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CIGMAT holds 10th annual conference.

A one-day conference and exhibition was organized by the Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT) and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston on "Construction, Geotechnical and Flooding Issues in Houston & Other Major Cities" at the University of Houston on March 4. More than 260 people participated with over 15 invited speakers. Attendees represented owners, consulting engineers, material supplies, contractors and academia who came from many parts of the U.S. and Canada.

With initial remarks by C. Vipulanandan, chairman, professor and director of CIGMAT, the general session focused on public works and transportation issues. Plans for maintaining and expanding the city of Houston's water and wastewater facilities and funding highway projects in the Houston area and expanding water supplies for the north Harris County for years 2005-06 also were discussed. Speakers included Michael Marcotte, director of Public Works, city of Houston; Gary Trietsch, district engineer-Houston TxDOT; and Jimmie Schindewolf, general manager, North Harris County Regional Water Authority.

Participants were given the opportunity to attend four technical sessions. Under the topic, "Needs and Challenges of Major Water and Wastewater Systems," David Marshall, director Engineering Services, Tarrant Regional Water District, Fort Worth, TX, discussed issues related to maintaining and monitoring large diameter water pipelines; Rafael Ortega, vice president, Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam, discussed a new project where fiber reinforced plastic pipes were used for water supplies; Dennis Dechant, chief corporate engineer, Northwest Pipe Company, Saginaw, TX, discussed the weld after backfill sequence with steel water pipelines; and Mike Sechetski, Insituform Technologies inc., discussed issues related to CIPP installation for large diameter pipes.

During the session on "Flooding and Stormwater Issues" speakers discussed not only the technical challenges but also the human factors in selecting remedial measures to mitigate the damages due to flooding. Mike Talbott, director, Harris County Flood Control District, presented the history of flooding in Harris county; William Wheeler, director of Preparedness Services, Texas Medical Center discussed the flood warning systems for the Texas Medical Center; Michael Bloom, project manager, PBS&J., discussed stormwater management using low impact development techniques.

Two other sessions were on geotechnical issues with a focus on deep foundations and field instrumentation. "Deep Foundations" presented by Mark McClelland, Geotechnical Branch Manager, TxDOT highlighted some of the new developments in foundations. Gray Mullins, Associate Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, discussed the issues related to grouted drilled shafts and quality control; Dennis Boehm, senior project manager, Hayward Baker Company, discussed the basics of micropiles and some recent applications. The session "Field Testing and Instrumentation" presented by Michael McDonough, Geokon, Lebanon, and New Hampshire, discussed the availability of new instrument and challenges installing them in the field; Paul Bullock, GRL, Gainesville, FL, discussed the advances and challenges in instrumenting piles. Peter Borsack, project engineer, Cobb Fendley and Associates discussed the importance of subsurface utility engineering for small and large projects.

Proceedings will be available on the CIGMAT web site at CIGMAT-2006 will be held on March 3, 2006 at the University Hilton, University of Houston.
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Title Annotation:NEWSLINE: The Latest Industry Developments
Publication:Underground Construction
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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