August 2019 ASCE Virginia Geo-Institute Meeting

Join the ASCE Geo-Institute Virginia Chapter for an evening of networking, professional education, fine dining, election of officers and updates on the upcoming Geo-Virginia Conference.

ONLY 24 spots available.


ASCE Geo-Institute Meeting 2019 08 15 - 75 dpi Resampled

Speaker: Jonathan Bennett, PE, D.GE

Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) is the predominant design method utilized today for reinforced concrete and structural steel, and is the primary focus of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. Historically, micropile design has been performed mainly with Allowable Stress Design (ASD) methodologies, and most of the micropile design manuals and specifications in existence prior to 2008 were based on ASD.

In light of this history of ASD design methodologies, and in spite of the widespread use of LRFD in general structural design disciplines, there have been a number of questions and a great deal of confusion regarding the proper use and implementation of LRFD design methodologies for micropiles. The author, as part of a DFI / ADSC Joint Micropile Committee initiative, developed a presentation in response to these questions and issues which covers the fundamentals of LRFD as it applies to micropiles, and provides an illuminating comparison with ASD methodology.

This paper is a formalized and updated snapshot of the current State of Practice of LRFD for Micropile Design based on the most current information and design codes relevant to micropiles. It will describe the fundamentals of Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD), demonstrate micropile design and testing utilizing LRFD, compare the results with historical ASD design, point out the limitations of current LRFD practice relative to micropiles, and finally map out the path forward with regard to proper implementation of LRFD as a true reliability based design methodology for the design of micropiles.

Last Chance! Submit Your Abstract for the 43rd Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) Annual Conference Now.

October 24-27, 2018
Hilton Anaheim
Anaheim, CA, USA

Mastering the Challenge:
Engineering for Complex Loading Conditions in the 21st Century

The Call for Abstracts deadline has been extended by one week from December 15, 2017 to December 22, 2017 so if you haven’t submitted an Abstract already, you have a little more time to do so. Details below taken from the DFI Call for Abstracts document.

This conference will feature technical presentations on innovations and advancements that address performance based design and construction of foundations subject to increasingly challenging structural demands. The 2018 Conference will provide an international forum for a wide range of geo-professionals to present, discuss, and debate all aspects of assessment, development, design and mitigation for complex loading conditions in the 21st Century. A number of sessions will be dedicated to panel discussions in which invited specialists will interact with the audience to examine pressing issues in foundation industry practices.

Abstracts for technical papers and panel sessions can be submitted at, no later than Friday, December 22, 2017. All accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings, and select papers will be presented orally by the author during the appropriate technical session. Proposals for panel sessions are welcomed and encouraged.

Abstracts for papers are welcomed on the following topics:

• Risk Assessment and Mitigation
• Lessons Learned (Case Histories / Innovations / Forensic Work)
• Seismic Design / Soil Structure Interaction / Lateral Loading
• Performance Based Deep Foundation Design
• Ground Improvement
• Innovation Techniques for Earth Retention and Stabilization
• Advancements in Instrumentation and Monitoring
• Analysis, Design and Construction for Extreme Events
• Mega Projects (Projected Work / Risk Mitigation / Contractual Aspects)
• Constructability Issues and Design Aspects
• Other Deep Foundations-Related Topics

Paper format guidelines are available on the Submission Website and by request from DFI Headquarters. For inquiries, send an email to

Whoa! Micropile Design and Construction Just Got an Extreme Makeover!

If you haven’t visited the Micropile Design and Construction website ( for a while, you are in for a surprise! For the first time since its inception in 2009, the site has received a much needed extreme graphical makeover. We’ve updated our website theme and ensured that it is responsive across the various devices out there today. We are really pleased with the new site!

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Let us know what you think and if you have any particular topics of interest that you want to see covered in the future. Micropile Design and Construction is committed to providing the highest quality and most practical information on micropiles available in the industry. Exciting things to come in 2018, Stay tuned!

Check out the Facebook Page associated with the website as well at and give us a big LIKE!

Are Ductile Iron Pipe Piles Micropiles?

I saw a post recently where a company was advertising Ductile Iron Pipe Piles as “Micropiles”. I don’t consider ductile iron piles to be micropiles for the simple reason that they don’t fit the definition of a micropile. If you look back to our post on micropile definitions, you will see that micropiles are drilled and grouted “replacement piles”. Ductile iron piles are not replacement piles. They are driven, grouted “displacement” piles.

A friend of mine from north of the border told me once that “the Americans get all bent out of shape when somebody calls a helical pile (or ductile iron pile) a micropile.” Does it matter? I think it does. You would probably look at me funny if I called a car a truck. But thats just me.

Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I love ductile iron piles. I just don’t consider them micropiles. If you need to get into rock, you wont be able to do it with a ductile iron pile but you can with a good old Micropile. They are great in soil though…

Happy New Year 2013 from!

Wishing a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all! May God bless you, your families, and your companies in 2013! Lets turn this ship around!

I echo my challenge from last year that we look at the situations that we face through the lens of truth and that our decisions will be based on right concepts as opposed to self interest. Let us press forward fearlessly guided by right action and truth that we might forge a better future for ourselves and those around us. Happy New Year!

DFI / ADSC Joint Micropile Committee Meeting – October 16, 2012

The next DFI / ADSC Joint Micropile Committee meeting will take place at the DFI 37th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations in Houston, TX on Tuesday, October 16th from 8PM to 10PM. All committee members are encouraged to attend. The venue location is below:

The George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida de las Americas Houston
Houston, TX 77010

To see a copy of the latest Chairman’s report for the Joint Committee, click HERE.

More information on the 37th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations can be found HERE. See you in Houston!

DFI / ADSC Joint Micropile Committee Meeting – August 2, 2012

The next DFI / ADSC Joint Micropile Committee meeting will take place at the ADSC Summer Meeting in San Francisco, CA on Thursday, August 2nd from 8AM to 10AM. All committee members are encouraged to attend. The venue location is below:

The Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 772-5000

To see a copy of the latest Chairman’s report for the Joint Committee, click HERE.

More information on the ADSC Summer Meeting can be found HERE. See you in San Francisco!

ISM 11th International Workshop on Micropiles – October 2012

Invitation to Speakers – Call for Papers

The 11th ISM International Workshop on Micropiles is currently scheduled for October of 2012 in Italy. Papers are solicited on the following micropile topics:

State of Practice
Technical Challenges
Historic Renovation
Load Testing
Numerical Analysis on Micropiles or Micropile Walls
Education and Market Growth / Potential
IBO Bond Values and Challenging Soils
Equipment Evolution
Slope Stabilization and Shoring with Micropiles
Micropile Networks and Reticulation
Lessons Learned

Please submit abstracts to
Submission of an abstract indicates your intent to submit a full paper for consideration by the Program Committee.

Abstracts due February 28, 2012
Acceptance of Abstracts March 15, 2012
Draft papers due June 1, 2012
Reviewer comments returned to authors by July 1, 2012
Final, revised papers due August 31, 2012

For more information, contact:

Mary Ellen C. Bruce, PE, DFI Technical Activities Manager
+1 (724) 942-0813 or

Dr. Tony Marinucci, PE, ADSC Director of Operations
+1 (469) 359-6000 or

ISM Strategic Alliance Finalized

The International Society for Micropiles (ISM) has finalized a strategic alliance agreement with the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) and the International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC). Through this strategic alliance, administration and support functions for the ISM will be assumed by ADSC and DFI with the ISM operating as an entity within the ADSC / DFI Joint Micropile Committee.

This alliance provides the opportunity to members of DFI and ADSC to be recognized as ISM delegates and contribute to ISM’s mission at no additional cost in membership dues. By the same token, current ISM delegates will become members of DFI, ADSC or both in lieu of their ISM membership dues that will provide added access to the extensive technical and networking resources provided by those organizations.

ISM serves delegates in over 24 countries on 6 continents. The ISM’s activites and strategic direction are led by current Chairman, Allen Cadden, PE, D.GE, and an international steering committee comprised of representatives from each founding country including Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the US and the UK. This steering committee will remain in place and will now include a representative from both DFI and ADSC. ISM technical activities will be coordinated by DFI’s Technical Activites Manager, Mary Ellen Bruce, PE, D.GE, and ADSC’s Director of Operations, Dr. Tony Marinucci, PE.

Highlights from the ISM’s newsletter, The Bond Zone, will be reproted in ADSC’s Foundation Drilling Magazine and DFI’s Deep Foundations Magazine. The ISM website,, is being updated to provide information on society and member activities and events, publications, and micropile resources. As the alliance evolves, the website will likely be integrated with the ADSC and DFI websites.

Planning is currently underway, through the joint efforts of ADSC and DFI, for presentation of the 11th International Workshop on Micropiles (IWM) in late 2012, most likely to take place in Milan, Italy. More information on IWM 2012 will be available soon.

A Thought for the New Year 2012

This post is the first of the year for 2012, the first in a while…, and one that has absolutely nothing to do with Micropiles; but is one I felt compelled to post as I believe it has great relevance for all of us.

I was given a book by a mentor of mine at the end of the year. I havent read the whole book but there was a particular statement that I was reading that jumped out at me this morning. The book is “The Power of Many” by Meg Whitman. I honestly don’t know that much about Meg Whitman but there is a great deal of truth in what she says about values in business…

“There is a myth – at least I believe it is a myth – that great success demands that we give up, or at least fudge, our relationship to what most of us recognize as decent, commonsense values. Honesty. Family. Community. Integrity. Generosity. Courage. Empathy. (I would add Faith.) As we climb the corporate ladder, the myth tells us, we have to step on people, stretch the truth when it fits our agenda, and make heartless decisions based only on the bottom line. We are not supposed to ask what is the right thing to do, but rather what is the best for our careers or to burnish our reputation.”

My hope for us all in the new Year is that we will not buy into the myth. Over the past years when economic times have been challenging, it has been easy to fall into the trap of doing what we feel is required for survival without regard for what is right. It is my belief that many of the woes we currently face are based on individuals making decisions based solely on self interest.

My challenge to all of us for 2012 is to look at the situations that we face through the lens of truth and that our decisions will be based on right concepts as opposed to self interest. Let us press forward fearlessly guided by right action and truth that we might forge a better future for ourselves and those around us. Happy New Year!