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Short Courses / Workshops

GeoOttawa 2017 is pleased to offer the following short courses/workshops at the Shaw Centre on Sunday, October 1 as part of the official conference program:

To register for a short course or workshop, please visit the Delegate Registration page.

GeoOttawa 2017 reserves the right to cancel a short course/workshop should the minimum number of registrants not be reached. In the event of a cancellation, registrants will be notified by email and offered a transfer to another course/workshop or a full refund.


SC1 - Geotechnical Engineering for Trenchless Technology Projects
Instructor: Dr. Mark Knight
Date: Sunday, October 1, 2017 
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Cost: Before July 31 - $425 (Students $200); On/After July 31 - $475 (Students $225)

The use of trenchless construction methods for the installation of underground pipelines for water, sewer and gas projects has become an industry accepted and proven alternative to open cut and cover construction. The success or failure of trenchless construction projects is often related to the designers' and contractors' understanding of the ground conditions.

This workshop will focus on the role of the geotechnical engineer on trenchless construction projects, industry standards and good practices. It will also provide information on potential risks and liabilities and how they can be mitigated. Real case study examples will be used to demonstrate how to create a successful project and how poor geotechnical engineering practices can increase the risk of litigation and/or contractor claims.

About the instructor:
Dr. Mark Knight is a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on geotechnical engineering, pipe design and trenchless construction. He is the Executive Director of the Centre for Advancement of Trenchless Technologies (CATT) also at the University of Waterloo, as well as a member of the World Bank Water Expert team.

Over the past 15 plus years, Dr. Knight has developed an extensive research program in the area of trenchless pipeline construction and is recognized as an international expert. Dr. Knight has been involved in the design and construction of challenging trenchless projects, developed industry leading trenchless design programs, and has been retained as a technical expert in several North America litigation cases. Prior to commencing his PhD studies at Queen's University, he worked as a geotechnical engineer for several years. Dr. Knight's litigation, academic and consulting experience allows him to provide unique insights on the role of geotechnical engineers in trenchless projects.


SC2 - Liquefaction Analysis & Seismic Remediation of Dams
Instructors: Bill Chin, Neil Singh, Keith Viles, Dr. Joe Quinn
Date: Sunday, October 1, 2017
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Cost: Before July 31 - $425 (Students $200); On/After July 31 - $475 (Students $225)

This course will present an overview of seismic hazard analysis and liquefaction assessments as they relate to dam design, operation and maintenance. The course will include a discussion of site characterization, hazard assessment, liquefaction triggering analysis, deformation analysis and the characterization of the consequences of liquefaction. Ground improvement and remedial measures will also be discussed. Dam remediation case histories will be presented.

About the instructors:
The course will be presented by a selection of engineers and dam owners, including leading industry professionals in the field of liquefaction analysis and seismic remediation. Presenters will include:

  • Bill Chin (Klohn Crippen Berger, Calgary), a geotechnical engineer with over 35 years' experience in the investigation, design, construction, and safety evaluations of major earthfill dams.
  • Neil Singh (Klohn Crippen Berger, Vancouver), a geotechnical engineer with over 25 years' experience in the design of mining and water management dams, including forensic stability analysis and rehabilitation of dams in high seismic zones.
  • Keith Viles (Klohn Crippen Berger, Sudbury), a civil engineer with over 15 years' experience in the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of dams in the mining industry, including extensive experience in seismic upgrades for tailings facilities.
  • Dr. Joe Quinn (Klohn Crippen Berger, Calgary), an engineering geologist with over 15 years' experience in the design and monitoring of oil sands tailings dykes and water retention dams.


SC3 - Geomechanics, Shale Gas, and Geopolitics
Instructor: Dr. Maurice Dusseault
Date: Sunday, October 1, 2017 
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Cost: Before July 31 - $425 (Students $200); On/After July 31 - $475 (Students $225)

This one-day short course comprises presentations on Applied Geoscience and the Geomechanics of Shale Gas Development, with the final hour devoted to the politics of shale gas development in Canada and what the future may hold. The workshop will provide a broad view of shale gas technical and political issues – from the geosciences to geomechanics to environmental issues.

The course will address the moratoria on hydraulic fracturing in the Atlantic Provinces in terms of real risks, imagined risks, and politicized misrepresentations of risk. Natural gas development benefits ignored in the cacophony associated with hydraulic fracturing are presented, showing that Canada can benefit while helping health outcomes throughout the world and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to help generate some technical and socioeconomic clarity on the difficult debate involving gas development.

About the instructor:
A professor of Engineering Geology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Waterloo, Dr. Maurice Dusseault is an internationally known researcher and educator in the area of deep geomechanics. He has published over 550 full-text articles on various geomechanics subjects, generally focusing on deep processes such as CO2 sequestration, oil and gas geomechanics, hydraulic fracturing, geothermal energy, and deep solid and liquid waste disposal. In the last five years, he sat on every major hydraulic fracture and shale gas panel in Canada, and acted as an advisor to governments and corporations.


SC4 - Advanced Construction Dewatering
Instructors: Stephen Di Biase, Russell Thomas
Date: Sunday, October 1, 2017 
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Cost: Before July 31 - $225 (Students $100); On/After July 31 - $250 (Students $125)

Groundwater control is critical for construction projects excavating below the water table. The owner and the contractor rely on the hydrogeologist/geotechnical engineer to investigate and establish local ground conditions, dewatering requirements and groundwater disposal options. Technical reports with improper characterization or vague direction can lead to contracting claims, scheduling delays and excessive construction cost overruns. This short course will review:

  • Critical factors and baseline field studies required to support dewatering system design
  • Estimating and expressing dewatering requirements for a project
  • Developing dewatering specifications for contractual purposes
  • Capabilities and constraints of various dewatering systems (sumps, eductors, wellpoints, deep wells)
  • Installation and operation of a dewatering system
  • Commonly used groundwater treatment systems and their design considerations
  • Case Studies – the good, the bad, and the ugly

This course is designed for practicing groundwater scientists, engineers and regulators with pre-established knowledge and experience relating to construction dewatering. This course should be attended by those who wish to expand their knowledge beyond basic groundwater control concepts and to develop an advanced understanding regarding technical reporting, dewatering system design and operation.

About the instructors:
Stephen Di Biase, P.Geo. is a Hydrogeologist and Project Manager with Aquatech Dewatering Company. His 18 years of hydrogeological consulting experience includes field investigations in support of large-scale groundwater supply, construction dewatering and artificial groundwater recharge projects. He has extensive knowledge on construction dewatering assessments, groundwater control system design, aquifer mapping and providing technical support for construction claims relating to groundwater control.

Russell Thomas is Vice President of Aquatech's dewatering division, with over 17 years of project management and engineering experience in construction dewatering throughout North America. Russell is a licensed Assistant Water Well Technician with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and has designed, estimated or managed over $20 million of dewatering contracts in the Industrial, Commercial, Institutional, Residential, Sewer, Tunnelling and Infrastructure fields.


SC5 - Fundamentals of Aquifer Test Interpretation
Instructor: Christopher J. Neville
Date: Sunday, October 1, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Cost: Before July 31 - $225 (Students $100); On/After July 31 - $250 (Students $125)

The course is structured as a set of formal lectures that include coverage of the foundations of aquifer test interpretation with extensive discussion of case studies. The course takes a rigorous yet practical approach that goes beyond the nuts-and-bolts of aquifer test interpretation to focus on the key aspects of interpretation: the diagnosis of aquifer response, the estimation of representative aquifer properties, and the assessment of the reliability of parameter estimates. The course is not devoted to any particular computer-assisted interpretation package, but such methods will be used to demonstrate some of the concepts.

The course will begin with a thorough review of the Theis model of aquifer response to pumping. The review will lead into a discussion of the interpretation of pumping tests in real (read "heterogeneous") aquifers. The presentation will include a case study illustrating how pumping tests should not be interpreted. The course is concluded with a discussion of steps that can be taken to maximize the reliability of aquifer test interpretations.

Attendees will be provided with comprehensive, detailed course notes. These notes are intended to be formal technical documents that will serve for subsequent self-study.

About the instructor:
Christopher J. Neville, M.Sc., P.Eng. is an Associate with S.S. Papadopulos & Associates, Inc. and has over 25 years of experience as a groundwater professional. His specialization is in the interpretation of hydrogeologic data and the development and application of analytical and numerical techniques to analyze groundwater problems in complex granular and fractured porous media. A major element of his work is third-party peer review. Mr. Neville received his Bachelor of Engineering degree (Civil) in 1985 from McGill University and his Master of Science degree (Earth Sciences) from the University of Waterloo in 1992.


SC6 - Advanced Geotechnical Laboratory Testing in Practice
Instructors: Dr. Nasseri-Moghaddam, Michael Braverman
Date: Sunday, October 1, 2017
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Cost: Before July 31 - $425 (Students $200); On/After July 31 - $475 (Students $225)

This practical course will assist participants to understand the fundamentals of advanced geotechnical testing and its applicability under various conditions. Furthermore, it will enable participants to make informed decisions regarding the risks associated with lack of sufficient subsurface information.

In geotechnical engineering, in-situ and/or laboratory tests are extensively utilized to study soil behavior. Common laboratory testing includes relatively simple tests such as moisture content, gradation and Atterberg limits. However, as geotechnical projects get more complex and the risks associated with the projects increase, more reliable measurements are required to obtain the parameters directly. Advanced laboratory tests (consolidation, triaxial tests and direct shear test) provide a promising tool to obtain these parameters. These tests enable practitioners to measure specific parameters under controlled stress/strain boundary conditions. However, the results of these tests are very susceptible to the sample quality, boundary conditions that the samples were subjected to (during extraction, transportation, and preparation), stress/strain conditions/rates during testing and the data extraction and analysis methods. Therefore, it is crucial to have in-depth understanding of the test procedures and obtained results prior to use them in the design.

This course is designed to introduce the fundamental concepts of advanced laboratory testing and its use in modern geotechnical engineering works. The focus of the course will be on one dimensional consolidation testing/various types of triaxial testing and shear box testing. After completion of this course the participants will be able to:

  • Better understand the significance of advanced laboratory testing in geotechnical engineering
  • Apply their knowledge in designing optimized scope for geotechnical laboratory testing
  • Manage project risks by obtaining reliable subsurface information by means of advanced laboratory testing
  • Evaluate the results of the carried-out tests and assess the reliability of the results

About the instructors:
Ali Nasseri-Moghaddam, Ph.D. P.Eng. is a senior geotechnical/structural engineer with GHD and has over 20 years of experience in related engineering fields in Canada, the United States and overseas. He has been involved in the design, investigation, management, and construction of versatile projects including dams and hydraulic structures, water networks, trunk sewers, subway stations, wind turbines, landfills, slope stability evaluations, geotechnical field and laboratory investigations, and structural design of foundations and retaining structures and sheet piles. His specialization and expertise is in seismic site assessment, liquefaction analysis, and site characterization using laboratory data and geophysical methods, and numerical modelling. In the past 10 years Ali was involved in the development and advancement of specialized laboratory testing programs including triaxial and consolidation tests, and shear box tests.

Michael Braverman, B.Sc., M.Sc. is a Geotechnical Specialist with over 25 years experience in geotechnical, geophysical, material testing, and pavement design/construction/reconstruction. He has over 20 years experience in specialized laboratory testing in Canada and overseas. In the past 8 years, Mr. Braverman was responsible for the development, operation and management of GHD's high complexity soil laboratory in Waterloo, Ontario. He has widespread experience in industrial, residential, and mining projects, and analyses and interpretation of instrumentation data. He has extensive experience with geotechnical engineering and laboratory testing projects in and around Yellowknife and the surrounding communities as well as remote mining sites, Distant Early Warning sites (former US military sites), and the MacKenzie gas pipeline.


W1 - Research in the Geotechnical and Geoscience Fields: Tools and Tips to Improve the Sector's Performance
Organized by the Geotechnical Research Board of the Canadian Geotechnical Society
Coordinator: Dr. Bruno Bussière, Chair of the Geotechnical Research Board
Date: Sunday, October 1, 2017 
Time: 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Cost: Before July 31 - $150 (Students $50); On/After July 31 - $175 (Students $75)

The main objective of this half-day workshop is to give geotechnical and geological science researchers information that will help improve the research performance of the sector. To reach this objective, representatives of governmental research agencies will present an overview of research programs available to the geotechnical and geoscience communities. The emphasis will be on the Collaborative Research and Development grant, the Strategic Partnership grant (for projects or network) with a short description of other research programs that could be of interest for researchers in geotechnical and geoscience. Then selected researchers will present the main components of a successful research proposal for the different research programs.

Tools and tips will be given for different conditions, from the early career to the experienced researchers. The workshop will also address the main challenges faced by a young professor when developing a research program. Emphasis will be placed on how to identify and select promising research areas, based on one's own education, expertise, and experience. The importance of creating strong relationships with industrial partners will be highlighted. The main challenges related to the training of highly qualified personnel will be discussed. The dissemination of research results to optimize visibility and technology transfer will also be addressed during the workshop.

About the coordinator:
Dr. Bruno Bussière is a professor (since 1998) and the director of the Research Institute on Mines and the Environment at Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT). He is the Industrial NSERC-UQAT Chair on mine site reclamation (2014-2019). His teaching and research activities mostly relate to mining geotechnique and hydrogeology, including constitutive and numerical modeling of unsaturated flow in soils and mine wastes, characterization of tailings and backfill behavior, hydro-geotechnical aspects of mine wastes disposal, mineral separation in tailings, and reclamation methods for surface disposal sites including control of acid mine drainage and contaminated neutral drainage.

Speakers during the workshop will include NSERC staff (individuals to be determined), Dr. Paul Simms of Carleton University, Dr. Craig Lake of Dalhousie University, and others.