South Carolina Chapter News

Charleston, SC (November 12, 2020): The recipient of the the coveted "Mac" Nigels Scholarship is, for the first time in the history of the award, a female Cadet from The Citadel. Attendees at the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter's fourth quarter dinner meeting on November 12th heard an inspiring acceptance speech from Cadet Emma Larsen (pictured, center), who graciously thanked the Chapter for the honor. Each year, the Chapter presents this scholarship to a civil engineering student from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolinawho, according to his/her professors, demonstrates "strong character, integrity and exemplary grade point average."

Ms. Larsen, accompanied by Professor Simon Ghanat and others from Civil Engineering at The Citadel, is in her Junior year at the school where she is both a Dean's List qualifier and Regimental Leader. She stood alongside Chapter President Jason Moore (pictured, left) while Scott Nigels (pictured, right), son of the late McLeod "Mac" Creighton Nigels, presented the award consisting of a commemorative plaque and a $2000 monetary gift. The socially distanced and face-masked audience of PDCA members and others in the pile driving industry heartily applauded Ms. Larsen for this notable accomplishment.

The annual scholarship dates back to 2007 and is presented in the name of "Mac" Nigels who was a highly respected civil engineer in Charleston following his 1955 graduation from The Citadel.

Also from the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter's quarterly dinner meeting on November 11th, Dr. Guoming Lin, VP of Terracon Consultants in Savannah delivered a presentation on pile testing for the Kinder Morgan Elba Liquefaction Project. The event was limited to 60 attendees to comply with social distancing recommendations; the popular program reached capacity as contractors, engineers and suppliers from South Carolina and beyond arrived at the Town & Country Inn and Suites in North Charleston. 

Chapter 2020 Leadership Slate Ratified at 1Q Dinner Meeting

February 13, 2020

A busy start to 2020 for the South Carolina Chapter of PDCA which recently hosted its largest Oyster Roast to date and is presently finalizing details for the March 19th Driven Pile Technical Seminar. Chapter members and guests gathered February 13th at the Town and Country Inn & Suites, Charleston for the first quartly dinner meeting of the year. The meeting began as voting members ratified the new slate of Chapter officers and directors. That list follows:

Executive Committee

  • John King (Pile Drivers, Inc.) - Immediate Past President
  • Jason Moore (Palmetto Pile Driving) - President
  • Susheel Kolwalkar (The Insight Group) - Vice President
  • Andrea Edwards (Koppers) - Secretary/Treasurer
  • Kyle Jackson (Palmetto Pile Driving) - Asst. Secretary/Treasurer
  • Jim Challenger (Nucor Skyline)
  • Clif Hough (Cape Romain Contractors)
  • Derrick Bellamy (HDR)
  • Greg Canivan (S&ME)
  • Scott Nigels (Palmetto Pile Driving)
  • John Skinner (Parker Marine)
  • Simon Ghanat (The Citadel)
The evening consisted of networking and fellowship followed by a buffet dinner. New Chapter President Jason Moore (who also serves as the President of the national PDCA organization), gave a thorough and inspiring history on PDCA and discussed in detail the significant value it has brought both to the individual contracting companies in South Carolina and the driven pile as a preferred deep foundation method thoughout the region. The program began with a surprise presentation by President Moore and Kay Shealy to John King for his years of dedication to the organization. The second quarter Chapter Dinner Meeting is scheduled for May 14th at the Town and Country Inn & Suites, Charleston.

Pile Driving Industry Descends on Charleston for Annual Oyster Roast

January 20, 2020

Charleston, SC (January 17, 2020): Nearly 300 people braved the wind and cold to participate in the annual tradition of celebrating the driven pile industry with oysters alongside some of South Carolina's most prominent pile driving contractors, civil engineers, equipment manufacturers and construction suppliers. The PDCA of South Carolina Chapter hosted the annual Oyster Roast on the grounds of Palmetto Pile Driving, Inc. on Charleston's northern edge. Bushels upon bushels of the popular mollusks were steamed by Jamie Westendorf of Charleston Outdoor Catering; chili, hot dogs, and warm and cold beverages were also available to all attendees and their families courtesy of event underwriters. For more than four hours, socializing and networking took priority over the plunging temperature. A giant bonfire provided warmth to many, while others - including a robust list of sponsors - set up camp inside a large Palmetto outbuilding. The Friday night soiree continues to be one of the signature events of PDCA's South Carolina Chapter.

The event sponsors for the 2020 event included: ICE, APE, ECS, S&ME, Koppers, Terracon, Essve Tech, Nucor Skyline, Insight Group, Ahern Rentals, Pile Drivers Inc., Wahoo Trucking, Soil Consultants, Dawley Surveying, Hammer and Steel, Wire Products Inc., Van-Smith Concrete, Engineered Foundations, Palmetto Pile Driving Inc., Cape Romain Contractors, Parker Marine Contracting, American Spiral Weld Pile Co., and Liberty Strand-Tech Manufacturing. Many thanks from PDCA of SC to all generous sponsors and attendees.

PDCA of South Carolina Awards "Mac" Nigels Scholarship

November 19, 2019

Charleston, SC (November 14, 2019): The thirteenth recipient of the coveted "Mac" Nigels Scolarship is Cadet Hunter Hutton (pictured below), a sophomore at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. The annual award is presented to a civil engineering student from The Citadel who, according to his/her professors, demonstrates strong character, integrity and grade point average. Cadet Hutton currently maintains a 4.0 GPA and receives both a commemorative plaque and a $2000 monetary gift. He was presented his award by Scott Nigels (pictured, right), son of the late McLeod "Mac" Creighton Nigels during the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter's Quarterly Dinner Meeting at the Town & Country Inn in Charleston on November 14th. Nearly 60 practitioners in the pile driving industry attened the event. "Mac" Nigels was a highly respected civil engineer in Charleston following his 1955 graduation from The Citadel; the Chapter has honered him through the scholarship program every year since 2007.

Insert your text hIn other business at the Dinner Meeting, Dr. Steven C. Jaume from the College of Charleston presented "Getting Under the Surface of the Charleston Peninsula to Predict Earthquake Ground Motion." Chapter members were updated on planning for the Annual Oyster Roast which will take place January 17th at Palmetto Pile Driving. Additionally, they received updates concerning the biennial PDCA of SC Driven Pile Technical Seminar to be held in March; it is that event which helps make the "Mac" Nigels Scholarship available each year.ere

2020 Chapter Board Seats Available; Swain Presents on Pile Driving History at Dinner Meeting

August 7, 2019

(Charleston, SC):  The nomination process is now open as the PDCA South Carolina Chapter works to fill vacancies on its Board of Directors for the calendar year 2020. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Chapter President John King to learn how to obtain a seat on this voluntary, yet critical leadership position within the local pile driving industry. All 65 attendees at the Chapter's 3rd Quarter Dinner Meeting held August 6th at the Town & Country Inn in Charleston, SC were made aware of the openings and asked to consider an elevated level of participation. 

This was the 64th consectuve quarterly meeting, as noted by President King in his opening remarks. It attracted a diverse cross-section of the regional pile driving community. Charleston's contractors were on hand for the event with additional employees in tow. Several engineering firms were represented by one or more staff. The suppliers and manufacturers were there as well representing many different service and equipment companies involved with deep foundations. Attendees enjoyed a social hour followed by a robust, buffet-style dinner. 

Mr. Marty Swain, Director of Operations at Parker Marine Contracting Corp. delivered a presentation to the assembly entitled "The History of Pile Driving in Charleston - Part 2." It was billed as a continuation of a notable presentation given several years ealier by Mr. Tommy Parker. Engineers in attendance were provided with one Professional Development Hour (PDH) for their participation in the event.

Also attending the event were Executive Director Frank Peters and Director of Member Services Matt Bisbee from the PDCA national office. Mr. Peters updated the Chapter on the recently completed Annual Conference, the upcoming DICEP event in November, the availability of the new PDCA App and the implementation of the new "PDCA Store." This is an online system for people to purchase PDCA merchandise and educational materials. Several of the items available in the store were on display for the Chapter members; many of whom made purchases. Mr. Bisbee discussed the PDCA New Member Campaign that launched this month.

The event was made possible by several Sponsors which included: ECA, Koppers, Nucor Skyline, Essve Tech, Inc., Palmetto Pile Driving, Parker Marine Contracting Corp., Van-Smith Concrete and International Construction Equipment. The final 2019 Quarterly Dinner Meeting for Chapter is scheduled for November 5th at the Town & Country Inn at 2008 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC. Watch your Inbox for further announcements on this upcoming event.

PDCA South Carolina Awards Scholarship at Quaterly Dinner

February 5, 2019

Congratulations to Brent Bachelor, a Cadet at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina who is the winner of the 2018-2019 Mac Nigels Scholarship from PDCA of South Carolina. He recieved a $2000 award and was recognized during the Chapter's First Quarterly Dinner Meeting for 2019. Several faculty and students from The Citadel attended in support of Cadet Bachelor. Chapter Board Member Scott Nigels (pictured) presented Bachelor with a plaque denoting the award named for Citadel alumnus and PDCA Member, the late McLeod 'Mac' Nigels.

The Quarterly Dinner took place at Charleston's Town & Country Inn and included a reception, a buffet dinner and an industry presentation. Attendees heard "A Concrete Subcontractors Perspective on Driven Piles vs. Drilled" by Skylar Ashby of Palmetto Concrete Group. As a general contractor and subcontractor, Mr. Ashby has a keen understanding and unique perspective on the benefits and pitfalls of drilled and driven piles. Audience members actively participated in a question and answer session with Mr. Ashby following his presentation. The Chapter sends it's gratitude to meeting sponsors, which included: ECA, Koppers, Nucor Skyline, Essve Tech, Palmetto Pile Driving, Parker Marine Contracting Corp and Van Smith Concrete.

South Carolina Chapter 14th Annual Oyster Roast

January 18, 2019

PDCA of the South Carolina Chapter held their 14th annual Oyster Roast at the property of Palmetto Pile Driving in Charleston, S.C. The Friday night event was a tremendous success with 120 attendees.

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