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Keynote Speakers

Monday, October 2
Canada Hall 2

R.M. Hardy Keynote Address (CGS) – Dr. Richard Bathurst
Load and Resistance Factor Design and Calibration for Simple Soil-Structure Limit States in MSE Walls

The load and resistance factor design (LRFD) approach for geotechnical foundation structures is now accepted practice in Canada. Limit states design equations cast within a LRFD framework appear in the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code and the National Building Code of Canada.

While most geotechnical engineers are confident how to use LRFD equations for the design of geotechnical structures, the concepts behind how load and resistance factors are computed are less well understood. The most recent version of the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code and the next edition of the National Building Code of Canada (which are LRFD foundation engineering codes) incorporate the concept of "level of understanding". The idea behind level of understanding is to reward engineers with higher resistance factors for those cases with better project-specific site information, material properties, better design models and for which the engineer has greater experience.

This lecture reviews basic concepts for LRFD calibration of limit state equations for simple soil-structures using internal stability limit state examples for MSE walls constructed with both polymeric and steel soil reinforcement products. The lecture attempts to explain these principles without the mysticism and jargon that often confuses practitioners.

Richard Bathurst graduated with BSc., MSc., and Ph.D. degrees from Queen's University. He is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he has taught since 1980, and holds a cross-appointment with the Civil Engineering Department at Queen's University. Richard has authored or co-authored more than 170 journal papers. His current research activities are focused on the use of geosynthetic and metallic reinforcement in earth retaining wall systems, numerical modelling, seismic performance and design of these systems, probabilistic design of reinforced and unreinforced soil structures, reliability-based design, and load and resistance factor design (LRFD) calibration of soil-structures. He has received national and international awards for his technical contributions and has been invited speaker and keynote lecturer at conferences and symposia on many occasions. Richard continues to serve on committees of the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code and the National Building Code of Canada. He is the editor of the forthcoming online edition of the Canadian Geotechnical Society's Canadian Foundation Engineering Manual and the peer-reviewed International Geosynthetics Society's technical journal Geosynthetics International. Dr. Bathurst has also served the profession as President of the Canadian Geotechnical Society and is currently the President of the Engineering Institute of Canada.

2017 Darcy Lecture (IAH) – Dr. Kamini Singha
A Tale of Two Porosities: Exploring Why Contaminant Transport Doesn't Always Behave the Way It Should

Transport through preferential flowpaths is important in a broad range of scientific disciplines. In hydrology, the ability to quantify subsurface transport is an issue of paramount importance due to problems associated with groundwater contamination. Observational challenges and complexity of hydrogeological systems lead to severe prediction challenges with standard measurement techniques. One important example of a prediction challenge is "anomalous" solute-transport behavior, defined by characteristics such as concentration rebound, long breakthrough tailing, and poor pump-and-treat efficiency.

These phenomena have been observed at research and aquifer-remediation sites in diverse geologic settings, and are not predicted by classical theory. Numerous conceptual models have been developed to explain anomalous transport, such as the presence of two distinct populations of pores — one where solutes are highly mobile and another where they are not — but verification and inference of controlling parameters in these models in situ remains problematic, and often estimated based on data fitting alone. Recent tests using simple electric geophysical methods directly measure the process of mobile-immobile mass transfer and allow estimation of parameters controlling anomalous transport.

This lecture presents a rock-physics framework, an experimental methodology, and analytical expressions that can be used to determine parameters controlling anomalous solute transport behavior from colocated hydrologic and electrical geophysical measurements in a series of settings, including groundwater and surface water/groundwater systems. The long-term goals of this work are to contribute toward improving the predictive capabilities of numerical models and enhancing the fidelity of long-term groundwater monitoring frameworks.

Kamini Singha, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering and the associate director of the Hydrologic Science and Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines. She worked at the U.S. Geological Survey Branch of Geophysics from 1997 to 2000, and was a member of the faculty at The Pennsylvania State University from 2005 to 2012. She earned her B.S. in geophysics from the University of Connecticut in 1999 and her Ph.D. in hydrogeology from Stanford University in 2005.

Tuesday, October 3
Canada Hall 2

Farvolden Lecture – Mark Jensen
Radioactive Waste Management in Canada: The Role of Geosciences

The long-term management of radioactive waste requires that it be safely contained and isolated on timeframes not typically considered by infrastructure projects (i.e., 1Ma). Internationally, a consensus exists that the Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) concept, comprised of multiple barriers including the waste form, a waste form container, engineered clay based sealing systems and an enclosing geosphere, provides an accepted approach. The crystalline or sedimentary geologic settings sought for DGR implementation are situated at nominal depths of 400 to 800 m, and possess attributes that afford stability and resilience despite repository and naturally (e.g., glacial) induced perturbations. The characterisation of such deep-seated very low permeability saline environs creates unique scientific challenges. In this respect, multi-disciplinary research undertaken by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is intent on preserving and advancing geoscientific methods necessary to support the safe implementation of a DGR for Canada's nuclear used fuel. This presentation provides a description of the NWMO Geoscience applied research program with a focus on activities motivated to advance understanding of geosphere evolution and natural barrier capacity as relevant to evaluating the site-specific passive safety of a DGR for Canada's used nuclear fuel.

Mark Jensen (MSc.) is Director Deep Geologic Repository Geoscience and Research at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). He has been involved in environmental Geosciences since joining Ontario Hydro in 1986. Responsibilities have included the direction of Canadian and international multi-disciplinary Geosciences research and development associated with the safe long-term management of radioactive waste in crystalline and sedimentary environs. Mark directed Geoscience studies related to the regulatory licensing of the proposed Bruce Nuclear site low and intermediate level radioactive waste Deep Geologic Repository. He is the current Chair of the NEA Understanding and the Performance of Argillaceous Rocks as Repository Host Formations ('Clay Club') working group. He has authored or co-authored more than 75 reports, journal manuscripts and conference papers.

Geotechnical Lecture – Robert Blair
Refinements in Bedrock Geology Understanding of Downtown Ottawa

The author and his colleagues have carried out multiple linear investigations across the downtown core of Ottawa, from about Mechanicsville to New Edinburgh and south to Highway 417. These investigations have spanned over 25 plus years and the ongoing interpretation and re-interpretation has resulted in a unique view of Ottawa's near flat lying Paleozoic stratigraphy that has built upon and refined the published map interpretations (e.g., Wilson, 1946, Williams, 1991). This has been possible through the accumulation of a large amount of geotechnical borehole information associated with linear investigations. Those investigations have included intensive logging of numerous rock drill cores coupled with down-hole borehole geophysics that has enabled detailed stratigraphic correlations to be developed. The stratigraphic interpretation has been key in providing insight into the occurrence of the numerous faults that underlie the nation's capital and their significance with respect to the various civil engineering projects being carried out. In addition to the refinement of the stratigraphy, the authors have developed representative ranges of engineering values for the geology encountered, based on repeated drill core testing. The results of this long term involvement in bedrock investigation and rock engineering within Ottawa's downtown core are presented in this lecture. Given the underground development that is occurring within Ottawa's core, and that will likely take place in the future as infrastructure development continues within an increasingly developed core, this work provides an improved basis for understanding the rock underlying Canada's capital and can inform future planning.

Rob Blair is a senior hydrogeologist and engineering geologist with over 35 years of consulting experience. Prior to forming his private consultancy in 2015 he was with Golder Associates Ltd in their Mississauga Ontario office since 1979 from where he retired as a Principal in the firm. Rob received his Honours BSc in geology (1970-1975) from the University of Western Ontario and subsequently obtained his MSc in hydrogeology from the University of Waterloo (1978-1980). He provides a strong hydrogeological and engineering geological background to the assessment of various engineering and groundwater related projects including civil engineering projects, environmental assessments, aggregate and mining resource development, nuclear developments, waste management and the mining industry in Canada and abroad largely within South America. Rob has been extensively involved in projects within the Ottawa area since 1982 beginning with the initial West Ottawa Transitway project and has continued with the current Ottawa Light Rail Transitway. He has also been involved with stratigraphic interpretation and rock quality assessment of numerous Ottawa area limestone quarries involving core logging and geophysical interpretation resulting in the development of a comprehensive understanding of the stratigraphy and structure of the various formations and members comprising the Ordovician sequence beneath Ottawa.

CGS Lecture – Dr. Greg Brooks
Prehistoric Sensitive Clay Landslides and Earthquakes in the Ottawa Valley

In the Ottawa Valley, SW Québec-SE Ontario, approximately 250 sensitive clay earth flows and earth spreads are delineated on surficial geology maps. The ages of 50 prehistoric landslides are represented by radiocarbon ages of woody organic materials buried within or underneath landslide deposits or from basal organic matter sampled from post-failure wetlands. The ages are distributed across an 8000-year time span, and there are two distinct age groupings between 5000-5400 and 980-1060 cal BP consisting of 13 and 12 landslides, respectively. The landslides within these groups include failures from the steep back-slope margins of river terraces, failures involving the simultaneous collapse of deposits along both sides of a stream course, and failures located along the sides of valleys containing a confined stream. The size of the source areas range from 0.04 to 20 km2, and include many of the larger failures in the region. Both landslide age groups are interpreted to have been triggered by paleoearthquakes within the Western Québec Seismic Zone, based on the geomorphic setting and morphology of the landslides, the close proximity of many commonly-aged failures to each other, and an assessment of possible aseismic mechanisms. The minimum magnitudes of the paleoearthquakes are estimated to be Mw 6.4 (5000-5400 cal BP event) and Mw 6.1 (980-1060 cal BP event), based on an empirical area of landsliding-earthquake magnitude relationship.

Dr. Greg Brooks is a geomorphologist with the Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. He has worked at the Survey since 1992, following completion of a Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. He has conducted natural hazards research in many regions of Canada on topics that include seismic microzonation mapping, geomorphic factors influencing Red River floods, extreme low-water levels in the upper Great Lakes, as well as the chronology of sensitive clay landslides. His current work is investigating evidence of paleoearthquakes preserved in lake basins in northeastern Ontario and western Québec. He is the author of over 100 research papers and reports.

Wednesday, October 4
Canada Hall 2

CGS Colloquium – Dr. Michael Hendry
The geotechnical assessment of railway infrastructure reliability

The focus of the presentation is on ground hazards, their effects on Canada's railways and the significant advances in geotechnique that are improving the safe and reliable operation of Canada's railway network and contributing to the development of technologies for the international railway community. This presentation includes an overview of the research programs established in partnership between the railway industry and academia, before focusing on a specific example of a less understood ground hazard (i.e. muskeg and peaty foundations) and the technical work that is being undertaken to understand and mitigate the associated risks of that ground hazard.

Dr. Michael Hendry is the Associate Director of the Canadian Rail Research Laboratory (CaRRL), a Principal Investigator (PI) for the Railway Ground Hazard Research Program (RGHRP), and an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta. As the Associate Director of CaRRL, Dr. Hendry assists with coordinating the research activities of CaRRL, while leading the research themes focused on the assessing infrastructure quality, assessing the effect of cold climates on the performance of the railway infrastructure and evaluating the associated risks. As the PI of the RGHRP, Dr. Hendry leads the research conducted on ground hazards such as landslides, rock falls, very soft track subgrades, the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and evaluating the effectiveness of ground hazard remediation and risk mitigation efforts being implemented by both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. Dr Hendry supervises numerous graduate students focused on projects designed to increase the safety and reliability of the Canadian Railway network.