General Meetings

Non-Destructive Technology & Innovative Approaches for Underground Substructures Detection

presented by

Charbel Khoury, PhD, PE


Ron Dove

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Topic Description:

This presentation discusses the use of innovative technologies and approaches undertaken by KCI to detect and capture underground anomalies including substructure, sinkholes and utilities. Such techniques included state-of-the-art geophysical AMG Gradiometer (AMG) and LiDAR scanning along with other traditional detection methods. AMG uses AM band frequency from radio station towers as free and abundant energy to effectively “illuminate” and identify underground features/anomalies up to 30 feet below ground. AMG can penetrate and collect data through surface reinforced concrete and is not limited by subsurface conditions such as soils with high clay or high moisture content. We will also present how the stacking of these various technologies can be used to generate underground 3D Building Information Models (BIMs) and provide our clients with risk mitigation and cost benefit.

Speakers Biography:

Charbel Khoury is a professional engineer, researcher, and instructor with more than 18 years of experience in geotechnical, geophysical, geo-technology and pavement engineering. He is currently the Practice Leader for the Geotechnical Engineering group at KCI Technologies, Inc. He has led the KCI’s AM Gradiometer (AMG) initiative, which is a geophysical and innovative technology revolutionizing the underground structure/utility detection market. He is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in six US states, and has more than thirty technical papers published in prominent nationally and internationally engineering journals and conferences. Dr. Khoury has been active in professional organizations including the ASCE and Transportation Research Board (TRB).

Ron Dove is a Sr. Project Manager in KCI’s GeoEnvironmental regional practice. He has more than 20 years of environmental and project management experience in both the private and public sectors. Over the last two years, he has been directly involved with all facets of KCI’s AM Gradiometer (AMG) initiative, leading several projects and showing clients the value that AMG can bring when site conditions limit other traditional technologies.


The Engineer’s Club at

11 W Mount Vernon Place

Baltimore, Maryland


5:30 - 6:30pm: Registration and

Social Hour with cash bar

6:30 - 7:00pm: Dinner

Beg. 7pm: Announcements and Presentation


$45 per person/$0 for Full-time Students

Payment Procedure:

We accept registrations by credit card payments only. Please complete the two-step registration and payment process.

Contact if you have any questions or need assistance.


GeoVirginia 2019 by Virginia Geo-Institute Chapter of ASCE

Monday, September 23, 11:00am through Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 12:00pm EDT

at the Smithfield Center (220 North Church Street, Smithfield, Virginia 23430)

Redi-Rock Plant Tour

July 24, 2019

About Redi-Rock | Redi-Rock® is one integrated system with many solutions that features the use of giant concrete blocks (1,500 - 4,900 lb/block) to create taller gravity and sea walls with multiple batter options. The company offers stronger connection strength with its Positive Connection/MSE walls up to 60 feet and beyond (18+ meters tall). It provides many engineered solutions that integrate within a single wall system including anchoring, barriers, cantilevered CIP, combination gravity/MSE, flood wall CIP, freestanding, and revetment options. Redi-Rock is a machine-placed system that speeds up the installation process. It uses a wet-cast, first purpose concrete with a minimum of 4,000 psi and a freeze-thaw rating for greater durability and a longer life span.

Cole Field House support of excavation project

presented by Eric Blue

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Topic Description:

Cole Field House was the University of Maryland’s basketball arena from 1995-2002. A little more than a decade after a new basketball arena was constructed, the University decided that [to best utilize the existing Cole Field House] it would transform the field house from a former basketball arena and student activities center into an indoor football facility. In 2016, Nicholson Construction Company was chosen as the design-build contractor for the support of excavation portion of the work. The unique constraints at the site provided an opportunity for the construction team to exercise creativity and to yield a cost effective solution to support the existing structure while widening the arena floor to support a full size football field. The presentation will discuss the initial review and determination of the best geotechnical solution, design of the permanent wall system, and construction challenges during the renovation.

Speaker Biography:

Eric Blue is a project manager at Nicholson Construction Company. Over the past four years with the Nicholson team, he has worked on a variety of projects throughout the east region from Pittsburgh, PA to Norfolk, VA. Before joining Nicholson, Eric worked for a large bridge contractor along the west coast and in Texas. His passion to build things stems from his family of residential contractors and insprired Eric to complete his bachelors degree in civil engineering at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. When he’s not working, Eric is running long distances or spending time with his wife and three kids.

"Jamestown-Scotland Ferry fender replacement design and FRP pile installation”

with presenter Cameron Troxel, P.E.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Topic Description:

The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry (JSF) is a Virginia Department of Transportation-operated free vehicle ferry near Williamsburg, Virginia. Recently, the JSF has undergone two construction contracts to replace multiple timber-cluster dolphins with 48-inch diameter hollow fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) monopiles. This presentation will discuss the initial study to determine the best dolphin replacement option (spoiler: hollow FRP monopiles won), design of the FRP monopiles, difficulties and successes in large FRP pile installation, and overall FRP monopile performance.

Speaker Biography:

Cameron Troxel, P.E., is a senior project engineer at Whitman, Requardt and Associates (WRA) where he works on a variety of transportation-related projects. Before joining WRA in 2013, Mr. Troxel lived and worked in Atlanta, Georgia. He completed bachelors and masters degrees in civil engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

"Not Your Typical Concrete Pavement” with presenter Robert Hackman, P.E.

Speaker Biography:

Mr. Hackman is a Senior Consultant with GeoMaterials Consulting, LLC and provides Pavement Consultant services for the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA). He has over 35 years of experience related to pavement design, geotechnical engineering, and construction materials evaluations. He was previously the responsible principal engineer-in-charge for a full service office of a national engineering firm and now has his own firm providing consulting services ranging from peer review of reports to forensic studies to litigation support for clients seeking unbiased opinions related to geotechnical and construction materials issues.

Mr. Hackman has been evaluating and designing concrete and asphalt pavements since the early 1980s and has experienced the pros and cons of pavement materials. His breadth of knowledge expands from feasibility studies to sampling methods to laboratory and field testing to design recommendations involving new pavement construction as well as forensic evaluations of existing conditions for remedial actions or rehabilitation of pavements.

Steve Pennington, P.E., PLS on the recently completed instrumentation and monitoring program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Geo-Instruments' work on this project was featured in the November/December issue of GeoStrata, the official magazine of the ASCE Geo-Institute.

Seismic and Lateral Loads on Soil-Structure Interaction for Deep Foundation Design presented by Kwabena Ofori-Awuah, P.E., D.GE, ENV SP

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Topic Description:

The design of deep foundations for seismic and lateral loads should consider both inertial and kinematic loads. Kinematic loads include loads due to ground shaking as well as resulting from seismic hazards such as liquefaction and lateral spreading. Pile foundations have been damaged by liquefied and laterally spreading ground in several past earthquakes. This loading condition typically controls the design of deep foundation elements in areas susceptible to liquefaction.

This presentation will provide an overview of different kinds of inertial and kinematic load, the fundamentals of liquefaction and soil-structure interaction as applied in lateral load environment, and approaches to incorporate them in analyses.

Kwabena Ofori-Awuah, P.E., D.GE, ENV SP, is Practice Leader for Geotechnical Engineering at KCI Technologies, Inc.

"The Business of Geotech and Structural Engineers Working Together” with presenter Stephanie Slocum, P.E., LEED BD+C

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Joint meeting with SEI

Topic Description:

Structural engineers and geotechnical engineers often have competing priorities on project teams driven by differences in business practices and risk management. Many engineers on both sides do not understand these differences. This yields project team misunderstandings on all sides due to unclear expectations, resulting in poor project outcomes. This talk will demystify, from the consulting engineer’s perspective, how geotechnical and structural engineers work together to achieve project success.

Learning goals:

1. Discuss common ways to contract geotechnical consultants and liabilities associated with each.

2. Learn the foundation design process from an engineer’s business perspective, including how to write an effective RFP and work with a soils report.

3. Learn how today’s documents address differing site conditions, including regional variations.

4. Understand liabilities associated with inspection vs. observations in the construction phase.

This talk will conclude a panel discussion with local geotechnical and structural engineers. Do you want to know what you can do to be a more effective partner with your geotechnical or structural engineer team member? Then you won’t want to miss this talk and discussion!

Special note: This talk is a compilation of research on best business practices completed by the SEI Business Practices Committee, and will be presented by the current chair of that committee. An earlier version of this talk was selected for presentation during the 2016 joint SEI-GI Congress.

Speaker Biography:

Stephanie Slocum is the founder of Engineers Rising, LLC, where she helps engineers learn the leadership and people skills they need to let their technical abilities shine. Prior to founding Engineers Rising in 2018, Stephanie worked as a structural engineer for 15 years, working her way up from EIT to Associate Principal. She has extensive experience in the design and structural engineering project management of large commercial building projects, totaling over $500 million dollars in overall construction costs to date. Her experience includes a number of Baltimore-area projects when she worked for Hope Furrer Associates.

Stephanie is the current chair of the Structural Engineering Institute’s Business Practices committee. She is also the author of She Engineers: Outsmart Bias, Unlock Your Potential, and Live the Engineering Career of your Dreams. She graduated with an integrated bachelors and masters in architectural engineering, structural option, from The Pennsylvania State University in 2002.

"Modular Retaining Walls and their Potential to Fail" with presenter Raja El-Awar, P.E.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Learn about modular retaining walls, their design and construction requirements, inspection, permitting and certification, their failure modes, and how to avoid, inspect, and repair failures. Examples will be provided.

Speaker Biography:

Raja S. El-Awar, P.E., has been a geotechnical consultant or contractor for over 30 years. He has represented owners, designers, and contractors. Mr. El-Awar is a licensed P.E. in 15 states or jurisdictions and a licensed contractor in three states or jurisdictions. He earned his bachelors and masters in civil engineering, focusing on geotechnical and transportation disciplines, from West Virginia University.

Mr. El-Awar is active with the Deep Foundations Institute as a Helical Piles & Tiebacks committee member and with the Transportation Research Board as a AFP30 Soil and Rock Properties committee member.