ASFE - Newslog - August 25, 2021

August 25, 2021

Vol. 50  No. 36


GBA Director Highlight

Bradley Melocik, PE, PH (DOWL)

Volunteers that serve on the GBA Board of Directors dedicate significant time and energy providing leadership to our Association.  In this spotlight, read about Brad Melocik’s motivation to enter the geoprofessions in a location that suits his many passions.

Read about how Brad Melocik got hooked on environmental engineering: HERE

President's Update: Strategic Planning 

Tom Blackburn - GBA President

This is the August installment of President Tom Blackburn’s monthly updates to GBA members. “It is my way to better connect you with GBA’s leadership, provide some lessons learned, show you how we continue to make GBA better and improve your GBA experience.”

In this update, Tom provides an update on GBA’s strategic planning efforts.

Read President’s Update: HERE

Register Now: GBA Fall Conference

GBA is coming back together this October for our 2021 Fall Conference in Henderson, Nevada. After a long period of separation, GBA will reunite in-person to learn, collaborate, network, renew friendships, celebrate successes, and meet with fellow geoprofessionals from across North America.

We will do what GBA members have done for more than 50 years: identify emerging opportunities, solve common problems, strive to improve our businesses and elevate our profession. We will reconnect as a community, share experiences, and plan for the future.

Reuniting at this conference will bring us back to the basics of what GBA does best. We will focus on business & educational resources, specifically risk management and business performance optimization for geoprofessional firms.

Dates: October 21-23, 2021
Location: Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa, Henderson, Nevada

Register Today


Our most popular article from our last issue of GBA NEWSlog was the announcement of a new Case History #110: Suspiciously Variable Test Results.

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LAST CHANCE! GBA Photo Contest Ends August 31

GBA is committed to promoting the value of geoprofessionals and we want to see it through your eyes. For our 2021 Photo Contest, we would like to know:  How do you depict the day in the life of a geoprofessional?

Is it field activities? Is it meeting with colleagues and clients? Is it performing testing in the laboratory?  How is safety incorporated into your work?  How are you positively impacting the world?  Capture those vibrant moments and express what being a geoprofessional means to you!

Contest ends August 31, 2021. Winners will be presented with awards and featured during our 2021 Fall Conference.

Learn More

Your Feedback is Important

GBA NEWSlog includes important news from GBA, our Members, and our industry.  We are always looking for feedback so that we can better serve our readers.

Please let us know how we are doing and any ideas you have for improving GBA NEWSlog: HERE


Future GBA Events: Mark Your Calendars Now!

GBA Events Calendar


Weston & Sampson Welcomes Aqsa Butt, SITES AP

Weston & Sampson

Weston & Sampson is pleased to welcome Aqsa Butt, SITES AP to the firm as a Planner in our Worcester, Massachusetts office. Aqsa is a multi-disciplinary planner with a background in landscape architecture, urban planning, green infrastructure design, and sustainable land development. Aqsa earned her M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University and a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Welcome Aqsa.

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Universal Engineering Sciences

Watch Equity in the Built Environment


VHB remains dedicated to delivering insightful, equitable solutions. There is tremendous opportunity to reimagine the built environment—and at VHB, everyone has a role in developing equitable solutions for our communities.

Watch Here

S&ME Celebrates 48 Years


We are excited to celebrate 48 years of engineering excellence! From our founding this day back in 1973, we are proud of our growth. At our core, we strive for our work each day to touch countless lives and positively impact our clients, communities, and our world. We appreciate your support and partnership with us along the way. Cheers to many more years! 

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Crain's Detroit Selects NTH as a 20201 Cool Place to Work

NTH Consultants, Ltd.

Today, Crain's Detroit Business announced their 'Cool Places to Work' in Michigan and we are pleased to have been selected for this honor - especially this year, as Crain's states that their "idea of a 'cool' place to work has changed since 2020 — maybe forever."

To be considered for this recognition, employers first submitted information about benefits and policies. Then, employees completed surveys where they were asked about the culture, leadership, and other company details. The survey, along with determining what employees enjoy about their workplace, also attempted to ascertain whether employees understood the company strategy and advancement opportunities. But it was noted, companies that have learned to prioritize and embrace flexibility and well-being initiatives during the pandemic really stood out this year.

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Atlas Technical Consultants Awarded $4 Million Materials and Testing Contract with Texas DOT

Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATCX) (“Atlas” or the “Company”), a leading Infrastructure and Environmental solutions provider, announced a materials and testing services contract for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Austin District. The contract is valued for $4 million over a period of up to five years.

Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATCX) (“Atlas” or the “Company”), a leading Infrastructure and Environmental solutions provider, announced a materials and testing services contract for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Austin District. The contract is valued for $4 million over a period of up to five years.

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Terracon Names Brad Urhahn, P.E. Director of Major Accounts for Logistics


Terracon, a leading provider of environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services, has named Brad Urhahn, P.E., director of major accounts, Logistics. Urhahn will contribute to the growth and development of the logistics sector by identifying, assessing, and closing project opportunities with current and new clients.

Urhahn joins Terracon with more than 30 years’ experience in commercial and industrial development experience in design and construction management mostly related to big box retail, distribution centers, and transmission and distribution of power.

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Pennoni’s EHS Wins $3M Project


Our EHS division recently won a $3 million project with the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). Thanks to the efforts of Alan Lloyd and his team this project opens new doors in a CCP/Pennoni partnership. CCP proposed the question on how to increase their property value while prioritizing and optimal learning situations.

This project comes on the heels of federal funding allocation post-pandemic and ahead of the CCP’s plans to resume in-person classes in the fall 2021 semester. The original proposal was for a $32k COVID consulting project, asking questions on how to reopen the school, regulate testing and advance preventative technology. However, after discussions on empowering teachers ahead of their return and ensuring support, the project quickly grew to more than just consulting. For CCP to create a safe environment for learning, the school would need to do more. As the project grew funds were allocated to new HVAC and air testing systems, duct cleaning and renovation, increased filtration and efficient self-cleaning systems.

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Riverfront Park Selected as ULI Global Finalist


The Urban Land Institute (ULI) chose a GeoEngineers project, the City of Spokane’s Riverfront Park Redevelopment, as a finalist for its Global Awards for Excellence. ULI is the oldest cross-disciplinary network of land use and real estate experts in the world, and each year it recognizes development projects across the private, public and nonprofit sectors that represent the highest development standards of the profession. Winners are carefully selected from across ULI’s Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific regions. Although not a Global Award winner, Riverfront Park was one of just five Special Mention projects acknowledged by ULI from the field of global finalists.

Historic Riverfront Park is situated along the Spokane River and includes scenic Spokane Falls, but the area wasn’t always a public park. The riverfront was primarily used for industrial activity during the first half of the 20th century, including hydroelectric power generation, manufacturing and commercial use, railroad operations and industrial laundries.

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ASCE Announces Buchanan Lecture 2021

American Society of Civil Engineers


The 2021 Buchanan Lecturer is Dr. Philippe Jeanjean who is the Senior Advisor for Geotechnical Engineering at BP America in Houston, Texas. Dr. Jeanjean’s lecture is entitled “Offshore Geotechnics: From Oil & Gas to Renewable Energy.”

Also on the agenda is Professor Edward J. Cording, who will be presenting his 2020 Terzaghi Lecture “Observing and Controlling Ground Behavior with Tunnel Boring Machines.” Professor Cording is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

The lectures will take place virtually via Zoom, and will begin at 2:00 pm US Central Time on November 12, 2021. 

The FAA approved its first set of regulations governing the use of small, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, in construction or other commercial operations effective in 2016.

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Rock Sample Failure or Just Bad Rock?


What do you mean you couldn’t get a sample?  We’ve all been there when drilling. NASA blames Mars rover sampling fiasco on bad, powdery rock. Unlicensed engineer sues North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers on first amendment grounds to overturn misdemeanor fine levied for expert witness work.

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Biggest 3D-Printed Project in N. America Complete

3D Printing Media Network

Icon can claim the largest 3D-printed project in North America: a 3,800-square-foot military barracks in Bastrop, Texas. The 3D-printing company applied its Vulcan printer and proprietary material to the project, which shows how the military might quickly build troop accommodations.

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Revisit Rebar: Champlain Towers Collapse


There collapsed Champlain Towers may not have been built with the required amount of rebar.   Check out this interesting article and accompanied video to learn more.

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Plaintiffs, Plural


Judge’s ruling allows class-action to proceed against engineering firms in Flint water cases.

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In the Ounce of Prevention is Worth A Pound of Cure Department

After the Surfside Condo collapse, Miami engineers are swamped.

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Interactive Viewer for Geology Hazard Spot Check


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's natural hazards interactive viewer shows a variety of recent and historic natural hazards around the world. 

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Nailed It!

Geosynthetics Magazine

A new remote operated soil nail launcher system increases maneuverability and frees up space on site.

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Social Interaction Intelligence


Is remote work dumbing us down? The benefits of remote work, when logistically feasible, are immense. But there are drawbacks.

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Virtuous Patience


While many of us focus on different approaches and skill sets, we tend to forget the key driver behind the leader’s success. Check out these twelve reasons why having patience in leadership is important.

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Words of Wisdom

"The only thing that stands between dreams

and reality is persistence."

- Abhijit Naskar


President - Thomas "Tom" W. Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F. ASCE, F.ACEC (Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA) 530/887-1494

President-Elect - Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E., (ECS, Ltd. / Chantilly, VA) 703/471-8400

Secretary/Treasurer - Christopher Matthew "Matt" Moler, P.E. (S&ME, Inc. / Greensboro, NC) 336/553-1245

Director - Martin LaRoche, P. Eng, M.Sc.(Kiewit / Montreal, Canada)

Director - Guy Marcozzi, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, F. ASCE (Duffield Associates, Inc. / Wilmington, DE) 302/239-6634

Director - Steve Wendland, P.G., P.E., R.G., D.GE (GeoEngineers, Inc. / Prairie Village, KS) 913/475-5851

Director - Teresa L. Peterson, P.E., C.M.E., LEED AP O&M ENV SP (Gannett Fleming / Harrisburg, PA) 717/763-7211

Director - Bradley M. Melocik, P.E., P.H. (DOWL / Redmond, WA) 800/478-3695


Connect with GBA

GBA Staff
Joel G. Carson, Execuive Director, 301-565-2733 (office) | 402-517-1819 (cell)
Sara Menase, Program Manager, 301-5652733
Phillip D. Pettway, Controller, 301-565-2733
Barb Nappy, Program Director, 301-565-2733 (office) | 727-457-2272 (cell)

Geoprofessional Business Association
15800 Crabbs Branch Way, Suite 300 | Rockville, MD 20855 | 301-565-2733 | Contact Us

About GBA
The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) helps its members and their clients confront risk and optimize business performance by delivering unique professional resources, programs, and services that make them stronger and more successful.

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