DICEP, '23 Annual Conference Invite Your Content Proposals

(L-R) Jason Bales presents on pile driving for the solar industry, Kumar Allady, P.E. presents 'Lifecycle Monitoring of Foundations; both occurred at 2022 Annual Conference

Have you ever considered sharing your expertise with other PDCA members and pile driving industry professionals? Do you have, or could you produce a case study or abstract on a technical concept you have successfully mastered? The PDCA Education Committee invites your topic ideas, papers, and presentation suggestions as it develops the curriculum for the DICEP conference coming to New Orleans in September and the 2023 Annual Conference slated for San Diego in February 2023.

Both conferences will feature keynote presentations, case histories, and technical presentations addressing the needs of the industry. Varied presentation lengths are available and should be in the range of 30-60 minutes. In its consideration of submitted ideas, PDCA is interested in understanding components such as presentation flow, the relevance of the content proposal and PDH requirements. 

The upcoming conferences that the Education Committee is looking to fill with your presentations follow:

2022 DICEP
September 12-14, 2022
New Orleans, LA
Deadline to submit content: May 31, 2022

2023 Annual Conference
February 7-9, 2023
San Diego, CA
Deadline to submit content: June 30, 2022

If you are interested in submitting content ideas for an upcoming PDCA conference, please CLICK HERE to learn how.

NE Chapter Professional Development Course Returns May 18

Mark your calendars, the 2022 PDCA Northeast Chapter Professional Development program returns this spring; plan to attend this event on May 18th from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM in the conference room at George Harms Construction Company, 62 Yellowbrook Road, Howell, NJ. This course if FREE for all paid PDCA national and PDCA Northeast Chapter members.

Attendees at the program will hear presentations from a slate of Professional Engineers who together, bring more than 90 years of combined experience in geotechnics. 
  • Jennifer Peirce Brandt, PE, President at Peirce Engineering, Inc. (pictured, right)
  • John J. Peirce, III, PE of Peirce Engineering, Inc.
  • David Borger, PE, Director of Engineering at Nucor Skyline (pictured, left)
  • Kurt Levin, PE, Engineering Manager at Nucor Skyline
Please watch your inbox and this website for more information about the program. You are encouraged to register today (click the button below) and reserve your spot for this exceptional event. Attendees will earn PDH for completing the day long program.


PileDriver Magazine: Issue #2, 2022

The Digital Edition is Available

Click the cover Image to Access the E-Magazine

PDCA and publishing partner Lester Publications proudly announce that the PileDriver magazine Issue #2-2022 is now available in digital format; watch your mailbox in coming days for your hard copy edition.

There is plenty of new content available in Issue #2; PDCA President Brian Heck leads off the publication with his observations on a very active start to the year for the Association. Executive Director Frank Peters follows with his insightful column about strides the organization is making on behalf of the driven pile industry.

You will find fascinating project content when you read the cover story about Seattle's Pier 62, a dramatic pile driving feat performed by Pacific Pile & Marine. It creates a brand-new facade for the waterfront side of Downtown Seattle.

Don't miss a large section summarizing the PDCA Annual Conference which concluded in February. You will find plenty of photos from the various activities that took place throughout the week at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix. Among them, PDCA Committee Meetings, Awards presentations and the golf outing.

It's been a remarkable career for Mike Elliott who recently retired from Equipment Corporation of America. A longtime friend to PDCA, Mike sat down with us to share his observations from a 50-year career in the pile driving industry. You will see some of the special photos taken at a recent company event honoring his contributions.

Check in on the PDCA Chapter news, notable headlines from the industry and a Business contribution from Harris May of the Dafanie Financial Group submits an article that provides guidance to employers on Worker's Compensation.

And don't miss Member profiles on Farrell Brothers Marine Construction, South Shore Pile Driving and McMullen & Pitz. California attorney Mark J. Rice (pictured) submits this issue's legal column. 

South Shore Pile Driving LLC

McMullen & Pitz Construction Company

Farrell Brothers Marine Construction, Inc.

Posted in PileDriver Magazine.

Academy Delivers Intensive Curriculum; But There Was Food and Fun Too!

Known to be a swampy region, people swatted or kicked at gnats the size of drones 

Anyone in Cajun country knows that mudbugs are best when they're boiled alive.
In addition to receiving comprehensive classroom and outdoor instruction on the practice of pile driving, participants from throughout North America found time to immerse themselves in a fun and fellowship-filled, southern Louisiana experience. Among the highlights was an authentic Crawfish Boil, courtesy of nearby Baton Rouge-based Contractor, Cajun Industries. Between the generosity of site-host Patriot Construction & Idustrial, LLC, which lent much of its 20-acre facility to PDCA for delivery of The Driven Pile Academy, and the bushels of mudbugs that were cooked on-site and served for the participants' Wednesday evening feast, attendees (many of whom traveled great distances), received a unique experience in the historically significant region of the U.S. and Louisiana known as "Acadiana." (Crawfish Boil photos, later in the post.)

But first, here are scenes from the lighter side of the The Driven Pile Academy:
Rise and shine Vance - it's 8 am in Louisiana, you're not in Hawaii anymore!
'Old School' anyone? The Rick-ster (l) defends his Sigma ICE frat-brothers to 'Dean' Cunningham (r) who questions him about reported pranks.
Suppliers demonstrated pile driving power at the Academy, Heath brought mad sprinting skills.

Dylan's preferred side of the camera

Mario throws up the obligatory 'Deuces'

Jason struts the runway, turning heads as he goes

Hoosiers earn a bid to the Cajun Bowl - brought to you by Alamo Rent-A-Car.

Site-host Kevin tells Connecticut guests that, 'around here, its gumbo, not chowder and we like our lobsters much smaller'

Floridians Scott and Luke maintain compliance with TSA COVID rules in a parting shot from MSY

Who is Tim? Equipment sales or US Secret Service?

Channeling his inner drill sergeant, Chris asks a student: 'Is that a water bottle in your pocket...or are you just happy to be here?''

What are all these voices in my head?

Some scenes reminded us of classic movies: 'Blues Brothers'

Classic Movies 2: 'Up in Smoke'

Classic Movies 3: 'The Deer Hunter'

Social media and other reactions from The Driven Pile Academy poured in throughout the week as attendees and observers passed along sentiments from the event:
  • "If you weren't there, you missed an awesome event!" Kevin
  • "I had a blast...there was information to help us gain a deeper knowledge." Arjin
  • "What a great week!" Rick
  • "The academy overbooked, and we believe it was a great learning experience for all the contractors, pile bucks, geotechnical engineers, designers..." Franki
  • "Great idea and great to see it implemented..." Pete
  • "It wouldn't be a pile drivers [sic] event in Louisiana without a killer crawfish boil!" Mike
Speaking of the Crawfish Boil, courtesy of Cajun Industries, LLC, most attendees adopted the popular practice of native Louisianans, as you will notice below:

PDCA thanks all students, training coordinators, volunteers, organizers, and of course our sponsors for participating in the inaugural CFI -Driven Pile Academy.

2022 CFI: Driven Pile Academy Sponsors:

Classroom, Jobsite Instruction Offered 27 PDH Max at Driven Pile Academy

Safety First! On April 5-7, the 85 students enrolled in The Driven Pile Academy taking place at the Patriot Construction & Industrial yard in Duson, LA embarked on three days of rigorous and comprehensive training in pile driving. Job site and equipment safety briefings preceded every segment of the instructional event. "From a safety perspective, [the Academy] really did an outstanding job of not only teaching but showing via example how to run an outstanding program," said Chris Normand, VP at Cajun Industries and Chairman of the PDCA Safety & Environmental Committee.

Following safety briefings, attendees started bright and early on the April 5th with a full day of classroom presentations on various industry components. They heard detailed instruction covering topics ranging from soil investigations, hammer sizing, rigging, working platforms, cushions, splicing, load testing and cost savings with driven piles, to name a few. "It was an honor to receive so much onsite feedback during the course of the week; people were extremely positive, particularly in that so many touted the event's significant worth to the pile driving industry. It's not too often one can attend a singular construction training event and obtain so many professional development hours," noted Diane Fischer of GRL Engineers.

The outdoor activity took place the two remaining days and gave attendees some of the most unique and compelling, hands-on training available. They stood in observation of piling equipment installation and removal of piling materials in and out of the stiff Louisiana clay, while rotating through seven unique and professionally staffed stations demonstrating different equipment and techniques. The materials shown were steel sheeting, H-beam piers and PC/PS concrete piles. Equipment demonstrations included HIH, diesel, dedicated rigs (impact and vibratory), side-grip, vibratory (both RF and Normal Frequency). Instruction on pile driving support services were available, too. Students reviewed and discussed with instructors, jobsite geotechnical testing results; then learned more about the importance of equipment maintenance, pile cushion utilization, correct rigging and the value of certified and experienced crane operation. 
This women-led team of equipment experts and tenured industry support services personnel volunteered significant time over the past 8-months to develop this well executed inaugural event. Attendees could earn up to 28 PDH - an unusual number to be available at one event - upon thorough completion of both indoor and outdoor instruction. "Diane Fischer and I believe this academy is critical to the evolution and safety training for the driven pile industry," remarked Pollyanna Cunningham of ICE-International Construction Equipment, Inc., one of two women who led organization for the Academy. She continued; "If you want an industry to grow and flourish, you must educate in both the classroom and in the field."

Welcome Reception Opens 3.5 day 'Driven Pile Academy;' See Who Was SPOTTED

Described as "innovative" and "first-of-its-kind," participants in PDCA's Contractors Foundation Institute (CFI) - Driven Pile Academy are heading back to job sites around North America, including Hawaii, (one of 15 US states represented), Canada, and Mexico. They are equipped with new perspectives and insights that can optimize safety and execution on their future deep foundation projects, including roads, bridges, and structures over 3-stories.  The three-and-a-half-day program took place in Duson, LA, on the expansive grounds at Patriot Construction & Industrial, LLC.

A women-led services team developed the first-ever event. It included one full day of classroom instruction featuring more than 25 industry professionals who gave presentations on safety and geotechnical preparation that would be necessary later in the week when participants moved outside to the mock construction site.  There, participants embarked on two days of hands-on field activity; they rotated through seven unique and professionally staffed stations and observed driven pile equipment installing and extracting steel sheeting, H-beam piers and PC/PS concrete piles. Equipment involved in the demonstrations included HIH, diesel, dedicated rigs (impact and vibratory), side-grip, vibratory (both RF and Normal Frequency). Demonstrations of different support services were available, too. Geotechnical testing results obtained by GRL Engineers, Inc. was available for review and discussion during event segments. Students also gained detailed perspectives on the importance of equipment maintenance, pile cushion utilization, correct rigging and the value of certified and experienced crane operation. 

Before the classroom and field instruction took place on April 5-7, attendees were treated to a Welcome Reception on the evening of April 4. Organizers gave a short program and addressed the dozens of attendees who gathered for networking, refreshments and some authentic Louisiana cooking. Scenes from the event are captured in the photos below:

Check back for more coverage, including photos, from the inaugural Diven Pile Academy!

Coordinating that CFI 'Group Shot' You May Have Seen on PDCA Social Media

If you haven't seen it by now, make sure to check PDCA social media including Facebook and LinkedIn; there you will find a remarkable, professional arial photo of all attendees gathered for a group photo during the first day in the training field on the grounds of our gracious hosts at Patriot Construction & Industrial, LLC in Duson, LA. Our amateur photography crew snapped a few different angles of the same shot to give the proverbial 'behind the scenes' coordination of this short, pre-brisket lunch episode.

Launching the drone...

Gathering the participants...

Still and drone photographers getting into place...

Scanning the grounds for any more stragglers...

Just about ready...

Now hold that pose...

Keep holding...

Two more seconds!

And they're out...

...a wonderful brisket lunch awaits!

Readers, we will have plenty more candid photos from the first Contractors Foundation Institute: The Driven Pile Academy event which took place April 4-7, 2022 and attracted pile driving professionals from every corner of the United States, including Hawaii. It even brought practitioners from Canada and Mexico. Be sure to check back to this blog for various other scenes from the event and see who was spotted during the course of the week.

PDCA thanks the many event organizers who spent months developing this unique and innovative program, the equipment professionals who provided pile driving machinery to the Louisiana location and the dozens of PDCA members and soon-to-be members (hopefully! Join today!) who attended the event as students.

Gulf Coast Chapter Hosts Engineers Conference with Crawfish Boil

An authentic Louisiana crawfish boil kicked off the conference on 3/30
Then on 3/31, attendees heard presentations and earned 7 PDH

A classic, southern Louisiana gullywasher (does that apply?) concluded during the Wednesday (3/30) Crawfish Boil at Pointe Marie in Baton Rouge, LA; the gathering kicked-off the PDCA Gulf Coast Engineers Conference which was held all day on Thursday (3/31) at L'Auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge. A near-capacity audience heard a range of presentations pertinent to driven pile professionals, including an Ethics course.

A fast and fierce rainstorm welcomed crawfish enthusiasts...
...but conditions dramatically improved within 30 minutes to the 5p start time

Promptly at 7:00 AM on Thursday, PDCA Gulf Coast President Gerard Chenevert opened the full-day program with a welcome message, introductions of sponsors and the full slate of esteemed presenters. Aside from a mid-morning break and a lunch, the attendees heard consecutive presentations from the following:
  1. Field Investigation to Study Pile Setup in Soft Cohesive Soil of Louisiana by Nafi Harque of Ardaman and Associates
  2. Geotechnical Engineering - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow by Vic Donald, P.E. of Terracon Consultants
  3. Instrumented Static Load Testing: An Incremental Rigidity Approach by Brandon Phetteplace of GRL Engieers
  4. Pile Coating Applications by Chase Delatte of Sherwin Williams
  5. PDA Testing: Techniques, Advantages, and Data Analysis by Matt Nagy, P.E. - Nagy Engineers
  6. Advanced Measurement Techniques by Joey Coco, P.E. MBA of Forte & Tablada
  7. LAPELS Professionalism and Ethics by a LAPELSS Board Investigator

See who was SPOTTED at the 2022 PDCA Gulf Coast Engineers Conference:

The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter and PDCA thank all the great sponsors who made this biennial event a productive and successful conference!

A Pile of News - April 2022

A Pile of News: April 2022
A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers, construction suppliers and affiliated engineers who comprise the PDCA.
by Matt Bisbee, PDCA
Originally sent April 1, 2022
If you haven't secured your spot, it's too late to attend the sold-out 2022 PDCA Contractors Foundation Institute: The Driven Pile Academy opening Monday (4/4) in Duson, LA. The four-day program features industry-leading equipment professionals providing classroom and practical instruction on equipment use. See progress photos of site prep and set-up. If you missed the 2022 event, watch for future event announcements...then register early! Non-members should join PDCA for discounted registrations.
From the Association & Chapters
Welcome to new and returning members that joined in the first quarter of 2022!
Contractors: Blue Iron Foundation & Shoring, Bowen Engineering Corporation, Coastal Construction & Engineering, Mohawk Northeast and RJ Gorman Contracting
Associates: Bottom Line Equipment, Clydesdale Steel, Contractor's Steel Co., Hercules Machinery Corporation and OMS Vibro Ozkanlar Grup Makina AS
Engineering Affiliates: Soil and Materials Engineering, Terracon VA and Thomas & Hutton

Mark your calendars!
See photos and coverage of recent events:
The geo-congressional record:
  • Proud to be a cooperating organization with the Geo-Institute, PDCA participated in the 2022 Geo-Congress event in Charlotte, NC. Several PDCA members attended; see who we spotted.
  • Van Komurka, PE., D.GE, F.ASCE is a senior engineer at GRL Engineers who has a long record of guiding PDCA technical activity through his committee work, technical writings and live presentations. As we announced in an earlier edition, Komurka earned the 2022 Martin S. Kapp Foundation Engineering Award, which was presented at Geo-Congress. Another technical leader at PDCA, William M. Camp, III, P.E., D.GE, M.ASCE of S&ME, Inc. served as the congress chair.

News items of interest:
  • Site Selection Magazine shares new data depicting top U.S. cities' construction investment. Measured growth reveals a surging Rust Belt/Middle America, reversing recent trends.
Timothy Dutton of Junttan USA Inc., you are this month's winner!
Send an email to marian@piledrivers.org before the end of April to claim your prize!
News from PDCA Companies
Acquisitions & expansions:
Governmental relations:
  • The Nucor steel mills in Utah, Texas, Florida and Missouri were destinations for elected officials in March; U.S. Sen. Romney, U.S. Reps. Sessions and Foxx and Lt. Gov. Kehoe met with Nucor personnel and toured facilities in those states.

Giving back:
People on the Move
  • Leonard Braud retires as project superintendent at GROUP Contractors after 20 years with the Baton Rouge-based company, and more than 40 in the industry.
  • Jim Frias to retire in June as CFO/EVP at NucorSteve Laxton  named successor in March. 
  • Blake Burley joins the team at APC Construction, LLC as senior project manager.
  • Tyler Scott has begun as a Denver-based senior engineering recruiter for Kiewit.
  • Jacob Chaparro joins Weeks Marine in the rotational accelerated development program.
  • Kelsey Gunter departs her marketing post serving Bauer/ECA; best of luck on new challenges!
  • Nick Darlage named new director of projects at Engineered Rigging.
  • Sarah Marshman elevates to service manager at Equipment Corporation of America in Boston.
  • Chris Barberi, Noel Gibbings move into sales roles at Flexicore of Texas following industry departure of long-time sales rep Cary Hazard.
  • Stephen Geraci, P.E., CHMM elevates to SVP, subsidiary manager at ECS Limited in the Southwest.
  • AJ Davis, Jr., Brian Awckland, Randy Daub (PA offices) and Matthew Hartman (Laurel, MD office) promoted to associates at Geo-Technology Associates, Inc.
  • Danny Hines reaches 21 years at Southern Earth Sciences in Mobile; Brad Bertucci rejoins the firm in New Orleans.

In memoriam:
  • Tim McGowan, a transformational figure in deep foundation construction and a past member of the PDCA Pacific Coast Chapter, passed away in January. He leaves a giant footprint of recognizable work on an international level; click here to learn about his impressive life.
  • David Pierce, P.E., S.E., was a veteran engineer and mentor to colleagues throughout the Pacific Northwest. A past president at PND Engineers, he lost a year-long cancer battle in February.
On the Job
ASAP Group installs sheet piling from Samuel Roll Form Group for the Miami International Airport Taxiway Apron; notably, an American Airlines employee recorded video of ASAP's vibro at work!

Boh Bros. Construction conducts an assembly line at their waterfront yard to fabricate a dock for a Mississippi River industrial facility. See video of the assembly process.

Caldwell Marine International is among several contractors in the North Atlantic that have become involved in the burgeoning offshore wind industry. Here, they work with other stakeholders to transport cabling.

Orion Marine Group wins largest contract ever ($125M) in the Tampa division for demolition and replacement of two bascule bridges spanning the NASA Causeway in Titusville, FL. The new construction will include installation of 113,000 linear feet of 30-inch prestressed high moment capacity concrete piles.

Pile Drivers, Inc. completed the Legacy Apartments in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Many PDCA members assisted: Parker Marine; Palmetto Pile Driving; Essve Tech; S&ME, Inc.; Lodge Lumber; APE; ICE; and Junttan. 

Poseidon Dredge & Marine Inc. continues shaping the infrastructure in Florida's coastal communities; the team recently completed a driven sheet pile installation for the Jacksonville Port.

PRECO-MSE has a team on a northern Quebec waterway installing H-pile for a hydroelectric line between the Micoua and Saguenay stations. Pile depths exceed 30 meters.

Weeks Marine has a crew in New York City replacing bridge fenders at the Spuyten Duyvil over the Harlem River. A Junttan hammer is among the equipment on the job. FYI the railroad bridge's name is Dutch for "in spite of the devil;" not to be confused with Mötley Crüe's 1983 metal hit, "Shout at the Devil."

Equipment Corporation of America (ECA) shows a Pile Master 36-5000 performing installation of timber pilings, part of a dock replacement in Philadelphia.

ICE-International Construction Equipment supplied various pieces of deep foundation machinery to assist a contractor in Puerto Rico to control future flooding at the Rio De La Plata in the territory.

Pileco Inc. recently opened the doors to its new Conroe, TX headquarters; rightfully proud of the facility, the team hosted a crew from the Coast Guard for annual diesel hammer training.

Dewberry secures fifth consecutive contract with UVA where it has been the on-call engineering and design firm for 25 years. We note Dewberry branding favors team colors at Va-Tech.
Media Hits
The Herald-Dispatch serving the Huntington, W.V. region tags along with U.S. Rep Carol Miller and John Musgrave of the local Economic Development Authority during a site visit to the future Nucor Corp. steel mill in Apple Grove. The story shares expected positive developments the area could realize.

North America Outlook magazine profiles Engineered Rigging president Christopher Cox.

Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal recognizes ECS Limited as Best of 2021 Engineering Winner for designing the replacement of a Maryland elementary school.

The Nashville Business Journal talked to local engineers about new development opportunities materializing in the growing city. Among them was Alicia Sellers, a geotech at GeoEngineers, Inc.
Notes from the Field
Because we can't get enough basketball We take a minute to share an update from Dallas; Kendric Davis is the college hoops standout that J.D. Fields Company signed to an NIL deal this season. The SMU point guard finished the regular season as top scorer in the AAC with 19.5 points per game!

When you have 10,000 lakes and it's winter why not host an ice fishing expedition? Atlas Foundation Company in Osseo, MN did just that; it was an employee appreciation event.

Crawfish, cornhole and canned beverages Canal Barge Company kicked off the Vessel's Officer Workshop, a key business meeting, with an evening employee/family social.

Louisiana members get plenty of attention for Cajun cooking but Geotechnology Associates in Maryland brings chili to the "Pile of Food." Alex won a gold medal at the staff cookoff; his venison/bacon recipe secured it.

With potential foreign conflict on American minds a Fun Fact Friday social media post from Alexandra Cormier of Flores Automation & Machine Control may bring nostalgic comfort. FAMC provides Leica products that can help a pile driver understand subterranean conditions. Leica is also responsible for the photography equipment used to capture the famous WWII-era photo of the V-J Day celebrations in Times Square.

Despite what your calendar might say, nothing noted above is a joke in the spirit of April Fool's Day; at least as far as we know. We appreciate you taking a few moments to browse through this month's Pile of News and look forward to bringing you another one in May. Please share your company news with us if you would like for it to appear in this publication. And many thanks to our growing list of advertisers! If you are interested in advertising, please contact PDCA today.
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