. The event takes place from 12:30 - 2 PM CDT on May 10th, in the Cotton Bowl Room in the Downtown Dallas Hyatt. IFCEE participation is encouraged, but not necessary to attend. Click the button below to reserve your seat for this lunch and awards ceremony.

Sponsors are invited to support this special luncheon ceremony. There are four sponsorships available to PDCA benefactors, at $2,500.00 each. You may secure a sponsorship by clicking the registration button below.

The Project of the Year Awards program from PDCA represents the organization's most prestigious honor, and its annual winners exemplify excellence in driven pile-based, deep foundation construction. You read about the 2023 program winners in PileDriver magazine, Issue #4-2023this is your chance to network with some of the industry's leading pile drivers and help applaud their work during this live event. We hope to see you there.


Reception @ IFCEE from PDCA Texas Chapter, Open to All PDCA Members

PDCA Texas Chapter members gathering for a November 2023 happy hour event in Houston

If you are attending IFCEE 2024 in May, plan to join the PDCA Texas Chapter for a FREE networking reception on May 8th in the Hyatt Regency Dallas - Cotton Bowl Room. The event runs from 5-7 PM and is open to all PDCA members.

Thanks to the following sponsors, happy hour food and beverages will be available:
  • CPS Houston
  • Meever USA
  • Russell Marine LLC
  • Dark Horse Metals
  • PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter
  • PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter
Registration for this event is required, please click the button below to reserve your spot:

click here

Posted in Chapter News.

FREE TopGolf Fun Follows April 18, Gulf Coast Chapter Meeting

PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter leadership team (partial), L-R: Beau Haydel, Tony Sepulvado, Scott Williams. Tyler Roberts not pictured.

Phetteplace (L) attends Gulf Coast Chapter Crawfish Boil before presenting at 2024 Engineers Conference.
Don't miss an evening of professional development and golf!

Pile drivers throughout the Louisiana and beyond will gather on April 18th at TopGolf Baton Rouge for a quarterly meeting of the PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter, followed by plenty of time to show off their drives in the high-tech tee boxes. The event begins at 5:30 PM, and includes networking, food, and a technical presentation from Brandon Phetteplace of GRL Engineers, Inc. Through a generous donation of regional PSC supplier, Louisiana Concrete Products, this Chapter function is offered at no cost.

RSVP is requested for this event by April 15, 2024, to Gulf Coast Chapter President Tony Sepulvado at Make sure and reserve your spot and ensure there is enough food and beverage for all attendees!

Advance registration is required, please click the button below:

Posted in Chapter News.

Interpipe, Inc. - Canada Wins March #PDCADriven Contest

A Pile of News - April 2024

A Pile of News: April 2024
A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors,
associated manufacturers, construction suppliers and affiliated engineers
who comprise PDCA.
By Matt Bisbee, PDCA

Originally sent April 1, 2024
Top of the Pile

Time is running out - The PDCA Project of the Year Awards program entry period closes FRIDAY. Submit Land, Marine, Earth Retention, Associate/Engineer, International pile driving project(s) to PDCA through e-file share, ASAP!

We're glad you're here! Q1, 2024 brings new members to PDCA; help us welcome and thank the following:
  • Contractors: AGM Marine Contractors of Mashpee, MA; Archangel Development Enterprises of Bluffton, SC; East Coast Marine Construction and Design of Daytona Beach, FL; MEB General Contractors of Chesapeake, VA
  • Associates: Corpac Steel Products Corp. of Aventura, FL; Dark Horse Metals of Liberty Hill, TX
  • Engineering Affiliate: COWI, worldwide
  • Government employees: Dwarika Mallick of MTA-NYC Transit Authority; Gavin Gautreau of LA Transportation Research Center; Derek Paille of LA-DOTD
  • Academic employee: Dr. Alejandro Martinez of UC Davis
  • Students: Jansen Billiot from LSU; Baris Elmas of University of Missouri
  • Government and academic employees may now join PDCA at NO COST; student membership is FREE

It's almost here  IFCEE 2024 The International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo comes to Dallas May 7 - 10. Registration is open, but rooms at The Hyatt Regency Dallas are SOLD OUT other nearby options are available. Don't miss the triennial collaboration from PDCA, ADSC, DFI and the Geo-Institute, featuring insightful programs and a huge equipment show.
From the Association & Chapters
Mark your calendars:
News and PHOTOS from the PDCA Blog:
Winner of the PDCA Driven contest
Congratulations, Interpipe Canada, you are this month's winner! Send an email to before the end of the month to claim your prize!
News from PDCA Companies
Giving back:
A man showing school children construction tools
  • Aggregate Technologies, Inc. sponsors The Water Cycle, a campaign of the Auburn University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders that will bring water solutions to developing countries.
  • Atlas Tube donates steel tubing to Mobility Worldwide, a charity that builds mobility carts for people in need. Steel is used in the frame and brake handles, giving a user the gift of movement.
  • Bottom Line Equipment introduces the American Hero program in which it donates 25% of rental revenue on certain heavy machinery and attachments to military and first responders.
  • Lodge Lumber Co. commends its employees who spent a Saturday morning supporting a charitable initiative in Houston that provides beds to children who need them.
  • Geo-Technology Associates, Inc. applauds its staff members in Somerset, NJ, who volunteered at the Franklin Food Bank to help with stocking and cleaning at the facility.

Acquisitions & expansions:
  • Cajun Industries, LLC expects construction of a 20K sq. ft. expansion at its equipment services facility in Port Allen, LA, to be completed this summer.
  • Kiewit grows its Lenexa, KS, campus with a new six-story, 177K sq. ft. building. It also gets a new common space, solar panels on the four buildings and EV chargers in the garages.

Government relations:
  • McCarthy Building Cos. expanded the Phoenix-Gateway Airport with a new 5-gate terminal, through federal funding. Officials from the Presidential Administration, along with U.S. Reps. Stanton and Gallego, and Mesa Mayor Giles participated with the builder in the widely publicized ribbon-cutting.
  • Bull Moose Tube sent engineering manager Richard Morales to Washington, D.C., to assist ASCE efforts to advocate for issues pertaining to infrastructure, resilience and Buy America. The Georgian met with his congressman, U.S. Rep. McCormick, who gave him a commander coin. He also met U.S. Sen. Warnock and staff for Sen. Ossoff.
  • S&ME, Inc. staff from South Carolina visited Washington, D.C., with ASCE to advocate for more U.S. infrastructure investment. Jonathan T. says the delegation met with U.S. Rep. Wilson, along with staff from the offices of U.S. Sens. Graham and Scott, and Reps. Clyburn and Duncan.

  • Pile Drivers, Inc. of Hollywood, SC, has been installing driven piles in and around Charleston for 50 years. The small, family-owned business has swum against a tide of consolidations and buy-outs, which have changed the face of the industry significantly, over the past two decades. Proprietor John King says that maintaining a fluid business model and adjusting to constant changes in the market, workforce and regulatory environment are the keys to survival.
People on the Move
  • Rod Kern, representing the Kern family's fourth generation at Equipment Corporation of America (ECA), earns promotion to vice president at the company. Also, foundation construction machinery veteran John Zito onboards as ECA's newest business development manager.
  • Onur Uzun elevates to GM at Copier Machinery, based in The Netherlands with U.S. offices.
  • Coleman Kitchens joins the Texas sales team at John Lawrie Tubulars.
  • Michael Muniz is the newest addition to the THI Pipe & Piling sales team and will manage a northeastern U.S. clientele from his Ohio base.
  • Nick Harrington named manager at American Engineering Testing, Inc.'s Sioux Falls, SD office.
  • Eric Hohmann will lead construction management for CRW Engineering Group, Inc. in Alaska.
  • Gerard Drohan, Jetinder Minhas, James Brickman, Sal D'Amico, Kyle Sidle, Cristos Zoupantis, Shawn Barca and JP Binard promoted to associate at Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers in NYC.

  • Aislinn Nagy of Balfour Beatty makes Engineering-News Record's National Top 20 Under 40 list. It notes her resume reflects $1.3B of commercial construction work across 10 market sectors.
  • Rob Soriano won the Unsung Hero award at a maritime industry gathering hosted by the Propeller Club-Port of Tampa. The port engineer for Orion Marine is a decorated USAF veteran who served in three foreign tours of duty and actively supports many maritime causes.
  • Marquia Wooten, a project engineer at Pacific Pile & Marine, has published a coloring book under the penname M. DeVonne. It highlights the contributions of black women in construction and is now available on Amazon. Her work on this and other volunteer initiatives caught the eye of city officials in Seattle who publicized her story.
  • Leon Topalian who helms Nucor Corp. takes a seat on the board of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation. He also pledges to donate $2.5M in monetary support and steel.
  • Brad Roberts has raised more than $30K in charitable funds over several years of getting sponsored participation in the Boston Marathon. While Brad is sitting out this year, he is helping his GZA GeoEnvironmental colleague Kyle Szewczyk raise money for running this year's race.
  • Kathryn Petek, Sam Sideras and James Walters won the Shannon & Wilson Best Technical Publications contest for their presentation detailing a bridge retrofit in Oregon. Dr. Petek was the solo runner-up for her work outlining pile failure for large diameter open-ended piles.
  • Kevin Kundla became a retiree last Friday, with eyes on the Jersey Shore and Florida. This follows his 40+ year piling industry career which began as a dock builder apprentice and ended as BDM at Commerce Construction Corporation. His employer shares this warm farewell.
  • Jason Hunsberger retired after 29 years in fabrication and welding at Foundation. According to the boss, he always turned "crazy designs" from engineers into reality.
  • Tony Simmonds is retiring from GEOKON following a nearly 40-year career of positive contributions to the geotechnical instrumentation industry and successful development of leaders at the company. The outgoing EVP retains a board advisory role.
  • Linda Navin Murray helps families access grief therapy and other resources through the Cassidy Murray Foundation, inspired by a tragedy on the water. The Haley & Aldrich business systems analyst told her devastating story at a staff safety meeting, the firm stresses water safety.

Sending sympathies:
On the Job
Bechtel gives a shout-out to its partner Morris - Shea Bridge Company for its ES&H commitment, as their coordinated foundation work continues on the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project.

Cianbro strengthened its place in American and military history with completion of the new Senator John Warner Maritime Heritage Center in Alexandria, VA. Named for the late statesman and former Navy secretary, the waterfront learning facility is now home to artifacts like a replica of the 18th century ship Providence

East Coast Marine Construction & Design delivers a stunning sunrise in this job site photo as it breaks ground on another Daytona Beach, FL, seawall, to mitigate rising waters.

Pacific Pile & Marine is the low bidder for a $76M redevelopment of two berths on Terminal 91 at the Seattle Port, according to reports in the Daily Journal of Commerce.

Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction crews are in Salt Lake City suburb, Sandy City, where they are building a new interchange with a bridge to ease congestion on Bangerter Highway. Nucor Skyline steel is being installed with a piling hammer from International Construction Equipment.

Russell Marine LLC assists erosion control in Sugarland, TX. Colby Smith and crew install weir structures on the Brazos River. Also, East Coast crews expand the Wando terminal for South Carolina Ports with pile extraction and construction of a new pier for the Coast Guard, which involves a sheet pile bulkhead.

Junttan hosted professionals from PRECO-MSE at its Finland factory for a tour and meetings with its teams in PDA and engineering. This, after the contractor installed piles from Interpipe Inc. Canada at a Montreal jobsite where it used its PM16 rig.

Professional Service Industries is on a Bossier City, LA, job site performing dynamic monitoring using Pile Dynamics, Inc. instrumentation for a Boh Bros. Construction crew while it drives steel H-piles.

TRC Companies, Inc. is assisting the City of Lockhart, TX, with infrastructure needs, including the development of a master plan to address needs of the water and wastewater systems.
A group of people having fun in a bowling alley
Employee morale is a priority at Foundation in Oakley, CA. Staff recently went bowling event and the annual Horseshoe Tournament is coming back on June 1.
Notes from the Virtual Field
Do you like to see explosions? Minnesota contractor Veit often performs demolitions before pile installations. It recently pulverized an old power plant in Wisconsin and a local videographer caught the event with multiple camera angles. See the 60 second clip  it's better than CGI-enhanced scenes in modern movies!

We're Manson Construction... of course we'll produce a trendy social media video to celebrate our exceptional women in construction!

Technology is wonderful, except when it's not: ChatGPT can be useful in construction but should stay in its lane. Shana Opdyke-Carroll calls the foul when the software generated this image of a fake geotech performing a test. She and the real geotechs at D.W. Kozera, Inc. can dispel the mythologies.

Texas Hold 'Em  If this social media post from Eustis Engineering were set to music, we would hear the new country song by Houston native BeyoncĂ© accompanying the field crew as they tested soils from the Texas cattle ranch.

College student co-ops and interns at construction companies gain real-world experience and keep a talent pipeline flowing into the industry. But sometimes, they can teach the ole dogs some new tricks. Richard E. Pierson Construction Co. commends co-op Shane from Drexel University for his insights to PM's about HCSS civil construction software.

It's no secret that pile drivers often hear references to pro wrestling (among other things), however, a unique comparison came in a February blog post from the Greater North Dakota Chamber. The author writes about her childhood and her dad, who was a big WWE fan. She ties that to complimenting PDCA for its work on behalf of members and concludes the column proclaiming that Frank Peters is a far better executive director than Macho Man Randy Savage ever could be. You gotta read it!

Thanks for reading 'All the piling news that's fit to print.' PDCA commends its members for the work you do, both in and outside of the industry. If you have something you would like to share with the thousands who receive this publication each month, please send in your news tips to Meantime, submit your Project of the Year entries, ASAP. Register today to attend IFCEE. And if you're reading this early on April 1, go saran wrap the toilet at your office before your colleagues's April Fool's Day, after all!

Posted in A Pile of News PDCA Monthly e-newsletter.

West Coast Students: Scholarships Available through Pacific Coast Chapter, Apply by 7/1

Past Winners of the PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter Scholarship

A longstanding tradition at the PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter is the annual scholarship program which encourages high school seniors and college students to consider careers related to the pile driving industry; construction management, engineering, business, among them. The program contributes to regional workforce development, broadens relations between the pile driving industry and the public, and provides deserving students some financial relief as they pursue higher education.

This program is limited to students in the western United States. If you are the parent of a young adult or have connection with one who qualifies for this scholarship, you are invited to share this opportunity with them. Applicants must complete and return the application form, which contains guidance on all program procedures and deliverables, by July 1, 2024. To access the application form, please click the button below:

Posted in Chapter News.


PDCA sends its heartfelt thoughts to its members, the marine construction and maritime industries, and everyone impacted by the tragedy in Baltimore on March 26, 2024. #MarylandStrong

Going to IFCEE? Celebrate 2023 PDCA Awardees at FREE Lunch Ceremony

If you are attending IFCEE 2024, May 7-10 in Dallas, TX, plan to stick around for an exclusive PDCA luncheon at the conclusion of IFCEE formal programming on Friday, May 10th, from 12:30 - 2:00 PM CDT. Members will gather in the Cotton Bowl Room at the Hyatt Regency Dallas (the same venue hosting IFCEE) to celebrate winners of the 2023 Project of the Year Awards, as well as Association Awards, in a special ceremony that is independent of the IFCEE schedule. IFCEE participation is not necessary to attend the Friday ceremony, and there is no admission cost to join the lunch event; however, advance registration is REQUIRED to ensure accommodations for all attendees. Click the button below to reserve your seat for this lunch and awards ceremony.

Sponsors are invited to support this special luncheon ceremony. There are four sponsorships available to PDCA benefactors, at $2,500.00 each. Please click the Registration button below to secure your sponsorship.

The Project of the Year Awards program from PDCA represents the organization's most prestigious honor, and its annual winners exemplify excellence in driven pile-based, deep foundation construction. You read about the 2023 program winners in PileDriver magazine, Issue #4-2023this is your chance to network with some of the industry's leading pile drivers and help applaud their work during this live event. We hope to see you there.


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