ASCE Richmond Branch Newsletter
Volume 10 Issue 7
July 2018
Important Upcoming Dates
Wednesday, July 18:Joint Social Happy Hour
Thursday, July 26: Technical Lunch Meeting
President's Message
Dear ASCE Richmond Branch members,
Summer is upon us and I hope you had a wonderful time during the 4th of July Holiday. We have been experiencing some heat waves lately so I encourage you to take precautions and to avoid direct exposure to the sun, especially if you are heading to the beach for vacationing. We appreciate your participations in our activities and we hope to see you in our upcoming events
Our next lunch meeting is scheduled for Thursday July 26th at the Westwood Club.  Lunch is served at 11:45 am and presentation starts at 12:00 noon.  Our guest speakers for this month are Karl A. Higgins, III, P.E., D.GE., Chief Engineer for ECS Mid Atlantic and James P. Racine, MSCE, P.E., Senior Project Engineer for ECS Mid-Atlantic.  Karl and Jim will be talking about the use of Cast-in-Place piles in coastal plain soils with special attention to the MGM Casino project at National Harbor in Maryland. Our last meeting featured Ashley Lickliter of Kimley-Horn and Brian Basnight of LANE where they informed us about the current construction of the GRTC Transit System that will serve a 7.6-mile route from Willow Lawn to Rocketts Landing.  All our presentations are available to download at ASCE Richmond Branch web site  We are not going to have a technical lunch meeting in August, but we will resume our activities in September of 2018.
Despite the rain the Richmond Flying Squirrels Outing was successfully held on Thursday, June 21st at The Diamond.  We had an excellent turnout and were able to watch the game during the rain from the upper bleachers.  Unfortunately, they did have to call the game after 4.5 innings.  Also, please try to come to the Joint Networking Social with WTS, ASCE, ASHE, and VASITE scheduled for Wednesday, July 18th from 5p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Southern Railway Taphouse.  You may contact Carolyn Desrochers Perry at for more details.
As usual our ASCE Board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month.  If you like to meet with our board members or to present your suggestions please feel free to contact me at for information about the time and location.  
I wish all of you a happy and pleasant summer in Richmond.
Loai F. El-Gazairly, Ph.D., P.E.
President - ASCE Richmond
Exciting Upcoming Events!
Case Study: MGM Casino National Harbor, Washington, DC Metro Area
Displacement Cast-in-Place Piles in Coastal Plain Soils
Presenters: Karl A. Higgins, III, PE, D.GE / Chief Engineer
When: July 26th, 2018.  Lunch will be served at 11:45 and the presentation will begin at 12:00.
Where: The Westwood Club, 6200 West Club Lane, Richmond, VA 23226
Cost: $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Note the price will increase to $30 for both members and non-members Monday, July 23rd.
PDH: 1 Credit
MGM National Harbor is a major entertainment and resort development in the National Harbor area of Prince George's County, Maryland.  The site covers approximately 22 acres of sloping terrain that is located just south of the Beltway (I-495), west of Oxon Hill Road, east of the Potomac River, and north of the National Harbor and Gaylord developments.  The resort was constructed into a hillside and contains levels for parking, casinos, restaurants, shops, theatres, ballrooms, and an 18 floor hotel tower.
The project and subsurface conditions presented ECS with a number of geotechnical challenges throughout the design and construction of the deep foundation system.  This presentation will present the findings of using Displacement Cast-in-Place (DCIP) piles in Coastal Plain soils.  DCIP piles are not a common deep foundation type in the DC Metro Area market. As a result, less regional data was available for these foundations compared to other more traditional deep foundation types. After 20 static load tests and the installation of over 6,000 DCIP and ACIP piles for the MGM Casino Project (2014-2015), it was observed that DCIP piles did not consistently achieve support values higher than ACIP piles when installed in very stiff to hard clays and dense sands ; improvement  was only observed in loose and medium dense sands.
Mr. Higgins is the Chief Engineer for ECS Mid-Atlantic, the company's largest subsidiary (about 650 employees). Prior to serving as Chief Engineer, Mr. Higgins was the Assistant Branch Manager for ECS' DC metro office, which consists of a team of approximately 300+ engineers, geologists and technicians working on a variety of building and infrastructure projects in northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. Mr. Higgins is responsible for standard of practice of geotechnical engineering for ECS Mid-Atlantic and works closely with 15 ECS regional offices in this endeavor. He consults nationwide with other ECS offices and internationally.  
Mr. Higgins received his BS Degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech University, and his Masters in Engineering from The University of Missouri at Rolla. Karl is also a Board Certified Geotechnical Engineer from the Academy of GeoProfessionals (AGP). Karl lives in Leesburg, Virginia with his wife of 25 years and his two teen-aged sons, Owen and Ryan.

Thanks to our technical meeting sponsor, ADS!

For more information on how your company could sponsor future ASCE Richmond events please contact nsauer@conteche
Annual WTS/ASCE/ASHE/VASITE Joint Social
Date:  Wednesday, July 18th
Time: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Location: Southern Railway Taphouse (100 S 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219)
Join us for our annual summer joint social at our NEW LOCATION! Joint Networking Social with WTS, ASCE, ASHE, and VASITE Network with members of WTS, ASCE, ASHE, and VASITE at a joint social at the Southern Railway Taphouse (NEW LOCATION!).
cperry@louisberger.comThe joint social is free to attend. Complimentary appetizers and a cash bar will be available. We encourage attendees to bring their interns to meet and greet with all organizations present. However, since this event will be held at a bar, it is at the individual's discretion. Any questions can be directed to Carolyn Desrochers Perry (
* Parking is available in 2 garages nearby. One is on Virginia St. between Canal and Cary and the other is on Cary across 14th St. Street parking is also available nearby and there is parking allowed along the flood wall.
Recent Events
June Technical Meeting:
GRTC Pulse Update
Brian Basnight and Ashley Lickliter came in to talk about the work that Lane Construction, STV, and Kimley-Horn had provided to get the Richmond Pulse System up and running. After a brief presentation the floor was opened for any questions that attendees had ranging from project specifics, public relations, media relations, and many more. We want to thanks Brian and Ashley for giving us insight into one of the most talked about projects in the city of Richmond!
Annual Flying Squirrels Outing!
On Thursday, June 21 members met at the Richmond Flying Squirrels Game at 6:35PM.  Despite the forecast for rain we packed the Party Deck and enjoyed snacking on peanuts, popcorn, and chips and salsa.  The event was free for members and 1 guest and great networking and conversation was held by all. With the arrival of the rain in the 2nd inning the festivities were moved to the dry upper deck. After 4.5 innings of play the game was called for a rain delay leaving the Flying Squirrels the victors up by one from a one-run homer by the shortstop Hinojosa. Highlights also included watching Flavor Flav throw the first pitch at the beginning of the game. We hope everyone had a great time and look forward to next year!
Please join ASHE for the 9th Annual ASHE Old Dominion Section Charity Golf Tournament, to be held on Thursday, October 18th at Birkdale Country Club.  The golf tournament supports the ASHE Old Dominion Section's scholarship foundation, which aids disadvantaged students who are enrolled in an engineering program at John Tyler and/or J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.  Gold Sponsorships are available which include four player entries and your company's sign at a hole, and all for just $500.  Individual signups are encouraged, as we often have multiple groups with less than four players.  A brief dinner banquet with awards is held immediately after the tournament.  For more information, visit the ASHE website or sign up here: .  We'll see you on the course - thank you!
Want to join the board of Richmond ASCE?
The ASCE Richmond Webmaster and Secretary positions are vacant!  Responsibilities for the Webmaster role include...
  • Maintaining ASCE Richmond Branch Website through WordPress
  • Creating Event Pages & Posts to advertise ASCE meetings and events
  • Coordinating with Board Members to receive website content
  • Attending monthly board meetings

Responsibilities for the Secretary role include...

  • Taking minutes at monthly board meetings and distributing them to the board.
  • Read and understand organization bylaws.
  • Attend monthly board meetings
If interested, please contact Nancy Lehr at  
Job Postings
      Interested in posting a job listing in this newsletter to reach the local engineering community? There's also the option to purchase a package deal and have your job posting listed in our newsletter as well as on our website, which is where all of our members register for Richmond ASCE events.
Email Catherine at for more information!
Thanks to This Month's Technical Meeting Sponsor!


If you have any comments regarding this newsletter, please don't hesitate to contact me at

Catherine Hyland
ASCE Richmond Branch Communications Chair
In This Issue
Important Upcoming Dates
President's Message
Technical Lunch Meeting
Joint Social
Recent Events
Job Postings
Sponsor of the Month
Click here to meet your 2017-2018 ASCE Richmond Officers:
President - Loai El-Gazairly, Ph.D., P.E.
President Elect - Nancy Lehr, P.E., A.P.M.P.
Vice President - Jeff La Hood, E.I.T.
Communications Chair - Catherine Hyland, E.I.T.
Education Outreach Chairs -  Matt Amonette, P.E. & Hillary Siegall, E.I.T.
Young Member Chair - Carolyn Desrochers Perry, P.E. and Brian Ditzler
Treasurer - Jeremy Kraft, P.E.
Secretary - Ian Hogan E.I.
Webmaster - Sam Castonguay, P.E.

Membership Chairs-
Anna M. Kotas, P.E. 
Nathan Sauer, P.E.
Government Relations Chair - Chandler Hawn
Past President - Jonathan Oliver, P.E.

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