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

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