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PDCA 18th Annual International Conference and Expo 2014

pdca-logoThe PDCA has selected St. Louis, MO as the site for the PDCA 18th Annual International Conference and Expo 2014.  PDCA’s annual conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch located on Chestnut Street, directly across from The Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River.

The conference will be held from April 2 4, 2014, a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday schedule.  However, the PDCA Education Committees will present a preconference short course titled, “Pile Driving Professionals Development Course”, on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.  More information on this course is provided in this E-Letter.

The Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch, a four-star, luxury downtown hotel is the perfect setting for the PDCA conference.  The hotel features 910 rooms, 83,000 sq.ft. of meeting space, a 24-hour Hyatt Stay Fit Gym, Starbucks, and 3 restaurants, including Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Red Kitchen and Bar, and the Brewhouse Historical Sports Bar.  The PDCA has secured a special room rate of $179 per night for a single/double, and a Regency Club rate of $229.  You can make hotel reservations through the Hyatt provided dedicated PDCA booking website by clicking HERE.

The annual conference includes 7 hours of General Session presentations by industry experts, PDCA’s traditional Opening Ceremony with a unique guest speaker, General Business meeting with a Keynote Speaker, exhibit hall featuring 40 8’x10′ booths, Exhibitor’s Luncheon, Annual Business and Awards Luncheon, receptions on Wednesday and Thursday, PDCA Committee meetings, Annual Dinner on Friday with entertainment, Companion’s Program and the 2ndAnnual PDCA Scholarship Fundraiser.

The Business and Awards Luncheon, scheduled for April 3, includes the Project of the Year Award presentations; as well as the traditional passing of the gavel from the outgoing President to the incoming President and introductions of the 2014-2015 Board of Directors.  This is also the venue where the PDCA presents the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service, Committee Chair of the Year and Professional Engineers Service Award.

Kevin McLain, MS, PE, RG, Geotechnical Director, Missouri Department of Transportation will be the Keynote Speaker at the General Business Meeting on Friday morning, April 4, 2014.  Kevin will talk about current MoDOT pile driving specifications and guidance in their Engineering Policy Guide and Specs for Highway Construction, current and future MoDOT sponsored research on pile capacity and design procedures, and MoDOT pile driving projects.

The Market Development Committee will host a Sporting Clays Shoot at the St. Louis Skeet and Trap Club in Pacific, MO, on Wednesday, April 2.  This event will serve as the 2nd Annual PDCA Scholarship Fundraiser.  The shoot will include lunch, the shoot, ammunition and transportation to and from the Club.  Shotguns are available for rent, but on a very limited basis.

The Committee will also conduct a tour of America’s Central Port on Wednesday, April 2.  ACP is a 1200-acre multi-use facility owned and operated by the Tri-City Regional Port District and is the hub of the nation’s transportation infrastructure.  Bill Stahlman, Port Engineer, will join PDCA members and guests as the Port’s guide.  Tour highlights will include a history of the Port and how ACP has developed and funded current projects.  The group will also visit the North Harbor, a working barge dock facility and South Harbor, currently under construction and driving sheet pile.   Transportation will be provided.  Tour participants are required to have their own hard hats, safety glasses and appropriate shoes.

The Companions’ Program returns with an exciting, daily-filled program.  The Companions will tour the St. Louis Art MuseumMissouri History MuseumMissouri Botanical GardensThe Gateway Arch, and the St. Louis Zoo.  The program includes luncheons at Panorama (Art Museum restaurant) and Mike Shannon’s Steak and Seafood restaurant and a Friday morning private breakfast.  Companions’ Program registration fees includes not only the individual Companions’ Program events, but also all annual conference programs and functions.   The Companions’ Program has always been a fun event, with ample time to spend with old friends and meet new ones.

Cooperating Sponsors for the annual conference include the US DOT/Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Geo-Institute of ASCE and the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologist (AEG).

PDCA Project of the Year Awards Entry Deadline is January 17, 2014

The PDCA 2014 Project of the Year Awards program is underway and entries are being accepted now.  Through the Project of the Year Award program, PDCA has the distinguished opportunity to recognize PDCA Contractor members who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in construction through a diverse and cohesive process of design considerations, problem solving, value engineering and cost savings, innovative applications of driven pile and benefit to the community or owner.

The PDCA Project of the Year Award program allows you to showcase your company’s best projects.  This award program is open to all PDCA Contractor members and consists of two Project Categories: Land and Marine.  There are four contract dollar volume categories within each Project Category: Less than $500,00, $500,000 – $2 Million, $2 Million – $5 Million and Greater than $5 Million.  The Entry Form, which is simple and easy to complete, can be viewed and downloaded by clicking HERE.  The deadline for submitting your projects isJanuary 17, 2014.  All winning entries will be announced and presented their awards at the PDCA annual conference in St. Louis, MO.  Winning entries will be featured in the PDCA magazine, PileDriver, and also on the association’s website.

You can find the PDCA Project of the Year Award Entry Form on the PDCA website home page, www.piledrivers.org and click on the “”Project of the Year Award 2014 Submission Form” tab.

Entries should be submitted to the PDCA at the following address:  PDCA Project of the Year Award, 1857 Wells Road, Suite 6, Orange Park, Florida 32073.

Demonstrate company pride by submitting your entry today!

PDCA and NCCCO to Sign Memorandum of Understanding

The Pile Driving Contractors Association is working with the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) to develop a national certification program to qualify operators using dedicated piledriving rigs.

The PDCA met with NCCCO on Monday, December 18, to discuss the implementation of a certification program for dedicated piledriving rig operators  The meeting concluded with both organizations agreeing to work together through a Course Development Committee to provide a certification program to this segment of the industry.

The PDCA expects to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from NCCCO sometime in mid-to-late December 2013.  The MOU will be a formally executed agreement establishing the relationship and objectives of both organizations, allowing us to move forward in a collaborative effort with the certification development process.  The PDCA expects to have the MOU signed by the PDCA Board of Directors during the PDCA Tactical meeting in New Orleans, LA, January 22-24, 2014.

Once the MOU is signed, the PDCA will seek volunteers to work on developing the program.  The Development Program Committee typically meets 6-8 times a year for 2-3 days at a time.  The entire process of developing the program is expected to take approximately 12 months.  The PDCA will seek approximately 20-30 volunteers composed of contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, safety personnel and others who operate, sell, or maintain dedicated piledriving rigs.  An official “Call for Volunteers” will be made at the Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO, April 2-4, 2014, but interested individuals are encouraged to contact the PDCA office at 888-311-7322 at any time.

International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo 2015

The International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo 2015 (IFCEE 2015) conference will be held at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio, TX from March 17-21, 2015.  The IFCEE 2015 is the largest deep foundation conference and equipment expo in the U.S.

The IFCEE 2015 partners are composed of the PDCA, ADSC, Geo-Institute of ASCE and DFI.  The partners met in Reston, VA, at the headquarters of the G-I of ASCE on Tuesday, November 19, to discuss the conference’s general schedule, administrative planning/responsibilities, equipment/exhibitor logistics and other relevant topics under the auspices of the partners.

The following day, the conference partners joined the IFCEE 2015 Technical Program Committee to discuss short courses, program slots, podium sessions, invited speakers, and much more.  During this meeting the discussion included short course topics and “Abstract Counts”.  There are six short course finalists.  Of the six, 2 short courses deal specifically with driven pile and one presentation is on LRFD, which will include a significant portion on driven pile.  “Abstract Counts” shows the titles of the Technical Papers that have been submitted and are being reviewed for consideration for the session topics under each track.  Currently there are 12 Tracks, including “Deep Foundations”.   Under the “Driven Pile” sessions of the Deep Foundations track, there are 28 papers that have been submitted for review.  No other session under the “Deep Foundations” track comes close to that number.

The Technical Committee will present a unique opportunity for those who may want to present, but don’t necessarily want to go through the more formal review process.  This program is the “Invited Speakers for IFCEE 2015”.  Topics will most likely be case histories, invited speakers should be well-known within the profession (company or individuals), excellent speakers, and topics should have broad industry appeal such as high profile projects, which include material supply, equipment usage, constructability, design and finance/contractual aspects of the project.  Speakers will NOT be required to submit a paper, but may do so if they wish.  Eventually, an electronic copy (PPP) of the presentation will be required.  Time slots range from 30 to 60 minutes.  The format of these time slots may be flexible, as debates or special panel discussions may also be considered.

The deadline for suggested submittals is March 1, 2014

Suggestions (i.e., a name(s) and short description on the proposed topic) should be sent by email to the Conference Chair, Billy Camp bcamp@smeinc.com.

PDCA Education Committee Develops Two New Courses

“Pile Driving Professional Development Program”
“Project Management for Mid to Upper Level Management Personnel”

The Pile Driving Contractors Association’s Professionals Developmental Program is designed to strengthen the professionalism, knowledge and overall comprehension by exploring critical areas of the pile driving industry through a one-day interactive training workshop.

The workshop will be structured to include discussions and interactive sessions, which will provide detailed information necessary to achieve a solid foundation of industry skill sets required by entry level professionals in the pile driving industry to successfully develop in their profession.  The first phase of the course – Entry Level – will include the following topics: Introduction to the Pile Driving Profession, Communications, Introduction to Pile Driving Aspects, Safety, Units of Measurement/Conversion Factors, Project Management, Hammer Components/Mechanics, and Geotechnical Aspects.  The Education Committee plans to expand the program to include Intermediate and Advanced level programs.

The PDCA Project Management course will be a “process driven” approach to PM.  The PDCA Executive Committee has met on multiple occasions with course developer, Dr. Jimmie West, Ph.D., PMP to discuss the development and content of the course.  The course is being developed with the idea that each component of Project Management has an element of risk.

Course content will include an introduction to project management, initiating projects, planning for projects, developing the project budget, developing the project schedule, building the Risk Plan, creating a change management plan, monitoring and controlling the project, and closing the project.

The PDCA expects the course to be a 2-day program with the fist presentation coming sometime in mid-to-late 2014.

PDCA to Support Coop and Intern Programs

Members of the Pile Driving Contractors Association have had great success employing coop students and/or summer interns that are enrolled in schools of Building Construction, Construction Management and Engineering at college undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Pile Driving Contractors Association is establishing a 2014 Coop Student and Summer Intern Program to help facilitate the placement of students with PDCA member companies.  This program is a PDCA member service/benefit, which will be available only to PDCA members.

The benefit to the PDCA member comes in the form of a willing and hardworking student who wants to learn and work in the driven pile industry; quality and reliable summer employment for the PDCA member that can be very economical for the level of work performed; experienced candidates available for full-time employment upon graduation; and more college students familiar with and inclined to promote driven piles once active in their chosen profession.

The benefit to the student comes in the form of practical knowledge of the foundation industry, specifically driven piles, which he/she can utilize when performing or designing foundations this is a benefit to both interns and pile drivers.  For coop students the program also provides a convenient way for finding companies willing to provide a real world working place and professional support for gaining not only practical knowledge but also college credit hours.

The PDCA benefits by having practicing individuals in the pile driving and earth retention industry familiar with the Pile Driving Contractors Association, creating a demographic for future members.

The PDCA has a Member Participant Form available that companies can fill out identifying available positions during the summer and/or fall of 2014.  The form includes all necessary information about the company and position to allow interested students to apply directly to the supporting company.  The PDCA will also provide submitting member companies with similar profiles, allowing the company to contact the student.

The information provided by both PDCA member and student will help the PDCA establish the connection between student and company.  Company and student can then negotiate a short-term employer/employee agreement that is satisfactory to both.  The PDCA will only act as a facilitator, collecting PDCA member and student information, and then passing that information along to the appropriate person(s) and or company(s).  The PDCA will not participate in any aspect of the hiring process, which will be strictly between employer and employee.

For more information on this program, contact the PDCA office at 888-311-7322.  Coop and Intern Program forms will be available on the website by January 2014.

Deep Foundation Dynamic Testing and Analysis

The PDCA and Pile Dynamics, Inc. will present a seminar and workshop on Deep Foundation Dynamic Testing and Analysis in Orlando, FL from March 12-14, 2014.  This is a 2-part program that also includes the Dynamic Measurement and Analysis Proficiency Test.

Day 1, Wednesday, March 12, 2014
“Seminar on Deep Foundation Integrity Testing and Wave Equation Analysis”
Who should attend?  Geotechnical, structural and construction engineers, owners, contractors and other professionals involved in the design, construction, and specification of deep foundations.

Learning objectives:
Select an appropriate method of integrity assessment of deep foundations for a particular application.
Review reports of integrity and dynamic load testing of deep foundations conducted by others.
Run a basic wave equation analysis of pile driving.

Day 2 and 3, Thursday and Friday, March 13-14, 2014
 “Workshops on High Strain Dynamic Foundation Testing (PDA and CAPWAP®)
Who should attend?  Pile Driving Analyzer® (PDA) and CAPWAP® users interested in sharpening their skills; engineers, foundation testing professionals, student and professors already familiar with the basic concepts of deep foundation dynamic testing and analysis; professionals who desire to have a basic understanding of the dynamic testing results being presented to them.

Learning objectives:
Operate the PDA in a manner conducive to acquiring good quality data
Assess pile bearing capacity, pile driving stresses, hammer performance and pile integrity by various methods
Avoid pitfalls when analyzing PDA data with the CAPWAP® software
Interpret PDA testing and CAPWAP® software results
Describe the soil-model used in CAPWAP®
Prepare the input for CAPWAP®
Review options for CAPWAP®  analysis and output
Calculate bearing capacity and its distribution for driven piles from impact records

The Dynamic Measurement and Analysis Proficiency Test will also be given on Friday, March 14, 2014, at the conclusion of the workshop.  A certificate of proficiency will be sent once the tests have been scored.

Interested individuals can register for either the seminar, workshops or proficiency test as independent programs or you can select to attend all programs.  The full workshop/seminar brochure and registration form can be accessed by clicking HERE.

Hotel accommodations will be made available as soon as the facility is confirmed.

PDCA Supports Atlas Tube “Student Day 2014”

Free Event Offers Students Chance at Potential Internship Opportunities

Atlas Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group, announced today that it will host its annual Student Day on Wednesday, February 27, 2014, at the Atlas Pipe Piles Chicago manufacturing mill. Atlas Tube and the Pile Driving Contractors Association welcome engineering students to the mill for a guided tour, lunch and various networking opportunities.

Student Day is a free event for engineering undergraduate students to learn about the structural steel products they will work with in their future careers. Atlas Tube arranged for buses to pick up and transport local university students to the manufacturing mill for arrival at10 a.m. The event begins with students listening to speakers from the deep foundations industry and networking with other industry professionals. Students will also have the opportunity to give their résumés to professionals from JMC Steel Group and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for possible internship and employment opportunities.

“Student Day” not only provides our future engineering professionals with a chance to see first-hand how steel pipe piling is manufactured and hear valuable insight from industry experts, but it also gives them a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with recruiters about internships and full-time positions at our company,” said Chris Ragan, product manager of pipe and piling products for Atlas Tube. “We’re proud to host an event that helps engineering undergrads learn more about their craft and also supports our industry’s future.”

Following a complimentary lunch, a guided tour will show students exactly how steel pipe piling is manufactured in the facility, including seeing structural rounds, squares and rectangular products in production. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., when buses will transport students back to their university’s campus.

Registration is free, but space is limited. Interested students should contact Atlas Tube at800-733-5683.

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