NEW! Case History – A Wrangler Turns Bandit






Read the real-life saga of a landowner’s tenant who tries to swindle a member-firm for medical costs for his horse and for lost breeding opportunities.

 The Client

A real-estate development company

The Project

An 87-acre, single-family home subdivision

Assignment of the GBA-Member Firm

Perform a pre-acquisition, preliminary geotechnical-engineering study.


A real-estate development company – a long-time client – engaged the GBA-Member Firm to perform a preliminary geotechnical-engineering study of an 87-acre tract of land the developer was considering for a single-family residential development. The tract, still being used for cattle grazing, was enclosed with barbed-wire fencing and a single-access gate. It was part of a larger section of land that was gradually being developed for residential and supporting commercial use.

On the first day of drilling, a wrangler on horseback rode up to the property and asked what was going on. This was the first of many engagements with the stranger on horseback.

Lessons Learned include:

  • Use GBA’s Site-Access Authorization Forms
  • Respond Promptly to Potential Claims
  • Demonstrate Financial Fortitude
  • Inform Your Insurance Provider
  • Documentation Can Be Your Best Defense

GBA Resources for Site Access:

GBA’s Site-Access Authorization for Geotechnical Engineering Services

GBA’s Model Access Authorization for Phase I ESA’s

GBA has a tradition of collaborating on issues that impact the geoprofessions through GBA Case Histories. GBA Case Histories provide unprecedented real-world learning examples related to project and business management. Learn where others went wrong, how they handled their problems, and how you can learn from their experiences to avoid the same problems in the future. GBA Case Histories are FREE to all members.

Download GBA Case History #104 Here



First Look: Fall Conference Speakers Announced —Register Now!

The Fall Conference agenda has been finalized and this will be an incredible gathering. The theme for the conference is “Committing to Continuous Improvement” which supports our members’ daily effort to build stronger, smarter, more successful businesses. Conference speakers will help you to build a high-performance culture, communicate your brand clearly to employees and clients, stay current with new technology, and in GBA’s unique way, learn from the mistakes of others as we explore several case histories from our members.

Join us in Music City, Nashville, Tennessee — November 1-3, 2018

Keynotes include:

Principles for Building a High-Performance Culture
Brent Gleeson — Former Navy SEAL combat veteran, Brent Gleeson, turned his discipline and battlefield lessons to the world of business and has become an accomplished entrepreneur, bestselling author and acclaimed speaker on topics ranging from leadership and building high-performance teams to culture and organizational transformation.

Building Your Story Brand
Donald Miller — When it comes to discussing their businesses, many people are so close to their services that they do not know where to start. Donald Miller, the CEO of StoryBrand and a New York Times Bestselling author of three books — knows how hard it is to communicate clearly and has helped hundreds of large and small businesses clarify their messaging.

Uncomfortable Truths: Somebody Needs to Tell Folks What They Don’t Want to Hear, and It Might as Well Be Me…
Edward Wilson, P.E., F. GBA – Changes that member firms should adopt to cause their enterprises to be more profitable, more valuable, and more successful in the rapidly changing professional services market.

Bringing the Geoprofession to Life Barry Thacker, P.E. — Learn a fun and rewarding way to communicate with a multi-generational and diverse audience.

Pre-Conference Workshops: Start your visit to Nashville by attending one of three pre-conference workshops to be held prior to the conference from 8:00 AM to Noon on November 1st.

PROJECT FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: Managing Self & Others by Lee James, CPA., CMC., F.GBA


JUMP START YOUR GROWTH by Bill Siegel, P.E., and Kevin McMahon

Workshop Details                                                                         

Conference will also include:

  • Committee/Council Meetings
  • Book Signings by Best Selling Authors
  • GBA’s Unique Business Roundtables
  • GBA’s Signature Receptions
  • Tennessee Bourbon Distillery Tour and Tasting

This is a conference you won’t want to miss. Register now to attend on November 1-3, 2018 in Nashville.




Two Important Legal Resources Updated for GBA Members

The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) has published new editions of two important legal references, both prepared for design professionals without use of “legalese”; both available free of charge. Limitation-of-Liability Case Index and Economic-Loss-Doctrine Case Index were prepared for GBA’s Legal Affairs Committee by Seattle (WA) law firm Skellenger Bender, P.S.

GBA introduced the limitation-of-liability (LOL) concept to the design and environmental professions in 1969. By applying the concept, now upheld in most states, a client agrees to limit a design professional’s liability to a given amount, most commonly $50,000 or the fee, whichever is higher. The Index describes each case in terms of its background and the points or holdings involved, and – to support additional research – identifies the case by name, jurisdiction, and citation. The cases span the period 1956 to May 2018.

The economic loss doctrine (ELD), another important protection for design professionals, bars use of tort claims (e.g., professional-negligence and negligent-misrepresentation claims) to recover purely economic losses, such as those stemming from property damage or construction delays. In states that uphold the ELD in full, claimants against design professionals may recover purely economic damages only via breach-of-contract suits, limiting claimants to design professionals’ clients. In other states, third parties, like constructors, can sue design professionals directly. Economic-Loss-Doctrine Case Index provides a state-by-state status report on the economic-loss doctrine, describing the cases involved and providing the additional information required for more research.

Download Limitation-of-Liability Case Index

Download Economic-Loss-Doctrine Case Index



NEW GBA BUSINESS BRIEF – Fiscal Year 2017-18 Financial-Performance-Survey Report

For more than 15 years, GBA has been collecting key financial metrics frommember-firms so our members can measure their success and improve business performance and optimize efficiency. The newest GBA Business Brief — available only to members and free of charge – comprises the GBA Business Practices Committee’s 2017-18 Financial-Performance Survey report, covering key financial-performance issues surveyed firms reported.

GBA enhanced this year’s report with more data and trendlines so our members can track their progress on key financial indicators.

Thank you to all the firms that participated in the survey. We had more response to this survey than we have had in the past.  A special thanks to Lee James (Lee James & Associates), Dan Cassidy, CPG (SME) and Phil Pettway, (GBA) for collaborating on the survey and for their efforts compilation of the results.

In the spirit of our Association, GBA publications are a collaborative effort of GBA Member-Firms. They are provided to GBA Members to make them stronger, smarter and more successful and they are FREE to all members.


GBA Emerging Contaminants Spotlight – June 2018

GBA Emerging Contaminants Spotlight – June 2018


Emerging contaminants are being referenced in the news more frequently and impacting many public and private entities.  It is imperative that geoprofessional businesses providing environmental consulting services, stay on the emerging contaminants issues.  Currently, EPA defines emerging contaminants as representing “unique and challenging environmental aspects”.  With the addition of thousands of new chemical formulations coming to market every year, and emerging laboratory testing methods, geoprofessionals are faced with evaluating and remediating contaminants more rapidly and differently than the past 48 years since RCRA and TSCA began.

How do emerging contaminants affect the environment?

Emerging contaminants represent a wide range of different compounds and materials that are gaining regulatory attention for how they affect the environment. Per-fluorinated compounds (i.e. PFAs, PFOAs, PBBs) are extremely difficult to treat and the current advisory toxicity levels are measured in the parts per trillion (ppt).  This is analogous to detecting a single granule of sugar in an Olympic swimming pool.  The effect on human health and the environment is long term, difficult to assess and costly to remediate.  Other emerging contaminants (i.e. microbeads and personal care product residuals) may not be treated successfully with conventional waste water treatment processes which may require water and wastewater treatment plants to add new treatment processes and require facility expansions.

How does this affect my geoprofessional consulting business?

Geoprofessional consulting firms that are educated in the potential effects of emerging contaminants are better positioned to support clients including municipalities, water and wastewater treatment facilities and private industry who may be impacted by the release(s) of the new contaminants to the environment.

Each month, the Environmental Business Council of the GBA will spotlight a different group of emerging contaminants and discuss the evolving regulations and provide up-to-date knowledge of environmental contaminant distribution and the EPA’s position on them. GBA’s spotlight on emerging contaminants will help you and your clients stay ahead of this rapidly developing market so you will be smarter, stronger, and more successful.




GBA Releases Five More Case Histories: 36-40

GBA Releases Five More Case Histories: 36-40

GBA Case Histories are being used by our members for loss prevention discussions in support of professional development and mentoring. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeating mistakes of the past which is why GBA case histories are so valuable, and why GBA is updating them all, while adding new ones, too. Five more case histories have been issued.

CASE HISTORY NO. 36 (download)

A Member-Firm conducted a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) facility assessment – generally referred to as a RCRA facility assessment or RFA – to check for release of hazardous substances at a manufacturing facility. Read how the site owner threw up legal and physical roadblocks to impede progress of the project and how you can avoid similar problems.

CASE HISTORY NO. 37 (download)

A Member-Firm, working on a new highway alignment in mountainous terrain performed a geotechnical-engineering study, report with criteria and recommendations, and provide on-call consultation to support design and construction of a roadway subdrainage system and related structures.  Read how drought conditions and a belligerent landowner impacted this project.

CASE HISTORY NO. 38 (download)

A GBA Member-Firm perform a geotechnical-engineering study and provide a report that includes recommendations for building-foundation and parking-lot-pavement design on a one-story office building, without a signed agreement.

CASE HISTORY NO. 39 (download)

A Member-Firm perform a geotechnical-engineering study, submitted a report of findings and recommendations for foundation design, and observed foundation construction. A project delay, unanticipated soil conditions, changes in project ownership, and differential settlement all contributed to this challenging project.

CASE HISTORY NO. 40 (download)

A GBA Member encountered an old “building-refuse dump” during a geotechnical-engineering study for a senior-citizens-housing development. Project delays, project budget constraints, and an inexperienced project manager contributed to this difficult project.

GBA Case Histories are FREE to all Members. Access all GBA’s Case Histories HERE



NEW! Case History # 103 – Nuclear Gauge Management

NEW! Case History #103 – Nuclear Gauge Management

If you own or operate nuclear densometer gauges, you must read this GBA Case History. After three destroyed gauges and numerous other violations, a Member-Firm was facing civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation and revocation of their license to own and/or operate nuclear gauges. They paid a $150,000 settlement but more importantly developed a compliance program hailed as “a model for the industry”.
Learn from their mistakes and from their commitment to change their culture through immediate action to create, test, launch, and monitor sustainable, institutional controls to address the underling causes of the violations, as well as specific regulatory compliance issues.
GBA Case Histories are unique because our members share real-life stories of problems that impacted their businesses. They also include the outcomes of corrective action, and lessons learned.
Every Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) must read this!
Download Here: GBA Case History #103 Nuclear-Gauge Management

GBA Volunteers Recognized During Annual Recognition and Awards Banquet

During the 2018 Spring Conference in Chicago, numerous volunteers were recognized for to their many contributions to GBA during the past year. They were recognized for presentations during conferences, contributions to new and updated reference material, leadership on the Board of Directors, Business Councils, Committees, and Task Forces, and for other activities that supported GBA’s mission. Those who were attending, were awarded a certificate of appreciation and a letter of appreciation from Joel Carson, GBA’s Executive Director.

Mr. Carson emphasized to all during the conference that GBA is known through our industry as the association that “gets stuff done”. He emphasized that our volunteer leaders are the engine that keeps GBA moving forward and our success is directly attributed to the tireless efforts of those that go the extra mile to support GBA.

Those who received certificates of appreciation during GBA’s FY2017-18 are:

Victor Barchers, P.E. Michael J. Marasa, P.E.
EJ Barben, P.E. Frederic Masse
Chris Bellusci Matt Moler, P.E.
Grace Blackburn Kim Morrison, P.E. , R.G.
John A. Buchheit, P.E. Steve Noble, P.E., P.T.O.E.
Dan R. Cassidy, C.P.G. Stewart Osgood, P.E.
Chris Clarke, P.E. Helen Pappas, CHMM
Mark Crowley Stephen F. Patt, P.E.
Michael Covert, P.G. Teresa Peterson, P.E., C.M.E.,
Audrey J. Daly Joergen Pilz, P.E., P.G.
Louis D’Amours, P. Eng Fred J. Potthast , P.E., G.E.
Gary M. DeJidas, P.E. Matthew R. Poirier, P.E.
Michael D. Dodd, Esq. Paul Ridlen, PE
Vic Donald, P.E. Gerald J. Salontai, P.E., F.GBA
David W. Faulkner, P.E. W. Jerrold “Jerry” Samford, P.G., F.GBA
Kurt Fraese, G.E. Paul Schmeisl, P.E.
Lisa D. Gamblin, Esq. Daniel F. Schneider, P.E., CHMM
Daniel F. Gradishar, P.E. Ji Shin, Esq.
Christopher Hatton, P.E. William C. Siegel, P.E.
Stephanie Hayes Cook Kenneth A. Smith, P.E.
Charles Head, P.E., P.G. Robert (Bob) Snow, PE
Richard D. Heckel, P.E., D.GE Stu Thompson
Rod Hoffman, P.E. Steve Thompson
Kevin B. Hoppe, P.E., F.GBA Steve Wendland, P.E., R.G., D.GE
Richard “Rich” Johnson, P.G., C.E.G., C.H.G James Withiam, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.GBA
Lee James, C.P.A., C.M.C., F.GBA Travis Wambeke
Kenneth Johnston Michael J. Yost, Esq.
Phil King, P.E.

Thank you to all who volunteered their time and contributed to the success of GBA.

2018 Spring Conference Videos Now Available

2018 Spring Conference Videos Now Available
Those that attended GBA’s 2018 Spring Conference in Chicago agreed that the speakers were inspiring. Now you can watch, listen to, and learn from these speakers, too, on your own schedule, and without leaving your office. Just some of the presentations include:

Lead from the Heart                                                          
Mark C. Crowley (Mark C. Crowley & Associates)

Global speaker, consultant & best-selling author of Lead from the Heart: Transformational Leadership for the 21st Century, Mark C. Crowley’s mission is to fundamentally change how you lead and manage people in the workplace – and to intentionally make it far more supportive of human needs.

You Are the Message: Speak from the Heart              
John Vautier (Vautier Communications)

Author, consultant, and seasoned executive coach, John Vautier who has worked successfully with all levels of corporate, government, and academic institutions from CEOs to new hires will help you identify and build upon your existing strengths so that you can take your presentation skills to the next level and actively engage your audience.

Leveraging Technology as a Competitive Differentiator
Dr. Roger Chandler (Keynetix)

Investing in new equipment is the lifeblood for many businesses, especially when jumps in technology lead to large improvements in efficiencies and cost-effectiveness. This presentation highlights some of the advances in technology using real life case studies from across the world. Each stage of the geotechnical data journey will be investigated, from onsite data collection through reporting, visualization and archive.

Compassionate Leadership – Leading with the Heart and the Head
Stewart G. Osgood, P.E. (DOWL)

Stewart G. Osgood, P.E. discusses his 16-year term as President of DOWL, some of the challenges that have faced his company, how his leadership team has chosen to respond, and some successes and failures along the way. This is not a clean, “we got it all figured out” story. It is a real-life example of the leadership journey of the DOWL company and how Stewart and his team has attempted to use basic core principles to achieve “heartfelt business leadership”.

Empathy is the NEW Black – A New Way of Looking at Leadership!
Bob Kelleher (The Employee Engagement Group)

Join industry expert and noted author, Bob Kelleher as he shares groundbreaking insights from his latest book, I-Engage. Bob will share two key trends leaders must embrace in-order to recruit, retain, and engage the best. Leaders must understand their OWN engagement before they can effectively lead or engage others.

Watch this captivating and self-reflective two-segment session of self-discovery as Bob helps you uncover the secrets to building a more engaged, motivated, and productive business.

Also Included:

Business Practices Committee Business Snapshot Survey
Steve Noble, P.E. (DOWL)

Update Standard of Care for Phase I Environmental Site Assessment 2007-2010
W. Jerrold “Jerry” Samford, P.G., F.GBA (Troutman Sanders)

City of Chicago – Riverwalk Project
Carol Ross Barney, FAIA (Ross Barney Architects)

“Mr. Green’s Fine Tuned, Peer Reviewed Machine”
Steven R. “Steve” Thompson, P.E. (8260 Consulting Group LLC)

Reflecting on the History of GBA
Joel G. Carson (Geoprofessional Business Association)

All videos from GBA’s Fall 2018 Conference are available on-demand to members


GBA Appoints Four New Fellows

Gordon M. Matheson, Ph.D., P.E., P.G.,D.GE (UTG, LLC), Laura Reinbold, P.E.(Terracon), Michael V. Smith, P.G., C.E.G.(Earth Systems, Inc.) and Steven D.Thorne, P.E., D.GE (Terracon), and have been appointed to the prestigious Council of Fellows of the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA).  The organization established the Council in 1975 to provide guidance for GBA’s direction and to pursue other activities its members deemed appropriate. The appointment was announced during GBA’s 2018 Spring Conference by W. Jerrold Samford, P.G. (Troutman Sanders LLP), chair of GBA’s Council of Fellows.


Gordon Matheson has been practicing as a consultant and business leader in the geoprofession since 1974. He has worked for consulting firms and industry owners throughout his career. He was President/CEO of Schnabel Engineering from 2001 to 2016 when he retired after 29 years with the firm. He continues to work part time with UTG, LLC, a small firm based in Northern Virginia, that provides subject matter experts and project managers to U.S. Government clients. Dr. Matheson received his B.S. from Virginia Tech, his M.S. from University of Missouri at Rolla, and his Ph.D. from Colorado School of Mines. He was Chair of the GBA Business Practices for 2 years and a member of the GBA Board of Directors for 6 years in which he was President of GBA in 2015/2016. He is currently on the Board of Academy of Geo-Professionals of ASCE.


 Ms. Reinbold is National Director for Healthcare at Terracon Consultants Inc.  A  graduate of Vanderbilt University in Civil Engineering, Ms. Reinbold has been in the geoprofessional industry for over 30 years. She was appointed by Tennessee’s Governor for a four-year term on the state’s  Architectural and Engineering Licensing Board; served as a past-President of GBA (2016-17);  and currently serves on: the Advisory Board of Urban Land Institute, Nashville District; the Economic Development Committee of  the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Partnership 2020 and Chamber South’s Leadership Board, and is Founder of AEC Power Women, a group dedicated to educating and connecting female leaders in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction. Ms. Reinbold received   the Nashville Business Journal 2016 Women of Influence Trailblazer award; the Nashville Chamber of Commerce 2016 Spirit of the Chamber Award; and was a 2016 ATHENA nominee for women of distinction in business. She is a proud member of the Nashville Downtown club of Rotary International.


 Michael V. Smith, P.G., CEG, is Chairman Emeritus of Earth  Systems, Inc.  He is a graduate of California State   University, Fresno with a BA in Geology, and two additional years in geotechnical engineering.  In 1970, he started his career with Kleinfelder Associates, spending    time in Saudi Arabia on the Riyadh International Airport. From 1978 to 1981, he consulted as Michael V. Smith – Engineering Geology in Palmdale, California.  Mike joined Earth Systems, Inc. in 1981, became President/CEO    in 1994, and retired as Chairman of the   Board in 2017.  He has been active in GBA since 1976 and is a past GBA Director.  He is a Past President of the California Geotechnical Engineers Association, past President of two Rotary Clubs, and served on the San Luis  Obispo Chamber Seismic Task Force.


Mr. Thorne is a principal with Terracon Consultants Inc. and manager of its northern New Jersey and metro-Philadelphia offices. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)and has 35 years of diversified geotechnical and environmental engineering consulting experience, with particular focus in areasof deep foundations, soft ground construction, ground improvement and seismic evaluation.  Mr. Thorne became active in GBA committee work in 1998, held various committee leadership roles, served on the Board of Directors from 2008 to 2015 and was GBA president in 2014-15.  He is currently president-elect of Civil Engineering Certification (CEC), an organization created by ASCE to provide post-licensure board certification for the specialty sub-disciplines within civil engineering.


Please join us in congratulating Dr. Matheson, Ms. Reinbold, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Thorne for their appointment into the GBA Council of Fellows.



THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT – GBA President Woody Vogt Introduces the 2020 Strategic Plan


Pablo Picasso was quoted as saying “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success.”  This is true with your companies and with our association of Member Firms.

During GBA’s 2018 Spring Conference, newly elected President, Woody Vogt P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE, F.ACI, F.ASTM ( Paradigm Consultants, Inc.) introduced GBA’s  2020 Strategic Plan and the goals of the plan to the conference attendees.  He emphasized GBA’s purpose, vision and value proposition have not changed but our approach to achieving them in the next few years has.  We are in a dynamic business environment and our member firms strive to meet the demands of the market and their clients, GBA must also change to remain relevant.

He shared the goals of the 2020 strategy and provided detail on how each are important to GBA as the preferred source of business-educational resources, specifically risk management and business performance optimization, for geoprofessional firms.  They are:

STRENGTHEN GBA’S BRANDSharpen our focus to deliver on the Value Proposition.

 TURBOCHARGE THE MEMBER EXPERIENCEDevelop a unique “member experience” to further drive value and connection.

CELEBRATE SUCCESSESHighlight the accomplishments of members that promote our values, purpose and strategy while elevating our profession and contributing to our overall success.

Mr. Vogt’s introduction to the 2020 Strategic Plan emphasized that our continued collaboration on the elements outlined will ultimately help members and their clients confront risk and optimize business performance by delivering unique professional resources, programs, and services that make them stronger, smarter and more successful.

Download GBA’s 2020 Strategic Plan

GBA supports Engineering Change Lab

Engineering Change Lab – USA Update

Original conversations about the possibility of launching a Lab to help unlock the higher potential of the engineering profession began in Canada between Engineers Canada and Engineers Without Borders Canada in the summer of 2014.  This led to the formation of a non-profit organization Engineering Change Lab – Canada, that provides a platform for collaboration to allow individuals and organizations from across the profession to take action to address the systemic challenges (i.e. ethics failures, lack of diversity, and low levels of innovation) that have been holding back the profession’s full potential. Engineering Change Lab – Canada coordinates and oversees 3 workshops a year.

As reported in an August 16 2017  edition of NEWSlog, efforts are underway to launch Engineering Change Lab – USA (ECL – USA).  Summit No. 2 was held in Omaha on February 5 and 6, 2018.  The summit was attended by 45 leaders from across the engineering community and built on the results of the first summit held last summer.  Two key assumptions continued to guide the work of the participants.

  • Traditional engineering practices are being disrupted by scientists, engineers, and businesses operating in new models of delivery.
  • The role of the engineering profession is to guide the application of technology with an understanding of human and social impacts.

Progress was made on all of the specific objectives for the second summit.

  • Explore the prospect of, and process for, moving the engineering profession toward fulfilling its highest potential in the emerging future.
  • Crystallize the intent of the ECL – USA.
  • Recognize and make progress on initiatives begun at the first summit.
  • Organize ECL – USA, including structure, participation, commitments, communication and process for 2018.
  • Identify next steps, including outreach to other stakeholders in the larger engineering eco-system.

A key outcome of the summit was strong consensus from the attendees that work should continue, and the next summit should be scheduled.  Key points regarding the next summit are summarized below.

  • Summit 3 will again be held in Omaha on June 12 and 13, 2018. 
  • The summit schedule will include a full day on Tuesday, June 12, and a half day on Wednesday, June 13.
  • The schedule will also include a supplemental window for initiative groups to spend a couple of hours after lunch on Wednesday, June 13, working on their specific efforts.

One of the objectives of Summit 2 was to address the organization of ECL – USA.  Summit participants brain-stormed key organizational principles and key elements of the vision / mission of the organization.  A task force of summit participants is working on the vision / mission and will propose specific language for consideration at Summit 3.  Another outcome was agreement on the continuing need to broaden participation to include more sectors of the engineering community.  Suggestions are welcome.

If you are interested in participating in Summit 3 please contact Michael P. McMeekin, PE, ENV SP, (Lampe Rynearson & Associates)



Woodward L. “Woody” Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ACI, F. ASCE, F.ASTM (Paradigm Consultants, Inc.)  is the new president of the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA), a not-for-profit association of geoprofessional firms. Accepting office during ceremonies at GBA’s annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois,  Mr. Vogt is the 48th individual to serve as GBA’s president and chair the group’s board of directors. Other directors who will serve during GBA’s 2018-19 fiscal year are:

  • President-Elect Arthur G. “Art” Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE. (Gannett Fleming, Inc);
  • Secretary/Treasurer Kenneth R. “Ken” Johnston (GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.)
  • Saiid Behboodi, P.E., G.E (PBS Engineering + Environmental)
  • Thomas W. “Tom” Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE (Blackburn Consulting)
  • Chuck A. Gregory, P.E. (Terracon)
  • Christopher Matthew “Matt” Moler, P.E. (S&ME, Inc.)
  • Leo Titus, Jr., P.E. (ECS, Ltd.)

Mr. Vogt is president of Paradigm Consultants, Inc. in Houston. He has more than 45 years’ experience providing geotechnical, construction materials, investigative and forensic engineering services. Mr. Vogt is a Diplomate of Academy of Geo-Professionals and a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, ACI International, and ASTM International. He participates in committee activities of ACI International and ASTM . Before joining the GBA Board of Directors, Mr. Vogt was a founding member of the GBA Construction Materials Engineering and Testing (CoMET) Committee and chaired the GBA Accreditation and Certification Task Force. He serves on the board of directors of the International Council for Certification of Construction Inspectors and is past board chair of the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation. He is past president of TCEL/Geoprofessionals Serving Texas and the Houston Chapter of TCEL. Mr. Vogt received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”) and is a licensed professional engineer in Texas and Louisiana.

GBA Releases Five More Case Histories: 31-35

GBA Releases Five More Case Histories: 31-35

GBA Case Histories are being used by our members for loss prevention discussions in support of professional development and mentoring.  They are also being used in universities to bring “real-world” lessons into the classroom.  Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeating mistakes of the past which is why GBA case histories are so valuable, and why GBA is updating them all, while adding new ones, too. Five more case histories have been issued.

CASE HISTORY NO. 31 (download)                  

An architect requested a proposal from the geotechnical-engineering firm whose office was next door to the site of a proposed newspaper plant. The architect selected another firm because it offered a lower fee, but the firm was far less experienced. The owner ultimately paid a $40,000 construction cost premium in order to save $600 in engineering fees.

CASE HISTORY NO. 32 (download)      

A civil engineer failed to follow a geotechnical engineer’s recommendation in order to save several hundred dollars. The geotechnical engineer took appropriate defensive measures as a result of the corner-cutting, and thus did not have to contribute to the $125,000 cost overrun that ultimately had to be paid by the civil engineer.

CASE HISTORY NO. 33 (download)      

The pressure of business forced a Member Firm to assign a somewhat new field representative to observe construction being performed by a tricky, problem-prone contractor. After initial problems evaporated, the project proceeded without a hitch. The Member Firm later learned that the field representative had been bribed.

CASE HISTORY NO. 34 (download)                  

The owner’s desire to save a relatively few dollars on a fast-track project resulted in innumerable problems and cost overruns. The Member Firm learned that it is sometimes necessary either to force proper procedures on others or to pay the consequences.

CASE HISTORY NO. 35 (download)                  

A $4,000, 17-day project was performed well, but the warning in the report could have been stated more strongly, especially so because follow-up contact was not maintained. The result: The Member Firm had to pay an $20,000 legal bill to prove it should not have been sued in the first place.

Access all GBA’s Case Histories HERE




National Practice Guideline Geotechnical Engineer of Record Updated

National Practice Guideline

Geotechnical Engineer of Record Updated

The Geotechnical Business Council of GBA has updated the guide to help identify the roles and responsibilities of the geotechnical engineer of record, client, and owner involved with the geotechnical-engineering aspects of a conventional design/bid/build construction project.

The guideline addresses the range and nature of services that should be included in the geotechnical engineer’s scope of service if the geotechnical engineer is to sign and seal instruments of professional service, and accept the geotechnical engineer of record designation.

The updated guideline delineates responsibilities of the geotechnical engineer of record, the range and nature of basic services that should be included in the geotechnical engineer of record’s scope of service, and additional services that may apply. Obligations of the client and the owner are outlined and various terms are defined.

This important document was first published in March 1993 by then Practice Environment Committee and revised by the Professional Practice Committee in 2008.  This update was a collaborative effort of GBA’s Geotechnical Business Council Chair, Rick Heckel, P.E. and Council members Woody Vogt, D.GE, F. ASCE, F. ACI, F. ASTM, Michael Marasa, P.E., and Blake Cotton. P.E., LEED AP.