Invited Lectures

(Alphabetizing By Last Name)

Tarek Abdoun, PhD, Professor

Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Education, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
Thomas Iovino Chair Professor and Director, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Geo-Centrifuge Center

Professor Abdoun is the Thomas Iovino Chair Professor and Director, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Geo-Centrifuge Center. He received several awards from professional societies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) “Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Excellence in Research Prize”, the US Army “Commander’s Award for Public Service with accompanying medal”, and “Shamsher Prakash International Research Award” for young engineers, scientists and researchers. He is also the recipient of several educational societies, including the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) north region “Outstanding Teaching Award”, the “Wharton QS-Stars Reimagine Education Bronze Award”, and Chi Epsilon National Civil Engineering Honor Society “Excellence in Teaching Award”; for the successful development & implementation of web-based education tools and mixed reality educational games in the undergraduate engineering education at several USA campuses. He authored or co-authored over 200 technical publications. His research interests cover geotechnical engineering, Advanced Field Monitoring, Centrifuge & Full-scale Testing, Soil-Structure Interaction, Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Satellite Based InSAR Remote sensing, Modeling of Blast loading & Hurricane loading, and offshore systems. He served as chair or member of national and international professional committees of major projects associated with tunnels, dams, levees, and pipelines.

Recent Advances in Physical Modeling & Remote sensing of Civil Infrastructure Systems

Natural and man-made hazards are often associated with costly damages to civil infrastructure systems, such as buildings, bridges, Levees, dams, pipelines and offshore structures of all types. The lack of high-quality field and lab data of soil system response have eluded researchers and practitioners until recently. Recent advancements in physical modeling facilities (centrifuge & full scale) and advancement in remote sensing technology are leading to a new reality for the health assessment of soil-structure systems. This new reality is leading to a paradigm shift in the evaluation and modeling of soil-structure systems. Physical modeling, remote sensing and computational simulations are destined to replace the current empirical approaches and will ultimately become the main tool for analysis and design of soil-structure systems. The presentation will discuss the results of recent research studies utilizing physical modeling to simulate the response of critical soil-structure systems to natural and man-made hazards.

Gian Michele Calvi, Ph.D., Professor

Professor, University Institute for Advanced Studies (IUSS), Pavia.
Adjunct Professor at the North Carolina State University

Gian Michele Calvi is a Professor, vice-Rector for Research and Director of the Centre for Research and
Graduate Studies in Understanding and Managing Extremes (UME) at the University Institute for
Advanced Studies (IUSS), Pavia. He is also Adjunct Professor at the North Carolina State University.
He received a Master of Science from the University of California, Berkeley, a PhD from the Politecnico di Milano and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cujo, Mendoza, Argentina.
Professor Calvi has been the founder of the Eucentre Foundation and founder and director of the School in Reduction of Seismic Risk (the ROSE School), which originated the UME School; he has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the GEM Foundation and is one of the Directors of the International Association of Earthquake Engineering.
He is the author of hundreds of publications and of two major books: Seismic design and retrofit of bridges (with M.J.N. Priestley and F. Seible, 1996) and Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Structures (with M.J.N. Priestley and M.J. Kowalsky, 2007).
He has been designer, consultant or checker for hundreds of structural projects, including the Rion-Antirion cable stayed bridge (2883 m, in Greece), the Bolu viaduct (119 spans, in Turkey) and the new housing system after L’Aquila earthquake (2009), with 185 buildings seismically isolated with more than 7,000 devices, completed in about six months.
He is principal of two engineering companies, Studio Calvi, focused on structural design, and RED, focused on risk analysis.
He is associate editor of the Journal of Earthquake Engineering (Taylor and Francis) and editor of Progettazione Sismica (IUSS Press, Pavia), a journal in Italian addressed to practitioners.
He has been invited keynote speakers in tens of conferences, including two World and three European Conferences on Earthquake Engineering.
He has been always active in conceptual innovation in seismic design, focusing on masonry in his early days, on bridges, displacement–based design and seismic isolation from the nineties.

Concepts and technologies for friction-based isolation of buildings

The presentation will start with a critical review of the historical development of base isolation concepts and techniques, discussing the reasons of an undeniable success in practical applications and focusing specifically on various alternatives friction-based technology.
In the last thirty years, devices based on sliding on curved surfaces, characterized by low friction coefficients, have become quite popular. It is well known that such devices are essentially blocked until the acting shear is larger than the vertical force multiplied by the friction coefficient and are then characterized by a stiffness value (K) that depends on borne weight (W) and radius of curvature (r), as: K = W/r. This second stiffness is considered fundamental to contain the residual displacement, but it implies two negative aspects, i.e.: the reduction of the energy dissipated per cycle (which implies a lower equivalent damping and a larger displacement demand) and the increased shear capacity (which implies designing the isolated structure for larger shear demand and more extensive nonstructural damage).
Consequently, some questions arise:
*Is it really fundamental to limit the residual displacement?
*Are alternative ways of limiting this displacement conceivable and applicable?

These and other relevant questions are related to technology advancement and reliability:
*How reliable is the definition of a nominal value for the friction coefficient?
*How relevant is the effect of stick slip? Can it be eliminated?
*How dependable is the friction coefficient at variable velocities and vertical forces?
*How accurately can friction coefficient and radius of curvature of the surfaces be varied?

These subjects will be examined and alternative technological solutions will be proposed, showing that it is theoretically and practically possible to obtain cycles of the kinds shown in the figure below.
Such cycle shapes imply noticeable variation in displacement demand, residual displacement and design shear. These aspects will be emphasized and critically analyzed referring to the results of an extensive numerical investigation.
The driven conclusions will address the problem of developing and applying the most cost-effective solutions, depending on seismicity, use of the building and target performances.

António Viana Da Fonseca, Ph.D., Professor

Department if Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (FEUP) Portugal (,

Associate Professor of Civil Engineering with Full Professor Habilitation, 2008.
Director of the Geotechnical Laboratory of Civil Engineering Department (LabGeo-FEUP).
Geotechnical Specialist and Fellow (Counselor Member) of the Portuguese Institution of Engineers (OE-P). President of College of Geotechnical Specialists of OE-P.
Chair of ISSMGE tech. committee TC102 “Ground Property Characterization from In-Situ Tests” (2013-2017).
Responsible and/or consultant for more than 100 projects of structures and special geotechnical works, including bridge foundations, embankments on soft soils, large excavations and tunnels (Portugal, Algeria, Brazil, Morocco, Mozambique, Poland and Spain). Coordinator of more than 300 experimental projects in LabGeo-FEUP, being the responsible of the respective formal technical reports.
Coordinator of several multiannual research programs as principal researcher and coordinator and effective researcher) in national and international I&D system, in the areas of experimental characterization by in situ and laboratory tests, modeling of geomechanical behaviour of non-textbook soils, seismic analysis and cyclic liquefaction, monotonic and flow liquefaction in tailings, behaviour of foundations and earth retaining structures in residual soils, and,static and dynamic properties characterization and modelling of stabilized soils for subgrade and foundations. Presently coordinator in Portugal of EU-H2020 research project “LIQUEFACT: Assessment and mitigation of liquefaction potential across Europe: a holistic approach to protect structures / infrastructures for improved resilience to earthquake-induced liquefaction disaster”, Portuguese coordinator of European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) Commitment on Raw Materials – “Rose”: Recycling Of Secondary raw materials for a sustainable optimization of construction processes in civil engineering.
Supervisor of 24 PhD thesis and of 66 MSc thesis.
Author/coauthor of more than 50 articles in international journals with referees (JRC/ISI, scopus H-Index: 11) and 33 others in national journals; 157 communications published in proceedings of international conferences (14 keynote/special lectures in Nat. & Int. conferences) and 60 in national conferences; 66 technical documents for workshops and courses. Author of 9 chapters of books and editor of 2 proceedings in international publishers; Author of 3 national books and 3 chapters in national books.

Getting high quality samples in 'sensitive' soils for advanced laboratory tests

Laboratory tests are well recognized as highly appropriate for defining the engineering properties of geomaterials, in terms of constitutive law parameters for modeling geotechnical engineering problems. The strong development of advanced techniques, both in equipment and in data interpretation, has increased the confidence in laboratory testing, while on the other hand the limitations due to the quality of soil sampling with depth and the spatial representativeness of the samples are less consensual. Still, the development of new methods for assuring high quality samples is increasing, together with sampling quality assessment by non-destructive methods using vibration wave velocities. Interpretation methods of in situ tests for ground characterization has also evolved significantly, increasing the reliability of these methods. Their versatility to cover large areas on site and the fact that these tests are, in principle, performed at the actual state (physical and stress) conditions, as well as the improvements in the correlations between field tests and hydraulic and geomechanical parameters, allows joining the quality of data and theoretical approaches, namely through critical state soil mechanics. This keynote paper discusses some of the aspects that can and should enable the association of ground characterization from laboratory testing over undisturbed samples used in more or less advanced tests, enhancing the determinant conditioning factor that is the sampling technique to get representative specimens and the way this is assessed. The confidence that we expect to have on the geomechanical parameters that we need for our geotechnical activities, will mostly depend on this in view of the high uncertainties of the parametrical correlations with in situ tests data, so important in ground characterization. This is specially relevant in sensitive soils, like soft fine soils, loose sandy soils, or young residuals soils. These have or can have “weak” equilibria of the interparticle micro and macro – structures (or their arrangement, fabric) that will change substantially their properties if samples are collected and conditioned with processes that do not preserve that intrinsic “ADN”. The change in these natural conditions can be evaluated by techniques of quality assessement that will be discussed in what follows.

Laureano R. Hoyos, Ph.D., Full Professor

Professor, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, USA

Dr. Laureano R. Hoyos serves as Professor in the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). He earned a Ph.D. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. His research interests are in the areas of experimental and computational geomechanics for unsaturated and problematic soils. He has authored/co-authored over 140 refereed publications among book chapters, journal articles, and geotechnical special publications. He is the recipient of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Excellence in Teaching Award, the Research Excellence Award, the Outstanding Civil Engineering Instructor Award, and the Outstanding Early Career Faculty Award. He also served as Associate Dean of the Honors College. He currently serves as chair of the Unsaturated Soils committee of the Geo-Institute (ASCE); Associate Regional Editor of Environmental Geotechnics (Thomas Telford); and Editorial Board Member of Geotechnical Testing Journal (ASTM). He chairs the organizing committee of PanAm-UNSAT 2017: Second Pan American Conference on Unsaturated Soils, Dallas, Texas, November 12-15, 2017.

Experimental Modelling of Unsaturated Soil Behavior over a Whole Range of Paths and Modes of Deformation

Over the last few decades, intensive and sustained experimental efforts have been undertaken worldwide that have defined the threshold of our understanding of unsaturated soil behavior. The adoption of matric suction and the excess of total stress over air pressure, that is, net normal stress, as the relevant stress state variables, has facilitated the investigation of key features of unsaturated soil behavior via either axistranslation or vapor transfer technique. The present paper documents some of the most recent advances in experimental modeling of intermediate geomaterials, over a whole range of suction-controlled paths and modes of deformation. Its main sections describe the test protocols and corresponding results from suction-controlled resonant column, biaxial, triaxial, true triaxial, and ring shear testing programs recently accomplished at the Advanced Geomechanics Laboratory (AGL) of the University of Texas at Arlington, via either axis-translation or vapor transfer technique. The experimental data and related analyses are expected to be of extreme interest to both geotechnical and geological engineering communities worldwide, facilitating the incorporation of more reliable material properties in the analysis and design models of geotechnical infrastructure made of compacted soil or resting on unsaturated ground.

Louay Mohammad, Ph.D., Professor

Professor, Louisiana State University, USA

Dr. Louay Mohammad is a national and international expert in the area of pavement materials and sustainable asphalt construction. He is the holder of the Irma Louise Rush Stewart Distinguished Professor and the Transportation Faculty Group Coordinator at Louisiana State University (LSU). He also serves as the director of the Engineering Materials Characterization and Research Facility at the Louisiana Transportation Research Center (LTRC). Dr. Mohammad teaches and conducts research in the area of Highway Construction Materials, Pavement Engineering, Accelerated Pavement Testing, Advanced Materials Characterization and Modeling, and Infrastructure Sustainability. Dr. Mohammad has served as the PI or Co-PI on more than 58 research projects (NCHRP Project 9-40 and 9-40A, NCHRP Project 9-48, NCHRP 9-49A, NCHRP 10-84, NCHRP Project 20-07/Task 361, etc.) totaling over U.S. $12.4 million. He has authored/coauthored more than 270 publications in pavement engineering including over 150 refereed papers and delivered over 170 keynote and invited presentations at national and international conferences. He has developed many standard test methods (AASHTO TP 114, AASHTO TP 115, and Louisiana DOTD TR 330) and mechanistic models that have impacted pavement materials characterization and performance, and contributed to changes of asphalt specifications. He is the Chair of ASTM subcommittee D 4.25 on Bituminous Mixture Analysis, Past Chair of the TRB Committees AFK40 on Characteristics of Bituminous-Aggregate Combinations to Meet Surface Requirements and member of TRB committee AFK50 on Characteristics of Bituminous Paving Mixtures to Meet Structural Requirement, and TRB committee AFK30 on Characteristics of Non-Asphalt Components of Asphalt Paving Mixtures. Dr. Mohammad currently serves as the Flexible Pavement Section Editor of ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, Associate Editor of the Journal of Engineering Research and International Journal of Pavement Research and Technology. Dr. Mohammad has been recognized with the 2013 Best Paper Award of the 8th International Conference on Road and Airfield Pavement Technology, 2010 Distinguished Research Paper of the Journal of Engineering Research, the 2009, 2012, and 2015 Asphalt Rubber Ambassador Award, and the 2002 Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists Board of Directors Award of Recognition.

Implementation of a Balanced Asphalt Mixture Design Procedure: Louisiana's Approach

Conventional asphalt mixture design methodologies such as Superpave, Marshall, and Hveem are used to determine the optimum asphalt binder content by means of physical and volumetric laboratory measurements. All three procedures ensure the materials proportion and quantity of the asphalt cement binder are adequate to meet stability and durability concerns. However, with the increased use of recycled materials, there is a need to develop laboratory mechanical tests in order to evaluate the quality of the asphalt cement binder to complement the Superpave volumetric mixture design procedure. An important component to successful mixture design is the balance between volumetric composition and material compatibility. Balanced asphalt mixture design offers innovation in designing mixtures for performance and evaluation of the quality of a mix design relative to anticipated performance using a rational approach. This presentation documents the selection of laboratory mechanical tests, in addition to volumetric requirements, that can ascertain a mixture’s resistance to common asphalt pavement distresses. Factors in the selection of laboratory mechanical tests such as availability of standard test procedures, advantages and limitations, laboratory-to-field correlations, and sensitivity to mixture composition will be reviewed. Further, an implementation framework and case histories will also be discussed.

George Morcous, Ph.D, PE

Short Bio

Dr. George Morcous is a professor at Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln since January 2005. He has a B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Cairo University-Egypt. He earned his doctorate degree from Concordia University – Canada in 2000. He is currently a registered professional engineer in the State of Nebraska. His research and teaching interests include design and construction of precast prestressed concrete structures and bridge engineering. He has two patents and over 150 publications.

Innovative Precast Concrete Deck Systems for Accelerated Bridge Construction

Highway bridge construction and rehabilitation projects have considerable social and economic impacts on the public. More than 15 years ago, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) launched the Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) initiative in which the use of prefabricated bridge elements and systems is promoted. ABC is bridge construction that uses innovative planning, design, materials, and construction methods in a safe and cost-effective manner to reduce the construction time associated with maintenance of traffic when building new bridges or replacing/rehabilitating existing ones.
Cast-in-place (CIP) concrete deck is the most common deck type used in the construction of multi-girder/stringer bridge systems. It is also the most deteriorating bridge component and its construction/replacement is highly laborious and traffic-disruptive operation due to forming, reinforcing, casting, finishing and curing. Precast concrete deck systems have several advantages over CIP concrete decks, such as improved construction quality and safety, reduced construction time and impact on travelling public, and lower maintenance cost. However, existing precast concrete deck systems have not gained the interest of bridge owners and contractors due to either their complicated production/erection procedures, which results in high initial cost, or unproven long-term performance.
This presentation discusses innovative precast concrete deck systems that address the shortcomings of the existing systems with respect to fabrication, erection, connections, post-tensioning, grouting, and durability. The experimental and analytical investigations conducted to evaluate the constructability and performance of the new systems are summarized. Also, the implementation of a new precast concrete deck system to the construction of Kearney East Bypass bridge project in Kearney, NE is presented.

Askar Zhussupbekov, Ph.D., Professor

Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan

Head and Professor of Department Civil Engineering, Eurasian National University, Astana, Kazakhstan, (2009 to Present).
Director of Geotechnical Institute, Eurasian National University, Astana, Kazakhstan, (2009 to Present).
Professor of Civil Engineering (VAK RK, 1997), Department of Industrial and Civil Engineering Karaganda State Industrial University, Temirtau, Kazakhstan.
Doctor of Engineering, (1996) Specialties 05.23.02 “Foundation Engineering and Underground Structures” and 25.00.22 “Geotechnology and Mining Engineering”, Karaganda State Technical University, Karaganda, Kazakhstan.
Dr. Ph, (1985) Specialty “Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering” - Saint-Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPBGASU), Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
Bachelor’s and Master’s Students of Civil Engineering (1972-1977), Specialty “Industrial and Civil Engineering,” Saint-Petersburg State Architectural and Civil Engineering University (SPBGASU), Russia.

The official lecture of ISSMGE TC 305: Geotechnical construction and testing of piling foundations of Megastructures on problematical soil ground of Kazakhstan.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union , Astana has became the new capital of Kazakhstan. In the past decade , many modern architectural and engineering megaprojects has energed ( such as Khan Shatyr, Peace Palace-Pyramid, House estate of "Diamond highrise structures" , Astana tower, Abu-Dhabi Plaza in Astana, Astana- Expo , New Railway station, Mariotta and Hilton Hotels, LRT and so on).
These modern megaprojects put forward new requirements to engineers utilizing more economical and technologically effective design and contruction methodologies. The territory of the city of Astana is located on the Kazakh Steppe and the most apparent problem is the soil condition presented by inhomogeneous sandvich soil layers , characterized by various types of soft and dense soil, and hard soil bands. At present , pile foundations are widely used, but it is very hard to use precast piles because they may break in the soil during driving or their heads may be damaged too, while the bearing capacity is not high. The best geoengineering solution in this case is the use of new pile technology like CFA( continuous flight auger), FDP( full displacement piles), DDS( drilling displacement system) and H-beam piles, that lead to increased bearing capacity.The present lecture includes static and dynamic , integrity piling test results and also data of numerical analysis of interaction of piles with soil ground . The case study on several megastructures in problematical soil ground of Astana will also be presented. The lecture considers also the project a new railway station on problematical soils of Astana, as well as light railway LRT( Light Railway Transport) Project. This lecture includes a summary of dynamic and static tests of driven and bored piles. This lecture presented also a short description of changes to the concept of Kazakhstan pile foundation design and to use PDA and DLT and SLT pile load tests. By georadar survey was funded the areas which reported a hard rock at a depth of 16 meters and other soil layers. Ay second part of lecture include also performing and testing of joint precast piles activity on new seaport "Prorva" on Caspean Sea area of West Kazakhstan. This investigations are important for understanding of soil - structure interaction mechanism of megastructues on piling foundations on problematical soil ground of Kazakhstan