Dale Clyde Biggers
July 4, 1944 - October 7, 2021
DFI President Michael Wysockey of Thatcher Foundations, presided over the ceremony. He delivered emotional remarks stating his reverence for Mr. Biggers as he addressed Dale's widow Virgene and Boh Bros. Construction Co. President Robert Boh, both of whom joined him on the stage. The two accepted the award on Dale's behalf in front of an adoring audience.
In addition to his admirable, 53-year career with Boh Bros. where he was most recently Vice President, Dale Biggers voluntarily provided industry insight, innovation and leadership to PDCA. He had enthusiastically served as the PDCA Technical Committee Chair, among other key industry positions. He is remembered as a humble professional who has left a significant footprint in the industry through his technical collaborations, organizational participation and support, and the generations of practitioners he has influenced.
(L-R: Virgene Biggers, Mike Wysockey, Robert Boh during award ceremony honoring Dale Biggers; photo courtesy of DFI)
The year was 1946 and the Chicago Bears would earn their 7th football championship under legendary coach George Halas. Football titles notwithstanding, post-war Chicago had already earned a reputation as a world-class leader in business and industry. Culturally, it boasted one of the most unique and enviable architecture traditions in the U.S., while residents still navigated the city on streetcars. But Chicago had more to offer; the second half of the 20th Century spawned iconic creations that did not exist in 1946, such as the nation's first McDonalds restaurant (1955), the first Playboy Club (1960) and the Chicago Bulls (1966).
PDCA considers one of Chicago's most significant, post-war creations to be Thatcher Foundations, Inc. which continues to shape the city skyline, regional infrastructure, and even the beloved football team. In 1946, a World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy Seabees named Harry Thatcher launched the specialty contracting firm which played a prominent role building Chicagoland as it is known today. In 1957, a young engineer with a degree from The Citadel named Tom Wysockey (pictured) joined Thatcher after leaving employment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; by the 1980's, he had become the sole owner of the company which then had grown to two offices in both Chicago and Gary, IN.
(L-R) Mike Wysockey, John Wysockey
|Tom Wysockey (1931-2019) is an important figure in foundation construction; not only in Chicago where he excelled professionally, but he was one of the earliest Presidents of the Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA), serving consecutive terms in 1998 and 1999. More than 20 years ago, he led industry peers in shaping what has become the leading, national trade organization for pile driving professionals today. Tom Wysockey maintained his leadership role at Thatcher into the 2010's, while gradually turning over company operations to his sons Michael and John Wysockey (pictured) who currently helm the specialty contractor. Today, civil engineering students compete annually for the coveted Thomas J. Wysockey Scholarship.|
Company leadership credits Its longevity to four fundamental business priorities: safety, quality, innovation, and productivity. As tradition has it, Tom Wysockey often said, "we cared about safety back when OSHA was just a town in Wisconsin." The thriving and productive workforce at Thatcher is a testament to the culture it has established over four generations.
A reader may be curious why this narrative celebrating the 75th anniversary of Thatcher Foundations, Inc. began with a reference to the Chicago Bears? Well, it's a notable juxtaposition because the Bears are one of the oldest teams in football with a storied history in the Windy City. To think that they were already securing a 7th national championship when Thatcher was founded, makes it even more remarkable that just 55 years later, Thatcher would be driving 2,248 H-piles as part of the massive overhaul of their historic Soldier Field home that was completed in 2002. And that is just the tip of the footprint this monster of the Midway has left in the Midwest. Congratulations Thatcher Foundations!
Marksmen prep for company clay shoot
Team members enjoy a happy hour
Participants at Thatcher Golf Outing
Mike W. visits with engineering students at alma mater The Citadel
PDCA President Kevin Gourgues, Mike W. present at IFCEE 2021
Pile Dynamics, Inc. (PDI), in cooperation with the Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA), has developed a "Dynamic Measurement and Analysis Proficiency Test" for engineers providing high strain dynamic foundation testing services. The test was designed to reflect their level of knowledge and ability, which is then indicated in a "Certificate of Proficiency". To assure a high standard of testing, many organizations or agencies seeking testing services now require a certificate demonstrating some specified level of ability in dynamic testing.
The test is offered upon request (please contact PDCA), but also twice each year as part of the Deep Foundation Dynamic Testing and Analysis (DFDTA) conference, a three-day program coming to the Cleveland Marriott East Hotel (26300 Harvard Road, Warrensville Heights, OH 44122), November 3-5, 2021.
YOUR SAFETY IS OUR #1 CONCERN!The health and safety of attendees is PDCA & PDI's primary concern. With continued concerns regarding COVID-19 health crisis, social distancing will be implemented in the session room and attendees will be required to wear face masks, including those that are fully vaccinated.
Effective October 1, 2021, Pile Dynamics, Inc. has implemented a COVID-19 Event Protection Clause. In order to provide the utmost safety to our event attendees and instructors, Pile Dynamics, Inc. (PDI) has instituted the following requirements for all 2021 events hosted by the organization.
- All attendees must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the first day of the event.
- If attendee does not show one of the above, a negative quick test taken daily will be required for admission.
- All attendees must wear a mask while in the classroom, except when eating or drinking.
The DFDTA conference will present a one-day seminar titled Deep Foundation Integrity Testing and Wave Equation Analysis on November 3, 2021. A two-day workshop titled High Strain Dynamic Foundation Testing will also be presented November 4-5, 2021. On the third-day, PDI will also offer the Dynamic Measurement and Analysis Proficiency Test, a 90-minute, multiple-choice exam that will cover the theory of Wave Mechanics, Case Method (PDA) equations, data quality assessment, data interpretation and basic CAPWAP analysis.
The fee to attend the seminar on November 3, 2021 is $300.00. The fee to attend the workshop on November 4-5, 2021 is $550.00. An Early Bird discount with $50.00 off both the seminar and workshop registration fee will be offered until October 15, 2021. The fee to take the Dynamic Measurement and Analysis Proficiency Test is $200.00.
A total of 21 Professional Development Hours earned for all 3 days:
- 7 PDHs for the Day 1 Seminar
- 14 PDHs for Day 2 and 3 Workshop
***** If you are a Government employee you can receive a $50.00 discount off the seminar and workshop, in addition to the early bird discount. Please see the registration information below. ******
The one-day seminar is designed for Geotechnical, structural and construction engineers, owners, contractors and other professionals involved in the design, construction and specification of deep foundations. This seminar is suitable for those new to the field of Foundation Testing and Analysis and includes an overview of non-destructive testing methods (integrity and load testing) and their applications. It is suitable also for those specifying the testing to gain a basic understanding for assessing the results presented in the test reports and for those needing an understanding of wave equation analysis methods. Those attending the two-day workshop that follows this seminar are strongly encouraged to attend this review of wave equation background materials.
The learning objectives of the seminar are to have the participants able to select an appropriate method of integrity assessment of deep foundations for a particular application, review reports of integrity and dynamic load testing of deep foundations conducted by others and run a basic wave equation analysis of pile driving.
The two-day workshop is designed for users of the Pile Driving Analyzer® (PDA) system and CAPWAP® software who are interested in sharpening their skills: engineers, foundation testing professionals, students and professors already familiar with the basic concepts of deep foundation dynamic testing and analysis; professionals who desire to have a basic understanding of the dynamic test results being presented to them; and those interested in taking the Dynamic Measurement and Analysis Proficiency Test.
The learning objectives of the workshop are to have the participants operate the PDA in a manner conducive to acquiring good quality data; assess pile bearing capacity, pile driving stresses, hammer performance and pile integrity by various methods; avoid pitfalls when analyzing PDA data with the CAPWAP software; interpret PDA testing and CAPWAP software results; describe the soil-model used in CAPWAP; prepare the input for CAPWAP; review options for CAPWAP analysis and output; and calculate bearing capacity and its distribution for driven piles from impact records.
The seminar, workshop or proficiency test may be taken independently, all together or a combination of the course offerings.
To register for the Deep Foundation Dynamic Testing and Analysis program please click DFDTA REGISTRATION FORM.
All Government Employees can receive an additional $50.00 discount when registering for the DFDTA seminar and workshop. If you are a Government Employee and would like to register for the DFDTA Orlando program please use the link below.
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE REGISTRATION FORM
Each program attendee will be responsible for making their own hotel reservation. PDI has arranged a group rate at the Cleveland Marriott East Hotel.
Room reservations can be made online with the Cleveland Marriott East Hotel: click HERE to make your reservation.
The Cleveland Marriott East, along with all Marriott properties, are continuing to instituted their cleanliness protocols during the COVID-19 health crisis. Click HERE to review the hotel's safety practices.
Please contact the PDCA office toll-free at 904-215-4771 for more information.
Refund Policy: Cancellations received by October 22, 2021 will receive a 50% refund. After this date, there will be no refunds, however name changes are permissible. There will be no transfer of funds to the next course permitted.
As a Cooperating Organization, PDCA lent its support to the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) through participation in the 46th Annual Conference on Deep Foundation, 2021 which was held October 12-15 in Las Vegas, NV. Numerous PDCA members who also participate in DFI attended the event in various capacities; those included session presenters, exhibitors and general attendees. PDCA also staffed an informational booth in the exhibit hall.
Check out the following photos of various sightings at the DFI conference which included an Elvis impersonator (Robert Thompson of Dan Brown and Associates), swagmasters (we see you APE) and foundation projectiles, courtesy of the award-winning contractor Foundation Constructors:
Elvis hasn't left the building
Foundation projectiles sailed through the rafters
The Swagmaster and his entourage
PDCA staff attended the Hal Hunt Lecture during lunch on October 14th; retired MLB pitcher and Olympic Gold Medalist Jim Abbott delivered an inspiring talk about overcoming unique challenges.
PDCA thanks DFI for the continued, industry partnership.
To all PDCA members, you are encouraged to Save the Date as the PDCA 2022 Annual Conference is right around the corner, coming February 2022!
The 2021 Buchanan Lecturer is Dr. Philippe Jeanjean who is the Senior Advisor for Geotechnical Engineering at BP America in Houston, Texas. Dr. Jeanjean's lecture is entitled "Offshore Geotechnics: From Oil & Gas to Renewable Energy."
Also on the agenda is Professor Edward J. Cording, who will be presenting his 2020 Terzaghi Lecture "Observing and Controlling Ground Behavior with Tunnel Boring Machines." Professor Cording is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
The lectures will take place virtually via Zoom, and will begin at 2:00 pm US Central Time on November 12, 2021. Please relay to colleagues and students. A Zoom link to attend the Buchanan Lecture will be posted on this website (https://briaud.engr.tamu.edu/buchananlecture/) a few days before the lecture and a video will be posted on that website afterwards for those who are unable to attend.
Best wishes, Jean-Louis.
Jean-Louis BRIAUD, PhD, PE, DGE, Distinguished Member ASCE
University Distinguished Professor and Buchanan Chair Holder
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas, 77843-3136, USA
Presenters at the 2021 Buchanan Lecture by ASCE:
Dr. Philippe Jeanjean, Senior Advisor for
Geotechnical Engineering at BP America
is The 2021 Buchanan Lecturer
Professor Edward J. Cording
Prof. Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Director Scott Ketham, OSHA Directorate of Construction
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. Frank 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.
Piledriving has been performed throughout the company's history including the Atlantic City casino boom of the 1980's and the expansions in the 2000's. Typical projects include pipe pile, sheet pile, timber pile and even composite and vinyl sheet pile. Over the years the company has diversified into other scopes of work including utility work, sitework, road reconstructions, and recently directional drilling.
The veteran contracting firm has focused its work in the South New Jersey area and has specialized in installation methods in the sands of the barrier islands. Like many in the industry, it has experimented with new technologies, but Arthur R. Henry, Inc. always comes back to the tried-and-true jet and drive or dry driving using crane mounted air hammer system.
Grant Achey, P.E., a project manager at Arthur R. Henry, Inc. explains that the company has adjusted some equipment capabilities; "We have modified our excavator mounted pile installation rigs over the years to meet the need for smaller timber pile jobs typically installed along the shoreline for boardwalk or other smaller building supports." He adds that he and his colleagues look forward to continuing to complete quality projects in the area and educating owners and engineers on the benefits of the driven pile!
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