March 16, 2017 - 8:00am to 5:00pm


SEAOI is pleased to present a full-day seminar on Foundation Design, led by Bill Walton of GEI Consultants, Inc., and a team of world-renowned experts. This seminar will provide 7.5 hours of continuing education credit. Certificates for CE credit will be emailed to attendees after the event. 

See who's coming!



Handouts will be sent electronically to all participants before the class. 

8:00 - 9:00 am

Fundamentals of Foundation Engineering
Bill Walton, GEI Consultants

9:00 - 10:00 am

Foundations for Bridges
Houssam El-Moursi, S.A.M. Consultants, US
Hanumanth S. Kulkarni, S.A.M. Consultants, US

10:00 - 10:15 am


10:15 - 10:45 am

Pressuremeter Testing for Deep Foundations
Bob Lukas, Ground Engineering Consultants

10:45 - 11:15 am

Lateral Support Models for Tall Buildings
Fernando Sarabia, GEI Consultants

11:15 am - 12:00 pm

120 Years of Caisson Foundations in Chicago
Bob Schock

12:00 - 12:45 pm


12:45 - 1:30 pm     

Driven Pile Foundations and Load Testing
Michael Wysockey, Thatcher Foundations

1:30 - 2:00 pm

Updated Pile Foundation Requirements in Chicago Building Code
Darren Diehm, GEI Consultants

2:00 - 2:30 pm

Foundation Challenges for the Tallest Building in Serbia
Tony Kiefer, Terracon

2:30 - 2:45 pm


2:45 - 3:15 pm

Permanent and Temporary Earth Retention
Safdar Gill

3:15 - 3:45 pm

Non-Destructive Foundation Testing
Sean Brady, GEI Consultants

3:45 - 4:15 pm

Risk and Rewards: A Career Retrospective
Clyde Baker

4:15 - 5:00 pm

Open Discussion with our Legends:
Clyde Baker, Bob Lukas, and Safdar Gill



155 N. Wacker Drive
Conference Room A
Chicago, IL



The registration fee is just $375 for members, $475 for non-members.

A continental breakfast and lunch are included in the cost of registration. 


About the Presenters: 

Bill Walton, P.E., S.E., is a member of SEAOI and the CCHRB. He is licensed structural and professional engineer in IL and 22 other states. He is Senior Vice President with GEI Consultants, Inc., with his office in Vernon Hills and Chicago, IL.

Houssam El-Moursi, Ph.D., P.E., F. ASCE is the chief engineer and senior principal of S.A.M. Consultants Inc. He earned his Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in 1975. He has more than 40 years of work experience and has been involved in numerous projects encompassing diverse aspects of geotechnical and materials engineering. He provides technical advice and direction, writes and also reviews reports prepared by other engineers. His experience includes geotechnical analyses, construction inspection and on-site recommendations including shallow foundations, deep foundation installation for bridges and high rise buildings, grain storage structures, roadway embankments, railroad spurs, airport runways, industrial and commercial construction as well as water impoundment structures such as lagoons, earth dams, etc.  His teaching experience includes an assistant Professor at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and instructor at Cairo University in Giza, Egypt.  His research included a probabilistic approach to compressibility and shear strength properties of soils, rational design models for settlement analysis and stability of slopes and engineering behaviors of Sabkha and Marl. Dr. El-Moursi is active in professional activities and was elected “Fellow” of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1988. 

Hanumanth S. Kulkarni, Ph.D., M.ASCE, is a Geotechnical Engineer and Laboratory Supervisor with S.A.M. Consultants, Inc. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), in 2012, in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering specialization. He has good potential of preparing geotechnical engineering reports. After completing his bachelor’s degree from India, he worked as a graduate intern in a structural detailing company for six months where he achieved significant knowledge of the steel detailing as per AISC standards. Soon after completing his Master’s degree with geotechnical engineering specialization, he worked as a senior surveyor for quality control and assurance for the projects awarded by the state and central government in India. He has very good knowledge about the quality control in irrigation projects, foundation construction of wind turbines and water distribution pipelines. He was a teaching assistant for the soil mechanics and laboratory, foundation analysis and design, environmental geotechnology, site remediation engineering, and mechanics of materials at UIC during his doctoral degree studies. His research at UIC involved mathematical modeling of leachate recirculation in bioreactor landfills implementing unsaturated tow-phase flow analysis technique. He has developed a methodology to design different leachate recirculation systems in bioreactor landfills to achieve uniform moisture distribution in landfills. 

This presentation is outlined to emphasize the importance of Geotechnical Engineering in the Design of Bridges. The topics relate to the overview of Geotechnical Engineering Development and the distribution of soil profiles in the region of Illinois and Midwest in general. Geotechnical Engineering is usually involved in either Phase 1 or Phase 2 of any design project. A detailed procedural review of subsurface investigation including the Site Reconnaissance Survey is included in this presentation. Further, the procedures detailing the field investigation and testing, followed by laboratory testing required for a specific Project are discussed. Field and Laboratory Test Data Interpretation and its application for the design are presented. Since the majority of the design section involves designing of sub-structure Elements, it is very important to understand the behavior of existing soil to a given or desired depth of the soil borings investigation. Therefore, based on the existing soil condition, a foundation type (shallow or deep foundation) is chosen. This presentation also discusses case studies to compare different types of foundation systems being designed and constructed successively in Chicago region.  


Robert G. Lukas is a Principal at Ground Engineering Consultants, Inc. He earned both a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering at Northwestern University, and holds PE licenses in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, Indiana, and Kentucky. He is a member of ASCE's Committee on Foundation & Excavation Standards, American Society of Testing and Materials, Committee D-18, ISPE, and NSPE. Mr. Lukas was awarded the Martin S. Kapp Foundation Engineering Award by ASCE in 1991. He has published dozens of articles in his career. His expertise in geotechnical projects includes dynamic compaction, pressuremeter testing and interpretation, pile and drilled pier foundations and slope stability analysis. He has participated in re-analysis of six earth dams for the Corps of Engineers in Ohio, where slope stability and seepage studies were undertaken, in ground improvement recommendations and monitoring of over 300 projects where dynamic compaction was used as a site improvement technique, and in making geotechnical recommendations for nine flood storage projects for the Soil Conservation Service. Mr. Lukas has also been involved with analyzing capacity and monitoring pile installations for over 300 projects and interpretation of pressuremeter tests to predict settlement of over 1,000 projects. His research involvement includes a 2-year project to prepare a users manual on dynamic compaction for the Federal Highway Administration, and a 2 ½ year study for the Federal Aviation Administration on thickness design procedures for airfields containing stabilized pavement components.

Pressuremeter testing was introduced into the Chicagoland area in approximately 1970 by Soil Testing Services. It has proven invaluable as a geotechnical tool for evaluating the properties of the hardpan. The test is performed in situ so there is no sample disturbance normally assocatiated with obtaining and extracting soil samples. The pressuremeter test obtains four important parameters: earth pressure at rest, creep pressure, limit pressure, and Modulus and Reload Modulous.  Armed with this information, geotechnical engineers have been able to more accurately calculate the bearing capacity and predict settlement under heavy loads. 

Fernando Sarabia, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in civil engineering from Northwestern University. He holds a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Dr. Sarabia has more than 15 years of experience in the analysis and design of foundations of multiple high-rise structures, retaining structures for deep excavations, water facing structures, dams, levees, embankments and landfills. Dr. Sarabia's extensive experience in the design and prediction of performance of foundations for high-rise structures includes several of the tallest buildings in the United States and overseas. Dr. Sarabia’s extensive experience in the design and analysis of complex soil-structure interaction problems also extend to earth retention structures in highly constrained environments. Dr. Sarabia uses advanced numerical tools to estimate the performance of the proposed structures during and after construction. In addition, Dr. Sarabia currently leads, as a co-principal investigator, a research initiative funded by the National Science Foundation on the performance of cofferdams in urban environments and their impact on existing structures.

Multiple methodologies available to assess the performance of tall buildings foundations against lateral loads, such as wind and earthquake loading will be presented. This talk will include a discussion on the recommended methodology to be followed to evaluate the suitability of the foundations systems to resist the lateral demand loads within the ASD and LRFD frameworks.

Robert E. Schock received a B.A. in English from California State University in 1971. In 1972 he joined STS Consultants (now Aecom) in the Chicago area as a lab and field Technician, and 5 years later became a Sr. Field Representative, specializing in caisson inspection. In 1979 Bob joined Caisson Corporation as an Estimator and then Project Manager. After Caisson Corporation was acquired by Case Foundation Company, he became Vice President of the Western Division in 1993, and in 2008 was appointed President. Bob retired at the end of 2016 and is a member of ASCE, DFI, and ADSC.

Chicago can be called the birthplace of the Skyscraper, and also the Drilled Shaft Foundation, both of which came into being late in the 19th century.  The story of the Chicago Caisson begins with the presence of a thick deposit of soft clay beneath the City, and continues with the succession of building booms that have characterized the growth of the City over the last 140 years, beginning just after the Great Fire of 1871.  During that first boom, new tall structures were built so rapidly, and amid such profound geotechnical uncertainty, that the process of designing a successful foundation became one of trial and error, with very little time between projects to observe behavior and make corrections.  Eventually attempts to “float” tall buildings on shallow foundations above the soft clay were abandoned in favor of the first deep foundations, which bypassed the problem layer and found solid support on “hardpan” till or rock below.  This paper will briefly describe the origin of the modern Drilled Shaft Foundation, which has its evolutionary roots in the Chicago Hand-Dug Caisson. It will then trace the development of the Chicago Caisson into a mechanized process, with each advance assisted again by observed behavior, emerging load test methods, and constant improvement and innovation in equipment and methods to meet the needs of the next generation of taller buildings.

Michael Wysockey, Ph.D., P.E. Michael Wysockey is the president of Thatcher Foundations, having served in various roles in the company for 30 years. Thatcher Foundations is a specialty subcontractor working in design-build earth retention, pile driving, drilled foundations, and marine construction. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at the Citadel, his Master’s at MIT, and Doctorate in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Illinois – where he was awarded both the Wilson and Peck Fellowships. His publications range in topic from Great Lakes shore erosion, to the effect of local soil conditions on earthquake ground motion, to the capacity of deep foundations.

Recent advancements in driven pile foundations will be described, including driven pile installation and equipment. Comparison with other deep foundation techniques will be offered. The effect of vibrations on adjacent structures will be discussed. Various load testing techniques and interpretation methods will be covered.


Darren S. Diehm, P.E., is a Senior Professional in the Chicago office of GEI Consultants. He is a specialist in design and analysis of foundations and deep excavations for urban environments. He has extensive experience in hi-rise and stadium construction; underpinning and retaining walls; and marine construction including coastal revetments, piers, wharves and cellular cofferdams. He has performed geotechnical studies and investigations for transport and infrastructure projects including rail, highways, bridges, dams and levees. In addition to widespread US experience, he has worked overseas in Australia, New Zealand, Qatar, and Dubai. 

The Chicago Health Department was the first organization to regulate the built environment to reduce threats from fire and disease. In 1875 the regulations concerning the construction, alteration, and maintenance of residential, industrial, and commercial structures was first codified, and the Department of Buildings was created to administer the Chicago Building Code. Although it has seen revisions over the decades, many consider the current code to be as woefully out of date and restrictive as the 1950s issue which forbid the use of plywood and drywall. This presentation will discuss the implications of recent CDOB memorandum for foundations, excavations, and ground improvement. 


Tony A. Kiefer, P.E. is a Senior Consultant with Terracon. He has over 32 years’ experience in foundation engineering. Tony has been the geotechnical engineer for more than 75 high-rises constructed on deep foundations in Chicago. Milestone projects included the highest capacity driven pile project in Chicago (360 tons on HP14x102), pioneering the use of top-of-rock slurry caissons at 90 tsf, the highest capacity belled caissons at 60 ksf, and the largest diameter belled caissons at 27 feet in diameter. Tony has also been an international consultant for some of the tallest buildings in the world including the Kula Belgrade project, the Incheon 151 Tower, the Busan Lotte Town Tower, the Doha Convention Center and Tower, and the proposed world’s tallest building, the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia. Tony is a member of the Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings, ASCE, DFI, and CTBUH. Tony is the author of a research report on Free-Fall Concrete in Drilled Shafts and the author of the IDOT, Drilled Shaft Inspector’s Manual.


The Kula Belgrade project is a 42-story building on the bank of the Sava River. Unprecedented building height, a high river level, soft sediments and highly variable weak rock resulted in challenging exploration to determine ground properties. Initial pile load tests failed due to poor construction procedures. Revised procedures and oversight were used to obtain successful results. Learn about Osterberg load testing, quality control, pile cleaning and details in tremie pouring concrete that all led to a successful turnaround in a challenging international environment where every stakeholder had different opinions on how foundations should be designed, installed and tested.


Safdar Gill, Ph.D., obtained his Master's and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University in 1962 and 1970. He worked 19 years at STS Consultants and was Chief Engineer and Senior Principal Engineer for several years. Since 1992 he is President of Ground Engineering Consultants. He is licensed in 12 states and is C.Eng. Fellow of Institution of Civil Engineers, London. He has been teaching geotechnical engineering courses at Illinois Institute of Technology since 1973.


Clyde N. Baker, Jr. received his BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS degree in Physics from William and Mary College in Williamsburg, VA. During his long career, he has served as the geotechnical engineer on the major portion of high rise construction built in Chicago. He has also served as geotechnical engineer or consultant on eight of the twenty tallest buildings in the world. As a result of his experience, Mr. Baker has developed an international reputation in the design and construction of deep foundations. He has been a leader in using in-situ testing techniques correlated with past building performance to develop more efficient foundation designs.








Luis Arenzana ( HWR, Inc. )
Andy West ( Skyline Steel )
Ken Kosinski ( Skyline Steel )
Scott Bierbaum ( ECS Limited )
Akhil Sharma ( Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP )
Lukasz Bukowski ( Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP )
James Pawlikowski ( Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP )
Dane Rankin ( Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP )
Hanumanth Kulkarni ( S.A.M. Consultants )
Walter Flood ( Flood Testing Labs, Inc. )
Alfredo Bermudez ( Testing Service Corporation )
Daniel Klein ( Klein Engineering )
Sheffee Lulkin ( Sheffee Lulkin & Associates, Inc. )
Larry Behling ( Behling Engineering and Consulting, LLC )
Arantzazu Alarcon-Fleming ( Northwestern University )
T. John Wysockey ( Thatcher Foundations, Inc. )
Fanny Martinez ( Thatcher Foundations, Inc. )
Paul Klimenko ( Exelon Corporation )
Matt Boladz ( Seeco Consultants )
Sandip Dahal ( Seeco Consultants )
Xi Kang ( Seeco Consultants )
Jeffrey Travis ( Exponent, Inc. )
Brian Gavin ( BP )
Roman Szczesniak ( RSJR Engineering Ltd. )
William Smith ( J Watson Engineering Co. Inc. )
Robert Gay ( Pioneer Engineering & Environmental Services LLC )
Jeremy Kirk ( Forefront Structural Engineers, Inc. )
Gihad Shammas ( None )
James Carter ( HNTB Corporation (Milwaukee) )
Brian Skogman ( Walter E. Deuchler Associates, Inc. )
Mark Stern ( Mark J. Stern & Associates )
Michael Cook ( Forefront Structural Engineers )
Lidia Scekic ( Garza Karhoff Engineering, LLC )
Michele Tydus ( Garza Karhoff Engineering, LCC )
Elizabeth Jelinek ( HNTB )
Josh Odenwald ( HNTB )
Thomas Sabaj
David Dunlop ( Global Design Inc. )
Luis Arenzana ( HWR, Inc. )
Nathan Van Winkle ( Hayward Baker )
Fred Plinke ( Hayward Baker, Inc )
R. Stephen Parkison ( Thatcher Foundations, Inc. )
Steven Zebich ( Exponent, Inc. )
Rick Lyons ( HNTB )
Michelle Ryland ( Klein and Hoffman, Inc. )
Clark Baurer ( Clark T. Baurer Structural Engineer )
Stephen Amrein ( MIDDOUGH INC. )
Rigoberto Sanchez ( McDonalds US, LLC )