GBA - Newslog - December 15, 2021

December 15, 2021

Vol. 50  No. 43


Annual Project Excellence Award Applications are Open

GBA is excited to announce the 2022 Outstanding Project Award. With this prestigious award, GBA will recognize some of the most outstanding projects by its members who live and demonstrate the vision of GBA to great accomplishment. Winners of this award will truly showcase their hard work and contributions to society in front of all of their peers, clients, and other professionals from across North America.

Winners receive a plaque, will be recognized at GBA’s Annual Awards Ceremony in April 2022, and present their project at GBA’s 2022 Fall Conference.

The deadline for applications is January 31, 2022.


Emerging Leaders Class 5 is Launching – Now Accepting Applications

The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) is launching the fifth Emerging Leaders Class in 2022, space is limited and nominations for the class end January 7, 2022!

This short video explains why this is such a valuable opportunity:  HERE

The class will be comprised of up to 20 GBA member-firm geoprofessionals from across the United States and Canada.  The class will meet for approximately 2 years, with the intent to expose participants to GBA and its host of benefits, including business-education resources associated with leadership, risk management, and business performance optimization.  GBA has had four previous Emerging Leaders classes in its history, and each has contributed greatly to the organization.  This is a great opportunity for an Emerging Leader in your firm to meet, interact, and engage with other professionals to better your firm, themselves, and our profession.

Space is limited.  Emerging Leaders Class 5 Applications will be received through January 7, 2022.


Register Now – Winter Leadership Summit

GBA’s Winter Leadership Summit is an annual gathering where the Board of Directors and Committees convene to discuss opportunities and issues that are impacting our members and the greater geoprofessions.  It is a chance for our volunteers to network, collaborate, and complete assignments together for our current fiscal year and to identify actions to focus on for the next fiscal year.

All committee members are invited to attend, participate, and connect on important issues with their peers.  Please join us!


President’s Update: Our Noble Profession

Tom Blackburn - GBA President

This is the December 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 discusses why engineering is a noble and honorable profession.



Our most popular article from our last issue of GBA NEWSlog was the important information about code changes every geoprofessional should know about.


A Revised ASTM Standard Practice for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

GBA Environmental Business Committee

ASTM has revised the “Phase 1” standard practice, E1527. The revised standard should now be cited by consultants as E1527-21.  While it has been submitted to EPA for review, EPA has not issued a statement concurring that the revision meets the minimum performance requirements of the AAI process and consequently is not technically suitable for use in asserting the various “due diligence” defenses to CERCLA liability. EPA representatives were intimately involved in the revision process and it is very unlikely that EPA will not concur. We don’t expect to see their official concurrence until sometime in the middle of 2022 at the earliest.

Changes made to the standard practice fall into the category of clarifications rather than substantive changes.


Join GBA’s LinkedIn Group!


GBA is Hiring – Seeking a Committee Coordinator

GBA is currently accepting applicants to support the important missions of our Committees.  This part-time position is ideal for a well-organized, service-oriented, and collaborative professional.



Future GBA Events: Mark Your Calendars Now!

GBA Events Calendar


Universal Engineering Sciences Strengthens Midwestern Footprint by Acquiring GSI Engineering in Kansas

Universal Engineering Sciences

Universal Engineering Sciences® (UES), a national leading engineering and consulting company specializing in geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, building code compliance, threshold inspections, and environmental consulting, has acquired GSI Engineering (GSI), an environmental, geotechnical, drilling and materials testing firm based in Wichita, Kansas, with additional offices in Topeka and Kansas City as well as Grand Island, Nebraska. GSI’s 70-person team serves commercial, institutional, and municipal market clients throughout Kansas and Nebraska as well as Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

Significant recent projects include a 1-million square-foot Amazon ICT2 warehouse, Schwan Food Company Facility Expansion, Property Redevelopment and Remediation of Crete Carriers property, and the design, construction, and consolidation of smelter waste at an orphan site for the State of Kansas.


Sue Bator, LSP, Joins GeoEngineers’ Boston Office


GeoEngineers is pleased to welcome Sue Bator, LSP, to its Boston office. Ms. Bator joined the firm’s environmental team as a Principal Environmental Scientist. Specializing in environmental assessment, remediation, and policy, Ms. Bator has managed projects for a variety of industrial, municipal, and development clients in Massachusetts and across the Northeast during the past 23 years.

“Sue brings more than great technical expertise,” says Principal Geotechnical Engineer Stan Sadkowski, “She brings leadership, spirit, drive, and the list goes on and on. In addition to leading remediation work for our industrial and municipal clients, Sue’s regulatory experience will be an incredible complement to our core geotechnical and environmental services. GeoEngineers is a force to be reckoned with in the Boston urban development market.”


Employee-owned ALLWEST Promotes New Leadership from within Company


ALLWEST, a 100-percent employee-owned engineering, environmental, and construction materials testing firm with offices in Idaho, Washington, and Montana, is announcing leadership changes heading into the new year.

The leadership changes come as the employee-owned company celebrates record success. Over the past five years, ALLWEST’s company-wide revenue has nearly doubled, the firm has expanded to the Montana market and the number of employees has grown to nearly 100.


Terracon Becomes First Commercial Customer to Contribute to SRP’s Healthy Forest Initiative


Reducing wildfire risk and restoring the forested watersheds that provide water to about half of the Valley is why company officials at Terracon, an engineering firm, decided to take action.


Terracon is the first Salt River Project commercial customer to contribute $10,000 to the SRP Healthy Forest Initiative™ (HFI).


“Terracon’s employee-owners are deeply invested in the communities where we live and work,” said Brent Borchers, P.E., Terracon regional manager for the Phoenix area. “We are proud to contribute to SRP’s Healthy Forest Initiative to help the water supply for the Valley for years to come.”


Barr Relocates Grand Rapids, Michigan Office


Barr’s Grand Rapids, Michigan, office recently moved to a new location. With the addition of 13 new staff members in the past 15 months, the local team had outgrown the previous location. The new space accommodates the expanded team as well as offers upgraded office aesthetics and functionality, providing an improved experience for employees and clients.

“The new office space prepares us to meet the needs of our clients and employees in the new flexible work environment well into the future,” said Chris Miron, vice president and senior chemical engineer at Barr.


Geotechnical Reports and Flowable Fill

Froehling & Robertson, Inc.

Soft soils beneath shallow foundations require some type of remediation efforts and one of those remediation solutions is the use of controlled low-strength material (CLSM) which is often referred to as “flowable fill”. As an alternative to compacted fill, the code permits the use of CLSM for the support of the footings. CLSM must be placed in accordance with an approved report that includes requirements for the material strength and field verification. The primary thing to remember is that IBC, Chapter 18, section 1803 stipulates minimum CLSM information that should be included in the geotechnical report if the CLSM will be placed beneath shallow foundations.


David Spears Joins Kleinfelder as Architecture Group Leader

The Kleinfelder Group

The Kleinfelder Group, Inc., a leading engineering, construction management, design, and environmental professional services firm, is pleased to announce David Spears, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP has joined the firm as Principal, Architecture Group Leader. Spears will be responsible for driving design and technical excellence within Kleinfelder’s architecture practice in the Southern New England area while leading a team of talented architects, planners, and designers on transportation, justice, civic, and other public and private infrastructure projects.


Pennoni Hires New Director of Human Resources


Pennoni is excited to announce its new Director of Human Resources Nicole Orlosky, MS-HRM, SHRM-CP, who has joined the firm's Philadelphia, PA headquarters.

As director, Nicole is responsible for providing human resources strategy and oversight to Pennoni by delivering effective workforce planning, talent acquisition and retention initiatives, learning and development opportunities, and talent management, with and through the human resources team.

In her new role, Nicole intends to focus on the employee journey – hire to retire. Her focus on the employee experience leans heavily on inclusivity in even the most minute details as well as guidance and engagement at all employee levels. Using data and analytics, “people analytics,” the HR department will engage evidence-based decision-making to ensure we do the best job for both our employees and clients as we continue to grow.



The 7 Biggest Megaprojects that Have Broken Ground This Year

Construction Dive

Each of these builds, ranging from office towers to arenas, cost over $1 billion. Published Oct. 1, 2021

Despite a pandemic, a labor shortage and choked-up supply chains, contractors continue to work on projects with billion-dollar price tags, with builds ranging from office towers to arenas. 


Merry and Safe

Lawley Insurance

Hosting a Holiday Party? You might want to brush up on social host liability.


Getting the Lead Out

NBC News

First big tranche of infrastructure dollars heading to states for water, lead pipes.


Mega Modules

Harvard Business Review

Repeatable design and quick iterations can reduce costs and risks and get to revenues faster.


Safer Than Sorry

Telegraph Herald

Avoiding another Florida tragedy. Wisconsin condo building evacuated due to structural issues identified in engineering report.


Function Junction – Return to the Office


If the way we work is going to change, offices are going to change, too.


I Want to Help – Promoting Generosity

Interior Architects

Key steps on how you can promote productive generosity in the workplace.


Too Tired to Celebrate


How can I avoid holiday season burn out?


GBA Keynote Speaker Highlights Hawaii’s Cesspool Problems

Civil Beat – Stuart Coleman

Hawaii has some 88,000 cesspools across the state that discharge 53 million gallons of untreated sewage into our groundwaters each day. This sewage pollution poses harmful threats to public health, drinking water, the near-shore environment and coral reefs, along with Hawaii’s reputation as a world-class destination.



"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


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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