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   Foundation Performance

   Houston, Texas

   Webmaster:  Yvonne Feltman

DECEMBER 12, 2018
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (1.0 PDH) Geoforensic Evaluation of Concrete Pavements
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM (1.0 PDH) GIS Map of Equilibrium Suction as Controlled by the Soil and Vegetation
6:40 PM - 6:45 PM Annual Board Meeting
6:45 PM - 7:00 PM Annual Members Meeting
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Annual Appreciation Dinner

Hess Club
5430 Westheimer
Houston, Texas 77056
(Business casual dress code)


The Annual Appreciation Dinner will be held immediately following the Annual Meeting. (Please RSVP by December 5, 2018).

Pre-registered Members Complimentary

Walk-in Members $10.00

Members' Spouses $25.00

Others $40.00

Please Note: Walk in members, members' spouses, and guests should pay at the door with cash, check or credit card.

Your reservations are appreciated. Please click here to make your reservation(s) online. If you are unable to register online, please contact Vicky Bonds at Geotech Engineering and Testing, Tel: 713-699-4000 at least 24 hours before the meeting.

Continuing Education Certificates will be provided at the end of the meeting(s) for attendees that are current members and who have preregistered. However for Ethics Workshops, nonmembers who have preregistered will also be given Continuing Education Certificates at the close of the workshop provided a payment of $25 is received (pay at the door, check or cash please).

This technical program is complimentary to you thanks in part to our Room Sponsors:

Nelson Construction and Foundation Repair
Ram Jack
VoidForm Products, Inc.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (1.0 PDH)

Title : Geoforensic Evaluation of Concrete Pavements

Speaker : Dr. Harry Nguyen, PhD., Geotech Engineering and Testing

Dr. Nguyen is a project manager at DAE & Associates, Ltd, dba Geotech Engineering and Testing (GET) with the responsibility for the daily operations of geotechnical explorations, data analyses and the preparation of report recommendations. He has several years of experience in fields of geotechnical, environmental, materials and forensic engineering. His experience is in public infrastructure, including water, wastewater, roads, bridges, freeways, retaining walls, embankments, commercial and high-rise buildings, rail, parks, underground utilities, airports, ports, flood control channel, and subdivisions. He has experience in design of industrial plants, hydropower, ports, structures, buildings, various foundations, piles, seepage analysis, slope stability, retaining walls, triaxial testing, consolidation testing, groundwater and contamination modeling.

ABSTRACT : Mr. Harry Nguyen, Ph.D. with Geotech Engineering and Testing will be discussing "Geoforensic Evaluation of Concrete Pavement". Some two-lane concrete roads located in a Subdivision in Harris County, Texas have experienced cracking. These concrete pavements were constructed in 2014 and designed in accordance to Regulations of Harris County with a 25-ft width and 6-inch thickness. Cracking has occurred in the pavements, since construction. The longitudinal and transverse cracks observed in the concrete pavements generally ranged from hairline to 0.2-inches in width.

An investigation program of the concrete pavement distress was performed including (1) site visit to observe the cracks and types of joints, (2) ground penetrating radar survey to evaluate the installed reinforcements, (3) coring concrete to evaluate thickness of constructed concrete pavement, (4) laboratory tests to evaluate the compressive strength of concrete, (5) the petrographic analysis to evaluate the water-cement ratio and air contents of concrete, (6) reviewing the documents and reports obtained from the client and (7) engineering analysis for the observed information, reviewed documents, collected data and the laboratory test data.

The analysis of the field exploration and laboratory test data indicates that the reinforcement, thickness and compressive strength of concrete pavements meet Harris County's requirements for approval and acceptance of infrastructure. The principal cause of the cracks is attributed to the used coarse aggregates.


To read summaries of previous FPA presentations by Dr. Nguyen, please click:

April 2018 - Geoforensic Study for Retaining Wall

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM (1.0 PDH)

Title : GIS Map of Equilibrium Suction as Controlled by the Soil and Vegetation

Speaker : Dr. Bob Lytton, Ph.D., P.E., Texas A & M University

Dr. Lytton is an Honorary FPA Life Member, FPA Structural Committee Member, Professor of Civil Engineering in the Zachry Civil Engineering Department of the Texas A&M University, and a Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas. He has earned a BSCE in 1960 and an MSCE in 1961, both from University of Texas, Austin. He then served two years active duty in the US Army as a construction engineer followed by two years in Houston working for a consulting engineer. Then he went back to UT-Austin to complete his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 1967. After teaching at UT and spending time in Australia, Dr. Lytton came to Texas A&M in 1970 where he continues to teach and supervise undergraduate and graduate students today in the Zachry Civil Engineering Department.

Dr. Lytton is internationally recognized for his work in the study of the effect of expansive soil on foundations and pavements, having given presentations on the subject worldwide, recently as the keynote speaker at the 2nd Transportation Research Congress in Beijing, China in May 2017. The same Research Congress hosted a symposium that was named in his honor, called The 2nd Transportation Research Congress Symposium in Honor of Robert L Lytton. In August 2017, at the International Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ASCEs Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) bestowed its 2017 Francis C. Turner Award on Dr. Lytton for his advancements and innovation of pavements design and construction. He has over 500 publications to his credit, more than 200 of which are in refereed journals.

Dr. Lytton has selflessly presented to this FPA forum at least 16 times and he has also presented in past FPA seminars.

ABSTRACT : A critical knowledge gap exists in understanding and characterizing the cascading relationship of soil expansion caused by prolonged flooding and its impact on physical foundation infrastructure. The latent ground movement in question is brought about by the presence of an expansive soil, the length of time that an inundation condition exists, and the type of structure that will be affected by the wetting and subsequent expansion and weakening of the soil.

Given the several recent 500-year flood events in the Houston area from Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 to Hurricane Harvey in 2017, and given its low-sloped terrain and widespread occurrence of expansive soil near-grade, Houston is being studied by TAMU as a test case for an online map being developed for assessing the risk of flooding for residential and commercial structures, coupled with a cloud-based ground movement prediction tool. While the tool under development would be tested in the Houston area, it will be applicable to any given coastal community with expansive clays, as well as other similar flood prone communities.


Geotechnical engineers, foundation design engineers, civil engineers, pavement engineers, forensic engineers, developers, building contractors, city, county and state engineers, and others interested in a novel method for determining more accurate soil data from a GIS Map database.


To read summaries of previous FPA presentations by Dr. Lytton, please click:

December 2017 - Designing Bases and Subgrades for Better Pavement Performance
December 2016 - Design of Drilled Shafts in Expansive Soils. Part 3
December 2015 - Edge Cracking in Pavements on Expansive Soils: Causes and Countermeasures
December 2014 - Methylene Blue Test of Soil Properties: A Rapid and Accurate Field Test
December 2013 - Design of Drilled Shafts in Expansive Soils. Part 2
December 2012 - Design of Pavements on Expansive Clay Subgrades
December 2011 - Design of Drilled Shafts in Expansive Soils
December 2010 - Effects of Trees on Foundations
December 2009 - Contrasting Design Approaches for Slabs-on-Ground and Raised Floor Foundations on Expansive Soils
December 2008 - How to use the PTI-3rd Edition to Design Foundations in Houston
December 2007 - Design of Structures to Resist the Pressures and Movements of Expansive Soils
December 2006 - Revisitation of Expansive Soils
December 2004 - Case Studies of Residential Foundation Movements in Southern Houston Area
August 2003 - How to Run Soil Suction Tests
August 2002 - Shallow Slope Failures and Suction from Vegetation
August 2001 - Methods to Aid Structural and Geotechnical Engineers in Designing Slab-on-Grade



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For next year's board

Next Meeting
December 12th, 2018
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Workshop
Dr. Harry Nguyen, Geotech Engineering and Testing
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM Presentation
Dr. Bob Lytton, Texas A & M University
DECEMBER 12, 2018
Appreciation Dinner

Members' Appreciation Dinner:7:00 PM
Last Meeting - Workshop
November 14, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Anthony Spaeth, w/ Newton, Jones & Spaeth
Last Meeting - Presentation
November 14, 2018
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
David Harris, w/ Harris engineering Real Estate Inspections, Inc

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