Continuing Education

The Engineering Geology and Site Characterization Committee provides training opportunities through continuing education short courses and panel discussions. 

2010: Footing Evaluation via Direct CPT Method: A Database Approach

2011: Panel Discussion: LRFD and Engineering Geology

Past Technical Sessions


Continuing Education: Footing Evaluation via Direct CPT Method

Course Abstract: 
Geotechnical foundations are paramount for supporting structural loads of buildings, bridges, towers, walls, poles, and other civil engineering works. The loads must somehow be transmitted to the underlying natural geomaterials (soils and rocks) using a foundation system that is safe, stable, and economical. Since site-specific information is required for each particular structure, an emphasis is made on the use of geotechnical in-situ testing for a rational and proper assessment of the ground, particularly strength and stiffness. This course reviews analytical procedures for the evaluation of shallow foundation systems (spread footings, structural mats/rafts) and deep foundations (driven piles, augered and bored piles, drilled shafts). Methods cover ultimate bearing capacity from limit plasticity solutions and load-displacement behavior as represented within the framework of elastic continuum solutions, whereby soil stiffness is represented by an equivalent modulus (Es) and Poisson's ratio. For deep foundation systems, considerations for evaluating side resistance are examined by effective stress approaches (ß method). Direct and indirect methods from in-situ testing are discussed. Case studies are intermingled throughout the course to illustrate applications in practice.  The small-strain stiffness (Gmax) is shown to be relevant to all types of foundation systems.

Course Outline
Geotechnical Site Characterization
•    Natural geomaterials including soils and rocks
•    Drilling and sampling procedures; Rock coring
•    Laboratory Evaluation of Soil Engineering Parameters
•    In-Situ Field Testing
o    Standard Penetration Testing (SPT)
o    Flat Plate Dilatometer Testing (DMT)
o    Pressuremeter Testing (PMT)
o    Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) and Piezocone (CPTu)
o    Geophysical Methods (CHT, DHT, SASW)
•    Interpretation of Soil Parameters & Properties
o    State and initial ground conditions
o    Relative density, void ratio, unit weight
o    Strength (undrained shear strength, effective stress parameters)
o    Stiffness (elastic, shear, bulk, constrained moduli)
o    Flow characteristics (permeability, coef. of consolidation)
•    Interpretation of Rock Mass Parameters (RMR or Gemechanics, NGI Q-Rating, GSI)
Shallow Foundation Systems
•    Ultimate Bearing Capacity from Plasticity Theory
•    Limit Equilibrium, Plasticity, Cavity Expansion Solutions
•    Case Studies
•    Stress Distributions Beneath Surface Loading
•    Elasticity Solutions for Shallow Foundation Settlement
•    Displacement Influence Factors
•    Relative Foundation Rigidity
•    New:   Direct CPT Method for Footings:  A Database Approach
Deep Foundations - Axial Behavior
•    Driven vs. Drilled/Bored/Augered Piles
•    Axial Load Response
•    Procedures and Interpretation of Pile Load Tests
o    Static Load Frame
o    Reaction Frame System
o    Statnamics
o    Osterberg Load Cell  (O-Cell Test)
•    Interpretation of Axial Capacity (Various Criteria)
•    Axial Load Transfer Measurements
•    Calculation of Side and Base Resistance Components
•    Load-Displacement Response of Deep Foundations
•    Elastic Continuum Solutions (Poulos & Davis, 1980;  Randolph & Wroth, 1979;  Fleming, et al. 1992)
•    Case Study:  ADSC-FHWA-ASCE Load Test Program:  Drilled Shaft Foundations in Piedmont Residuum and PWR, GT Campus, Atlanta, GA
•    Approximate nonlinear axial response calculations from SCPTu
•    Direct CPT methods for axial pile capacity
•    Applications with O-Cell Load Tests
•    Case Studies:
o     Opelika National Test Site, AL
o     I-85 Bridge at Newnan/GA
o     GDOT Viaduct at CNN, GA
o     Calgary Medical Center/AB
o     Cooper River Bridge, Charleston/SC
o     Grimsby Test Site, UK
o     Golden Ears Bridge, Vancouver, BC
o     Univ. Houston Augered Pile, Texas
Deep Foundations - Lateral and Moment Response
o    Lateral Capacity
o    Lateral Load-Displacement Behavior
o    Elastic Continuum Framework
o    Moment Loading
o    Case Study Application - Lateral Drilled Shafts in Piedmont Residuum at Opelika National Geotechnical Experimentation Site, Alabama

Course Times:
This course starts at 08:00 a..m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. Registration is 07:30 a.m.

Course Location:

Global Learning Center (GLC)
Technology Square
84 Fifth Street, NW
Atlanta, GA  30308-1031

Register On-Line:


Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center
Technology Square
800 Spring Street NW
Atlanta, GA   30308

*Additional hotels near the Georgia Tech campus include the Georgian Terrace, the Rennaissance Hotel, the Windham, as well as others. For more, see “Visitors information” at:  website for additional help, or see listing and hotel links given at:

On-Site Programs:

This course can be conducted on-site at your location. Contact the course administrator for additional information.

© 2017 ASCE; Questions or comments? Please contact the committee chairman.