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Geotechnical Engineer Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Geotechnical Engineer, Earthen Dam Embankments Stability, Seepage Under Earthen Embankments, Shallow Foundations, Deep Pile Foundations, Port Facilities Bulkheads, Settlement of Foundations, Expansive Soil Problems, Sink Holes in Karst Deposits, Roadway Pavements, Floodwall Improvements, Ports, Harbors, Oil terminals, Gas Terminals, Chemical Plants, Solid Waste Landfills, Public Schools, Universities, Municipal facilities, Governmental Facilities, Commercial, Light Industrial, Residential, Civil Engineering, Earthen Levees, Dams, Deep Pile Foundations, Sheet Pile Bulkheads, Landfill Liners, Highway Pavements, Expansive Soil Conditions, Sinkholes, Karst Deposits, Forensic Engineering, Pile Load Tests, Sheetpile Bulkheads, Roadway Pavement Failures, Foundation Distress, Sinkhole Formation, Oil Well Drilling, Private Property Disturbance, Flood Protection Systems, Polysurveying, concrete Displacement,

Expert No. 12

 

Alabama

 

EDUCATION

 

University
of South Alabama – Mobile, AL 

1972
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

 

REGISTRATIONS

 

Alabama
– Professional Engineer – 1978

Mississippi
– Professional Engineer – 1995

Louisiana
– Professional Engineer – 2008

 

OVERVIEW OF PROJECT
EXPERIENCE

 

38 years of
geotechnical engineering experience covering

 

Mobile,
Alabama

New
Orleans, Louisiana

South
Mississippi

Northwest
Florida

Georgia

Texas

 

Work performed for

 

Post-Katrina
floodwall improvements in New Orleans

Ports
and harbors

Paper
mills

Oil
and gas terminals

Chemical
plants

Solid
waste landfills

Public
schools and universities

Municipal/governmental
facilities

Commercial,
light industrial facilities and residential projects

 

Engineering services
have been performed for the design of

 

Earthen
levees and dams.

Deep
pile foundations for numerous types of structures.

Sheet
pile bulkheads at port facilities.

Shallow
foundations for buildings and lightly loaded structures.

Landfill
liners.

Highway
pavements.

Foundations
to remediate expansive soil conditions.

Foundations
to remediate sinkholes in Karst deposits.

 

Forensic engineering
services have been performed (and expert witness services rendered) to evaluate
causes of failures for the following conditions

 

Earthen
embankment failures (causes evaluated and expert services provided).

Inadequate
capacities of pile capacities indicated by pile load tests (causes evaluated).

Failures
of sheetpile bulkheads (causes evaluated).

Failure
and/or settlement of structures supported on shallow foundations (causes
evaluated and expert services provided).

Failures
of roadway pavements (causes evaluated and expert services provided).

Foundation
distress related to expansive soil conditions (causes evaluated and expert
services provided).

Foundation
difficulties related to suspected sinkhole formation (causes evaluated and
expert services provided).

Disturbance
of private property related to oil well drilling (site investigated and expert
services provided).

 

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

 

April
2010 to May 2010

ATC
Associates – Biloxi, Mississippi Office

Operations
Branch Manager – Responsible for day-to-day operations of the office, which
primarily provided construction materials testing services for new
construction.  Position with the company
was eliminated in May 2010 due to insufficient workload.

 

October
2006 to April 2010

URS
Corporation – Mobile, Alabama Office

Senior
Geotechnical Engineer, P.E. – Was hired as a Mobile, Alabama employee primarily
to perform design services for flood protection systems in the New Orleans area
as the first step in the establishment of a geotechnical engineering department
for the URS Metairie profit center. Was instrumental in growing the Mobile
operation to a team of 5 geotechnical engineers. All work was performed out of
the Mobile office, with day-trips to project sites and to attend meetings, as
necessary.

Supervision
(and performance) of analyses necessary for design of levees and flood walls
for the future protection of the New Orleans area;

Trained
and mentored staff engineers on analysis procedures;

Preparation
of proposals to the Corps of Engineers (USACE and HPO) for the flood protection
projects and to other clients for private projects;

Attended
contract negotiation, pre-work and technical review meetings with USACE and
HPO;

Prepared
reports detailing the results of design analyses performed for the USACE, HPO
and private projects;

Responded
to review comments from USACE and HPO; and Inspected various aspects of
construction of levees that were under construcrion.

 

March
2006 to October 2006

Aquaterra
Engineering – Mobile, Alabama Branch Office           

Senior
Geotechnical Engineer, P.E. – Was instrumental in the negotiation for Aquaterra
Engineering to acquire the Mobile assets of United Consulting (see below).
During and after the negotiation period, day-to-day services of the Mobile
operation were seamlessly carried out to meet project requirements.

Management
of the day-to-day business and technical operations of the office;

Client
contact, including business development and preparation of proposals;

Planning
and supervision of field and laboratory testing for geotechnical studies,
performance of geotechnical analyses and preparation of geotechnical reports;
and Supervision of construction materials testing services.

 

October
1998 to March 2006

United
Consulting – Mobile, Alabama Branch Office

Senior
Geotechnical Engineer, P.E., 
Established the Mobile branch office of United Consulting in October 1998.
During this period, the office grew from a staff of one engineer who was
responsible for performing all facets of United Consulting’™s business to a
staff fully capable of performing a full range of testing laboratory services.
Projects were performed for United Consulting’™s national client base as well as
clients local to Mobile, including the Mobile County Commission, the Mobile
County Public School System, the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System and
high-rise condominium developers.

Management
of the day-to-day business and technical operations of the office;

Client
contact, including business development and preparation of proposals;

Planning,
coordination and supervision of field and laboratory testing for geotechnical
studies, performance of geotechnical analyses and preparation of geotechnical
reports;

Supervision
of construction materials testing services; and

Performance
of Environmental Site Assessments and NEPA studies.

 

May
1996 to October 1998

Thompson
Engineering Testing, Inc. – Mobile, Alabama

Senior
Geotechnical Engineer, P.E. – Responsible for preparation of geotechnical
engineering reports for design of foundations and supervision of construction
testing services for projects ranging from major industrial to light
commercial. Evaluated pile foundation designs using Wave equation, lateral pile
capacity and vertical pile capacity computer programs. Evaluated results of
pile load tests, which allowed capacity comparisons between driven precast
concrete piles and auger displacement concrete (a.k.a. DeWaal) piles.

 

December
1995 to May 1996

Polysurveying
Engineering-Surveying – Mobile, Alabama          

Civil
Design Engineer, P.E. – Responsible for site, street and subdivision design.
Geotechnical related work while with Polysurveying included design of sheetpile
bulkheads and geotechnical study/expert witness testimony in court case related
to an oil field issue.

 

1976
to December 1995

Geotechnical
Engineering-Testing, Inc. – Mobile, Alabama                 

Project
Geotechnical Engineer, P.E., 
Responsible for planning, coordination, supervision and preparation of
geotechnical engineering reports for design of foundations for projects ranging
from major industrial to light commercial. Worked with most governmental
agencies and A/E firms of the area during this period. Supervised construction
testing services, and on occasion, performed such services, for a wide array of
projects. Developed computer programs to evaluate sheetpile bulkheads, axial
pile capacities and settlement of structures. Performed slope stability
analyses for design of embankments and to evaluate causes of failure where
failure had previously occurred.

 

1974
to 1976

U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers – Mobile District Office

Soils
Engineer, EIT, GS-11 Grade – Conducted slope stability, settlement and seepage
analyses for locks and dams constructed in the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
Project. Performed geotechnical studies for design of foundations at military
bases in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.

 

1972
to 1974

Vester
J. Thompson, Jr., Inc. – Mobile, Alabama                                                    

Staff
Geotechnical Engineer, EIT – Performed slope stability, bearing capacity,
settlement and pile capacity analyses for design of foundations for various
structures.

 

1968
to 1972

Alabama
Highway Department – Mobile Division and York, AL Field Office      

Engineering
Assistant – Assisted (part-time and summers during college) in preliminary
route surveys and construction verification surveys for interstate highways.

 

PROJECT SPECIFIC
EXPERIENCE

 

Federal Projects

 

USACE
New Orleans District, West of Algiers Levee Enlargement, Plaquemines Parish,
LA, Project Geotechnical Engineer: The project is to provide improved storm
surge protection for the area along the west bank of the Algiers Canal from
Belle Chasse Highway to Hero Cutoff. As part of this task, existing flood
protection levees along the west bank of the canal will be heightened. As part
of the URS design team, Expert has performed USACE Method of Planes and Slope/W
(Spencer’™s method) slope stability analyses to evaluate raising the existing
levees to Elevation +10. Geotechnical services were completed by Expert as part
of an Engineering Alternative Report to explore heightened levees (with deep
soil mixing and geotextile reinforced designs) and T-walls for raising the
levee system to elevation +14. 

 

USACE,
Hurricane Protection Office (HPO), New Orleans East, New Orleans, LA, Project
Geotechnical Engineer: To protect the New Orleans East area from storm surges
related to future hurricanes, existing flood protection levees and walls will
be improved and heightened around the New Orleans East area. As part of the URS
design team, Expert has performed analyses for design of new T-wall structures
and levees to protect against storm surges to the design flood levels
designated for the area.

 

U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Bayou La Batre Harbor Improvements,
Bayou La Batre, Alabama, Project Geotechnical Engineer, 1993-1995: The channel
in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, which serves the fishing industry, was deepened in
a Federal project to allow vessels with deeper drafts to access the bayou.  Numerous privately owned piers and bulkheads
existed along both sides of the bayou’™s channel, and it was determined that
some of the structures would be undermined by the channel dredging.  To prevent this, new bulkheads were
constructed in front of the existing structures. Expert directed field and
laboratory testing services and performed analyses for design of the new
bulkheads.

 

U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Mobile, Alabama, Soils Engineer
GS-11, 1972-1974: As an employee of the Mobile District of the Corps of
Engineers, Expert performed settlement, slope stability and seepage analyses
for design of locks and dams of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in northeast
Mississippi.

 

Bulkheads, Docks and
Riverbank Stabilization

 

Mississippi
State Port Authority, Gulfport, Mississippi, West Pier Berths 1 and 2
Rehabilitation, Project Geotechnical Engineer, 2007-2008:  The new pier was constructed to replace a
pier along an existing berthing slip that was damaged by Hurricane Katrinna.
The new pier is about 1170 feet long, 100 feet wide and is supported on about
1,200, 24-inch square driven precast concrete piles. Expert observed
installation of test piles; evaluated results of PDA (Pile Dynamic Analyzer)
and static load tests performed on test piles; and provided recommendations for
installation of the project’™s production piles.

 

Scott
Paper Company, Woodyard Dock, Chickasaw Creek, Mobile, Alabama, Project
Geotechnical Engineer, 1980:  Performed
geotechnical design studies for a woodyard dock along Chickasaw Creek. Wood
chips, which had been placed over a period of many years, existed from the
surface of the creek bank (near elevation 10) to approximate elevation –
30.  The design called for a dock at
elevation plus 10 feet and an elevation minus 15-foot water depth for
barges.  Conventional sheetpile bulkhead
and cellular cofferdam designs were studied and found to be
cost-prohibitive.  The selected design
consisted of a pile-supported pier above a sand mound.  The sand mound was constructed by removing
the wood chips and unsuitable soils to approximate elevation minus 40 feet and
backfilling with clean sand.  The sand
mound was constructed with a 1 vertical on 1.5 horizontal face, which was
protected with riprap.

 

Alabama
State Docks, Berth ‘œE’ Renovations, Mobile, Alabama, Project Geotechnical
Engineer, 1993: Directed field and laboratory testing services; performed
design analyses; and monitored construction materials testing services for the
Alabama State Docks Berth E Renovation. The project consisted of a 500-foot long dock along the west bank of the
Mobile River with a new warehouse behind the dock.  An anchored sheetpile bulkhead with a
landside relieving platform was used in the project. To allow this design to
work, it was necessary to improve the subgrade behind the bulkhead.  Stone columns, constructed by a technique
similar to that used for construction of Geopiers, were installed along the
north reach of the bulkhead and were found to greatly increase the strength of
the clays.  Stone column application was
not feasible in the south reach of the bulkhead, and the soft clays were
removed behind the bulkhead and replaced with clean sand.  The superstructure of the warehouse was
supported on pile foundations and the floor was floated on-grade.  To reduce the potential for settlement, the
warehouse area was preloaded with 10 feet of soil, and the consolidation
process was sped to about 100 days through the installation of vertical wick
drains on 4 foot centers.

 

Boise
Cascade Paper Mill, Jackson, Alabama, Investigation and Remediation of Various
River Bank Failures, Project Geotechnical Engineer, 1978-1995: Soils
explorations and geotechnical engineering studies were conducted under the
supervision of Expert to explore the causes and provide solutions to failures
along the bank of the Tom bigbee River adjacent to the Boise Cascade Paper
Mill. One such failure caused the complete destruction of a pile supported dock
along the bank of the river. The data gathered and the results of slope
stability analyses indicated that the failures were generally not classical
rotational shear failures, but instead were the result of piping of soils from
the river bank caused by artesian groundwater flow.

 

Trinity
Yachts, Gulfport, Mississippi, Launchway and Syncro Lifts, Project Geotechnical
Engineer, 2005: New Launchway and Syncro Lifts were required to allow Trinity
Yachts to launch new multi-million dollar yachts constructed at their facility
into Gulfport Lake. The new lifts were supported on large diameter, high
capacity pipe piles. Expert directed field and laboratory testing services;
performed pile design analyses; and prepared a report of findings and
recommendations for the project.

 

Oil and Gas Industry

 

Duke
Energy, New NGL (Gas Treatment) Plant, Coden, Alabama, Project Geotechnical
Engineer, 1998: Expert directed field and laboratory testing services;
performed design analyses and directed construction materials testing services
for the new Duke Energy NGL Plant.  About
1500 14-inch precast concrete piles varying in length from about 50 to 80 feet
were used to support structures of the NGL plant.  In some locations in the NGL plant, about 300
160-foot-long, 12 inch diameter open-ended pipe piles were used to satisfy the
design requirements.  About 350 14-inch
diameter displacement auger cast concrete piles (a.k.a. DeWaal piles) were used
to support structures of a Power Plant constructed in the project.

 

Louisiana
Land and Exploration Company, Blakely Island, Mobile, Alabama, Oil Storage
Tanks, Project Geotechnical Engineer, 1978-1980: Expert directed field and
laboratory testing services; performed design analyses; and evaluated results
of stage load instrumentation for the LL&E storage tanks.  Four 150-foot diameter by 40-foot high oil
storage tanks were supported on shallow foundations above very soft clayey and
silty subgrade soils.  The tanks were
allowed to settle and strengthen the subgrade soils during a stage load
program, which was monitored using piezometers, inclinometers and settlement
points.  As expected, settlement of the
tanks generally varied from about one foot around the perimeters to as much as
30 inches at interior points.  The
piezometers and inclinometers were observed with increasing stages of water
load to detect signs of shear failures. Settlement measurements around the perimeters of the tanks indicated
relatively uniform perimeter settlement, which was an indication that the tanks
were not out-of-round and that the floating roofs would function properly. At
this point (2008) the tanks are understood to still be functioning properly.

 

Solid Waste Landfills

 

International
Paper, Chunchula Landfill, Chunchula, Alabama, Project Geotechnical Engineer,
1985 – 1997: Directed field and laboratory testing services, performed
geotechnical analyses, authored geotechnical reports and monitored construction
testing services for design of impervious clay liners for the International
Paper Chunchula Landfill. Also provided recommendations to remediate slope failures
that occurred in waste material that had been piled to great heights on very
steep slopes in the landfill.

 

 

Roadway
Design and Construction

 

Mobile
County Commission, Mobile County, Alabama, Pay-As-You-Go Road Building
Projects, Project Geotechnical Engineer, 1998-2007: Directed field and
laboratory testing services; performed pavement design analyses; authored
geotechnical reports; and supervised construction materials testing services
for various roads in the Mobile County road program. The geotechnical work
included testing the subgrade of existing unpaved roads and performing analyses
to evaluate pavement buildups for the roads. During construction, tests were
performed to confirm material conformance and compaction requirements of
subgrade, base and asphalt materials.

 

Public Schools

 

Mobile
County Public School System, Mobile, Alabama, Various School Projects in Mobile
County, Project Geotechnical Engineer, 1990-2007: Directed field and laboratory
testing services, performed geotechnical analyses and monitored construction
testing services for various schools in the Mobile County school system. The
most recent projects included Eight Mile Elementary, John Will Elementary, and
Hutchens Elementary.

 

Cellular
Communications Towers

 

HDDTV
Tower, Baldwin County, Alabama, Project Geotechnical Engineer, 2000: Directed
field and laboratory testing services; performed design analyses; and
supervised construction materials testing services for an 1800-foot high HDDTV
tower.  The tower mast was supported on a
60-foot by 60-foot by 9-foot thick mat foundation. Uplift and lateral forces
were resisted at nine guy anchor points by 10-to 12-foot diameter by 60-to
80-foot deep drilled piers.

 

City
of Foley, Foley, Alabama, Communications Tower, Project Geotechnical Engineer,
1997: Performed geotechnical design for the Foley Justice Center tower. The
tower is a 160-foot tall monopole supported on large-diameter drilled pier
foundations.  Design computations were
performed to determine vertical and lateral capacities of piers supporting the
tower.  Vertical capacities were
estimated using a static pile capacity computer program developed by Expert.  Lateral capacities were estimated using the
Ensoft, Inc. computer program, LPILE for Windows.

 

Commercial Clients

 

Chick-fil-A,
Waffle House, Aaron Rents, Murphy Oil, et al, Sites in Alabama, Mississippi and
Texas, Project Engineer, 1998-2006: Served as the project manager for phase I
environmental assessments and geotechnical explorations for commercial projects
located in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and Texas.  The purposes of the geotechnical explorations
were to determine the general type and condition of the subsurface materials at
the project sites and to provide recommendations for design and construction of
the building foundations and parking area pavements. The phase I environmental
site assessments were performed to determine whether there was evidence of
hazardous substances (including hazardous wastes and/or petroleum products) on or
adjacent to the project sites, which could have imposed environmental
liabilities on the sites.

Groups

,