(L-R) Mike Abruzzo, Brandon Phetteplace both pictured at IFCEE 2021
PDCA offers congratulations to GRL Engineers, Inc. Branch Manager Brandon Phetteplace and his wife who welcomed their second child, Harrison Parker Phetteplace, on March 2nd. Brandon reports it was a complication-free delivery when their new baby arrived at 6 lbs., 12 oz; the family is now back to their Houston-area home.
|Later in March, Mike Abruzzo and his wife welcomed Brooks William Abruzzo (left). Born March 20th at 7 lbs., 10 oz., the second child in the family and his mom are "healthy and doing great" at their Cincinnati-area home. Meantime, Mike is back to work in business development at Richard Goettle, Inc.
On 3/25, this rig sat at Conroe, TX Bauer as Shaun Nelson prepped it to ship.
By 3/26, the same rig was in Duson, LA performing pre-drilling for the event.
The Contractors Foundation Institute: The Driven Pile Academy has been months in the making. The unique event has been embraced by pile driving contractors and other deep foundation professionals from far and wide. This first-of-its-kind educational opportunity, that includes both classroom and practical instruction, is almost here. The event opens with a Welcome Reception on April 4th and runs through April 7th when a classic Crawfish Boil concludes the conference at the Patriot Construction and Industrial yard in Duson, Louisiana.
Among the in-kind contributors to this innovative industry opportunity are American Piledriving Equipment, America Spiralweld Pipe, Bauer Equipment, Bigge Crane, Cajun Industries, Gulf Coast Pre-Stress, Consolidated Pipe and Supply, Equipment Share, Hercules Machinery Corp., ICE-International Construction Equipment, Junttan, Louisiana CAT, Lodge Lumber, Mazzella, MKT Manufacturing, Nucor Skyline, Patriot Construction and Industrial, Palmetto Pile Driving, Pile Dynamics, Inc., Premier Geotech and Testing, Scott Equipment, Tadano and United Rentals.
Sponsors include American Piledriving Equipment, Atlas Tube, Geotech Testing and Research, Equipment Corporation of America, Gilbert, Gerdau, GRL Engineers/Pile Dynamics, Inc., ICE-International Construction Equipment, Hercules Machinery Corp., Lodge Lumber, Nucor Skyline, PileCo and United Rentals.
Due to limited space, the sold-out event has met capacity. However, with strong demand throughout the industry for instruction at this level, The Contractors Foundation Institute is planning future opportunities like The Driven Pile Academy. Make sure to join PDCA to learn about all upcoming events.
During the week of March 28th, on-site set up was in full force. Here are scenes from the final stretch of event planning. Make sure you are following PDCA on Facebook and LinkedIn for continued event coverage, plus plenty of video content related to The Driven Pile Academy.
PDCA events guru Kathy Harper meticulously coordinates all things CFI!
Organizers Kevin Gourgues, Pollyanna Cunningham, Diane Fischer are excited for CFI!
Chapter President Brandon Bicknell introduces new organization
Vice President Condon Verble shares Chapter vision
First Chapter Meeting offers attendees Vision for organization, Evening of Networking
Houston, TX (March 24, 2022): Nearly 70 individuals from the pile driving industry in Texas and beyond assembled at Pinstripes in Houston for the Mixer event designed to introduce the new PDCA Texas Chapter. The recently named officers for the organization planned the gathering which included food, drink and networking, along with a program in which Chapter President Brandon Bicknell and Vice President Condon Verble shared the vision and objectives that they intend to pursue on behalf of the pile driving industry in Texas. Secretary Armando Guajardo and Treasurer Arjin Dogan joined Bicknell and Verble for the full presentation.
Stated Verble, "Our number one priority is to maintain a strong industry focus by promoting use of the driven pile every time it is available for a deep foundation construction project."
Many of the stated objectives of the PDCA Texas Chapter revolve around optimizing the market workforce for pile driving careers:
- Create an organization of experienced professionals within the driven pile industry
- Give members a networking resource to develop critical industry relationships
- Identify and collaborate on addressing common industry challenges; availability of a skilled work force is one already determined
- Establish partnerships with technical and high school vocational programs to promote driven pile work and improve regional workforce development
- Identify potential top talent in the schools; develop recruitment tools to secure promising candidates
- Use the PDCA Texas Chapter to link students to potential opportunities at chapter members' organizations
The PDCA Texas Chapter is encouraging regional companies and individuals to become charter members of new group, dues are $500 per company or $100 per individual. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Many thanks all who attended the inaugural meeting of the PDCA Texas Chapter which was made possible by these generous sponsors: Russell Marine, McCarthy, JD Fields and Company, BRC International, APE-American Piledriving Equipment, ICE-International Construction Equipment, Lodge Lumber, PileCo and Orion Marine.
Who was SPOTTED at the event?
Thanks to these sponsors:
(L-R: Billy Camp, S&ME, Inc. and Van Komurka, GRL Engineers, Inc. at Geo-Congress 2022)
2022 Martin S. Kapp Foundation Engineering Award:
Congratulations Van Komurka!
The Martin S. Kapp Foundation Engineering Award recognizes an individual on the basis of the best example of innovative or outstanding design or construction of foundations, earthworks, retaining structures, or underground construction. Emphasis is placed on constructed works where serious difficulties were overcome or where substantial economies were achieved. Van Komurka has demonstrated a body of work and earned selection by the Geo-Institute Board of Governors and ultimately the ASCE Executive Committee as the worthy recipient of the 2022 honor. The award was established by the ASCE Board in 1973 and is a memorial in recognition of the outstanding professional accomplishments of Martin S. Kapp, F.ASCE. As noted by the 2022 Geo-Congress Chair, "Van has earned a very prestigious award."
|Van E. Komurka, P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE is a Senior Engineer at GRL Engineers, Inc. A periodic presenter at PDCA live and virtual educational seminars, Van is also a member of the PDCA Technical Committee and holds various other positions throughout the deep foundations industry. He has authored multiple publications and is an instructor for the course "Driven Pile Foundations Design and Construction" offered by the Federal Highway Administration National Highway Institute (FHWA/NHI). He received the University of Wisconsin-Platteville College of Engineering Mathematics and Science Alumni Chapter Outstanding Entrepreneur/Businessperson Award and two PDCA Awards, the Professional Engineer's Service Award and the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service.|
Also of note at the 2022 Geo-Congress, the event Chair is a widely recognized technical expert at PDCA.
2022 Geo-Congress Chair:
Congratulations Billy Camp!
|William M. Camp, III, P.E., D.GE, M.ASCE is a Vice President and Technical Principal at S&ME, Inc. Based in the Charleston, SC office, Billy is a longtime member of the PDCA Technical Committee and is active in the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter. He demonstrates leadership in other deep foundations industry organizations, including serving as a president at the Geo-Institute, prior to becoming this year's Chair of the Geo-Congress event. Billy has authored 34 peer-reviewed technical papers and frequently presents at seminars. The University of Texas at Austin recognized Billy's achievements and contributions to his professional community by inducting him to their Academy of Distinguished Alumni in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, a rare honor held by fewer than 150 in a community of 10,000 living alumni.|
PDCA heartily congratulate the two gentlemen for their significant contributions to the pile driving industry.
(Al Bonura of Morris-Shea Bridge Company visits with a student group which participated in the poster competition.)
Haley & Aldrich
Geotechnical engineers and other deep foundations professionals throughout the Southeast descended to the Low Country on St. Paddy's Day to hear a revered line-up of presenters who provided attendees with five different programs and 5.5 PDH credits. The Driven Pile Technical Seminar is a biennial event developed by the PDCA South Carolina Chapter. Event Chairman Greg Canivan (S&ME, Inc.) opened the program to the more than 100 attendees who filled the assembly room at The Citadel - Holliday Alumni Center on March 17th in Charleston, SC. Harry Robbins, the now-retired pile driver who is credited for founding the PDCA SC Chapter, gave a short welcome and reflected on the tremendous support the Chapter has received over the past 25 years. With no further ado, the presenters delivered their respective topics to the audience:
- Richard Coffman, Ph.D., P.E., P.L.S Professor, University of Arkansas Lessons Learned from Blast Induced Liquefaction Tests Surrounding Steel and Concrete Piles
- Silas Nichols, P.E. Principal Geotech Engineer, FHWA Office of Infrastructure Effective Use of Driven Piles on Bridge Foundations
- Dr. Catherine T. Aimone-Martin Principal, Aimone-Martin Associates, LLC Structure Responses to Construction Vibrations and Environmental Effects
- Lunch (Driven Piles are Tested Piles QC Video)
- Tim Siegel, P.E., G.E., D.GE CEO and Senior Principal Engineer, Dan Brown and Associates Past, Present, and Future of Rigid Inclusions
- Brent Robinson, Ph.D., P.E. Vice President, Pile Dynamics, Inc. Reliability and Economy of Driven Piles
Who was spotted at the 2022 Driven Pile Technical Seminar:
PDCA South Carolina Chapter thanks the following sponsors who helped make the event a great success:
Koppers, Nucor Skyline, Palmetto Pile Driving, Inc., Junttan USA, Pile Drivers, Inc., ICE-International Construction Equipment, Parker Marine Contracting Corporation, Soil Consultants, Inc., Insight Group, Cape Romain Contractors, S&ME, Inc. and CZM Foundation Equipment.
This event was made possible through the generosity of several sponsors:
Consolidated Pipe & Supply Company
Linde-Griffith Construction Company
The 2022 Series, developed as a collaborative effort of the PDCA Education Committee and Associate Member Council, offers a diverse lineup of educational subject matter, pertinent to driven pile industry professionals. It resumes April 14th with a program on Working Platforms; here is the schedule for the balance of the year:
April 14 - Safe Working Platforms What can they do for you?
May 12 - High Strain Dynamic Load Testing (PDA tests) with GRLWEAP
June 9 - Bridging Over Troubled Waters "Components of Building over Safety Obstacles"
July 14 - Legal Discussion Topic: Part 1
August 11 - Topic TBD
September 8 - The Use of Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composites in Piling Applications
October 13 - Steel Durability in Marine Construction
November 10 - Legal Discussion: Part 2
- December 8 - Topic TBD
Matthew B. "Tim" McGowan
October 10, 1930 - January 9, 2022
A noted pioneer in the development of pre-stressed concrete building materials, a Cold War-era Army Captain, a celebrated sport boater, a construction company president, a gender-barrier breaker, an advisor to Governor Ronald Reagan and a loving family man are just a few ways one could accurately describe the late Tim McGowan.
As PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter President Dermot Fallon recalls, "he was one of the original members of the Pile Driving Contractors Association in San Francisco. He would always attend our PDCA Holiday Luncheons; reminisce and tell stories about the old days of PDCA. A great man and he will be missed."Mr. McGowan leaves a giant footprint across North America - his construction work includes several projects that are recognizable on an international level, including the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa (images below).
PDCA joins his surviving family, colleagues, protege's and friends in recognizing a remarkable life in foundation construction.
Click here to read a published, formal obituary of Tim McGowan; it includes information on an upcoming Celebration of Life.
These recognizable structures represent a small sample of projects on which Tim McGowan contributed during his impactful career.
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