Testing Water…and Ethics

 

 

Testing Water…and Ethics, A GBA Supported Ethics Education Program:

 Testing Water…and Ethics depicts a realistic ethical problem in engineering within an organizational setting. Porter/Rodman Engineering Co. has been retained to drill water test wells on a property that will be sold for development. State regulations require three wells to be drilled near a leaking gasoline storage tank and their results reported. The owner of the property has asked for two additional wells whose results do not have to be reported.  All test results are under state limits, but the two additional wells show a significantly higher level of contamination. One engineer, Jim Duffy, believes that the company has a professional ethical obligation to report the results from the two additional wells, and the video addresses the complete set of ethical and business issues this raises. The resolution of the problem is not obvious and must be reached through analysis, judgment, and negotiation. Near the end of the story viewers are invited to discuss four alternative solutions Porter/Rodman is considering. An epilogue shows an acceptable solution and how it was reached.

Testing Water…and Ethics was created to:

  1. foster awareness of ethical problems in engineering,
  2. increase sensitivity to the complexity and ambiguity of ethical problems in engineering, and
  3. model the successful handling of ethical problems in engineering.

This 28‑minute production instantly engages technical professionals of all ages, prompting lively discussion of issues that involve telling the truth, protecting the public, employee loyalty, and professionalism.

ORDER HERE

Two Important Legal Resources Updated

 

 

 

Two Important Legal Resources Updated

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 400-year-old 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 2016.

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

Updated! GBA Case Histories 6-10 Now Available

 

The word is out: GBA’s redevelopment of its case histories is a smashing success!

Possibly the most important of all GBA loss-prevention/risk-confrontation resources is its unique series of case histories; over 100 examples of how projects begun with optimism can unexpectedly end in dispute. Each provides details of the project, its background, the role of the GBA-Member Firm, the problems encountered, and lessons learned. They’re sometimes painful lessons, but better to learn from others’ lessons than your own.

GBA has overhauled the first ten case histories.  Each has been refreshed and updated to reflect contemporary methods and dollars. The format of the case histories has been changed to make it easier to read and to emphasis the lessons learned.

Consider using GBA Case Histories to support lunch-and-learn sessions, one-on-one mentoring meetings, or self-study.  Download them now and share them with your associates.

Case History #6 – Perform geologic studies, emphasizing landslide concerns. Conduct subsurface exploration and follow up with full-time grading observation.

Case History #7 – Perform borings (at 400- to 600-foot intervals) and backhoe excavations, then develop a preliminary geotechnical-engineering report.

Case History #8 – Conduct a geotechnical-engineering study and provide a report including confirmation-dependent recommendations with respect to the building only. The client did not want to invest in pavement-design recommendations.

Case History #9 – Perform a geotechnical-engineering study for the structure; provide confirmation-dependent recommendations for foundation design, fill placement, fill compaction; and observe construction operations, including fill placement and compaction.

Case History #10 – Advise the county about geotechnical-engineering issues.

 

David P. Sauls P.E. Inducted into LSU Civil Engineering Department’s Hall of Distinction

 

David P. Sauls P.E. Inducted into LSU Civil Engineering Department’s Hall of Distinction

GBA would like to congratulate Mr. David P. Sauls, P.E. (GeoEngineers) for his induction into the Louisiana State University Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) Hall of Distinction. An LSU alumni and only one of two who were honored by CEE this year, David has held numerous leadership roles in GBA, including most recently, Chairman of the External Relations Committee, and regularly serves as an ambassador for GBA. He has more than 30 years of experience as a geotechnical engineer and has served as the Chairman of the Board at GeoEngineers, Inc. since 2011.

The LSU CEE Hall of Distinction was established in 2001 and recognizes individuals who have made stalwart contributions to the civil and environmental engineering profession. Candidates are carefully selected based on distinguished professional achievement and service to the field.

Inductees share the distinct honor of being recognized as having made a substantial impact in their field and to LSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

 

 

GeoGirl Comic Book Available Free to GBA Members!

Engineering and cycling may not seem to have a lot in common, but for Andrew Murray of Murray Engineers Inc., the two were a perfect combination.  His passion for both sparked the idea for a unique and witty comic book series involving a new super heroine, GeoGirl.  A story about  the epic battles between Mother Nature’s geohazards and humankind’s ingenuity to suppress them, GeoGirl uses her uncanny ability to sense unstable earth conditions to combat geologic hazards and save the world from catastrophic disaster.

The comic book’s title was born from the fact that Murray, an avid cyclist himself, sponsors a group of female mountain bikers who ride all over northern California.  Their team name – you guessed it – Team GeoGirls.  In Issue No. 1, GeoGirl battles an all-too-common foe of hillside property owners, the landslide.  Cleverly titled GeoGirl vs. Lance Lied!, Murray notes that any resemblance to former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong is purely coincidental.

Murray has graciously offered complimentary copies of GeoGirl to all GBA members.  A creative and valuable tool, the comic book’s focus is to generate an interest with elementary-aged students in the geoprofession.

Murray Engineers Inc.’s GeoGirl vs. Lance Lied! is available to members now!

Sneak Peak: Issue No. 2 involves GeoGirl battling it out with villain, Big Fat Clay!

ORDER YOUR COMPLIMENTARY COPY OF GEOGIRL HERE

2017 Spring Conference Videos Now Available

 

Those that attended GBA’s 2017 Spring Conference in Washington D.C. agreed that the speakers were among the best . Now you can watch, listen to, and learn from these speakers, too, on your own schedule, and without leaving your office or easy chair.

The presentations that are available are:

4-3-2-1 Leadership: Tools You Can Use Now!
Major General Vincent E. “Vinny” Boles, USA, Retired

DC Clean Rivers Project – An Extraordinary Multi-Faceted CSO Project
Carlton M. Ray, P.E. (DC Water)

Business Practices Committee Business Snapshot Survey
Matt Moler, P.E. (S&ME, Inc.)

Employee Retention: How to Keep Your Rising Stars
Victor S. Barchers, P.E. (Kleinfelder, Inc.) & Edward J. “E.J.” Barben, P.E. (Gannett Fleming, Inc.)

Affordable Care Act’s Impact: Past, Present, & Future
David Lewis (OperationsInc)

Why I Hired an Executive Coach and Why You Should Too
Gary W. Raba, D.Eng., P.E. (Raba Kistner) and Linda Strom Petchenik, (GrowthLines, Inc.)

Passing the Baton: CEO Succession from Both Points of View
Kurt R. Fraese, L.G. (GeoEngineers, Inc.), David Gaboury, P.E. (Terracon), Michael “Mike” Hutchinson, L.G., LHG (GeoEngineers, Inc.), and Swaminathan “Vasan” Srinivasan, P.E. (Terracon)

The Power of 1% – The Magic of Small and Incremental Improvements
Kevin J. McMahon (McMahon | Siegel Group)

Leading Organizational Change to Increase Profitability
June R. Jewell, CPA, (AEC Business Solutions) and Michael S. Rolband, P.E., P.S.W., P.W.D., Leed®AP (Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc.)

Minimizing the Impact of Organizational Silos; Tear Down the Silos!
Nigel Miller, P.E. (Stantec Consulting)

You on Your Best Day – Act II
Michael T. Allosso

All videos from GBA’s Spring 2017 Conference are available, on-demand to members.
WATCH NOW

GBA Publishes Business Brief – A Look Inside the Crystal Ball

 

 

GBA Publishes Business Brief – A Look Inside the Crystal Ball

 Over the past 15-years, the Geoprofessional Business Association’s (GBA’ s) Emerging Issues and Trends Committee (EIT Committee) has held a series of Crystal Ball Workshops (Workshops) to identify long-term emerging issues and business trends, and their potential impacts on the organization’s member firms. Like other forecasts, some predictions come to pass, while others never materialize. Workshops have accurately foreseen consolidation trends in our industry, as well as many of the impacts from demographic and economic shifts that geoprofessionals have experienced.

 

A summary of issues, trends, and opportunities for geoprofessionals was published in an April 2017 GBA Business Brief which is now available for our members.

 

“The Business Brief is a valuable tool that our members can use to plan for future business opportunities.”  said Bradley Melocik, P.E. (DOWL), GBA’s EIT Committee Chair. “It is the result of a successful workshop that was held in collaboration with the Geo-Institute of ASCE and many volunteers contributed to its success, especially Kurt Fraese, L.G., F.GBA,  who consolidated the information for this document.”

 

GBA’s Business Brief is available to members now!

ORDER HERE

 

 

GBA Case Histories #1 through #5 Are Refreshed

GBA Case Histories #1 through #5 Are Refreshed

Possibly the most important of all GBA loss-prevention/risk-confrontation resources is its unique series of case histories; 101 examples of how projects begun with optimism can unexpectedly end in dispute. Each provides details of the project, its background, the role of the GBA-Member Firm, the problems encountered, and lessons learned. They’re sometimes painful lessons, but better to learn from others’ lessons than your own.

BIG NEWS! GBA Executive Director Joel Carson has announced that GBA is committed to update and expand the Case History Series. The original cases all will be refreshed, with new graphics and keywords for efficient searches. According to Joel, “The first five updates are complete and they look fantastic!”

Check them out for yourself.  Download refreshed Case History #1 through #5 here:

Case History #1 – Perform a preliminary geotechnical-engineering study to estimate foundation construction costs.

Case History #2 – Perform subsurface exploration, provide foundation recommendations, and identify features, such as potential groundwater problems, that the client should consider during design and construction.

Case History #3 – Conduct a subsurface exploration at the direction of the client and provide engineering consultation when requested.

Case History #4 – Perform subsurface exploration, prepare a geotechnical-engineering report with foundation-design recommendations and observed drilled-shaft construction.

Case History #5 – Perform a limited-scope geotechnical-engineering study to advance borings and then provide boring logs and a brief letter report to the structural engineer.

 

 

CHARLES L. HEAD, P.E., P.G. IS NEW GBA PRESIDENT


Charles L. Head, P.E., P.G. (Sanborn, Head & Associates, 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 Washington D.C. Mr. Head is the 47th individual to serve as GBA’s president and chair the group’s board of directors. Other directors who will serve during GBA’s 2017-18 fiscal year are:
• President-Elect Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ACI, F.ASCE, F.ASTM
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc.);
• Secretary/Treasurer Kimberly F. Morrison, P.E., R.G.
(Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc.);
• Saiid Behboodi, PE, GE (PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc.)
• Thomas W. “Tom” Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE (Blackburn Consulting);
• Arthur G. “Art” Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE (Gannett Fleming, Inc.);
• Kenneth R. “Ken” Johnston (GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.); and
• Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E. (ECS Limited)

Mr. Head is the CEO of Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc., a multidisciplinary, New Hampshire-based firm serving industry, development, solid-waste, and energy clients nationally and internationally. Licensed as both a professional engineer and a professional geologist, Mr. Head has 30 years of professional experience with a focus on groundwater engineering. He has been active in GBA for more than a decade, most recently as chair of GBA’s Emerging Issues and Trends Committee. He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in geology (St. Lawrence University) and civil engineering (University of New Hampshire) and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University.
During his acceptance speech at GBA’s 2017 Spring Conference, Mr. Head emphasized the future is bright for GBA.
READ Letter from GBA President

What Does the Crystal Ball Say?

Over the past 15 years, the Geoprofessional Business Association’s
(GBA) Emerging Issues and Trends Committee has held a series
of Crystal Ball Workshops (Workshops) to identify long-term
emerging issues and business trends, and their potential impacts on the
organization’s member firms. Like other forecasts, some predictions
come to pass, while others never materialize. Recent Workshops have
accurately foreseen consolidation trends in our industry, as well as
many of the impacts from demographic and economic shifts that
geoprofessionals have experienced. Read more

TAILINGS ENGINEER OF RECORD WORKSHOP A BIG SUCCESS

Tailings Engineer of Record Workshop a Big Success

The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) hosted over 50 industry leaders, including subject matter experts, regulators, owners, and practitioners for a Tailings Engineer of Record (EoR) Workshop on January 26, 2017, in Denver, Colorado.  The event was designed to identify concerns of filling the role of the EoR for tailings storage facilities (TSFs) and develop guidance for those working on TSF projects in the United States and abroad.  Kimberly Finke Morrison, P.E., R.G. (Morrison Geotechnical Solutions), a GBA Board Member and GBA’s Tailings EoR Task Force Chair, coordinated the workshop and was pleased by the support that she received from so many industry leaders from across North America.  Ms. Morrison said, “In the wake of the Mount Polley (Canada) tailings dam failure in 2014 and the Samarco (Brazil) tailings dam failure in 2015, the efficacy of the EoR for TSFs has been brought into question worldwide with industry looking for guidance on how to approach management of these constantly-changing and perpetual facilities. This impressive group gathered to review available information, share professional opinions, and start preparing guidance.  This step was necessary, and I appreciate the support we received from so many.”

Ms. Morrison and Robert E. Snow, P.E. (D’Appolonia) are compiling input from the workshop to prepare a draft National Practice Guideline for the Tailings Engineer of Record (EoR).  Upon completion, they will seek industry-wide endorsement prior to distribution.  The Task Force is also evaluating opportunities to prepare a Best Practices monograph and/or owner messaging documents using the results of the workshop.

The Mission of GBA’s Tailings EoR Task Force is to raise awareness among GBA member firms who perform tailings storage facility design services of the concerns and issues related to Engineer of Record (EOR) for these ever-changing facilities; outreach to industry, other organizations, and regulatory agencies, as appropriate, for feedback on the issues; and develop internal and outreach documentation on the issue, including defining roles/responsibilities of the EoR, and implementation of a transfer process for EoR for tailings storage facilities.

For additional information about GBA’s Tailings EoR Task Force, including meeting notes, workshop summary materials and presentations, published articles, and other reference material, please visit:  GBA Tailings EOR Task Force

 

FREE WEBINAR FOR GBA MEMBERS

 

FREE WEBINAR FOR GBA MEMBERS

Leading Change to Improve Profitability –  June 21, 2017

 

GBA is teaming up with AEG Business Solutions to provide a four-part webinar series to provide our members with professional development and training on important topics for all geoprofessional consultants.

WEBINAR

  • Free to all GBA Members
  • 1 Professional Development Hour (PDH) by a certified provider
  • Accessible anywhere through remote connectivity.

 

Leading Change to Improve Profitability                                           June 21, 2017

Creating a Profitable Culture Through Accountable Learning        September 13, 2017

Developing Superstar Project Managers                                           December 13, 2017

 

All will be conducted on Wednesdays in 2017 1:30 PM Eastern Time

Sign Up Now – June 21, 2017 FREE Webinar – REGISTER HERE

PROJECT FINANCIALS MANAGEMENT SEMINAR

One-Day Seminar in the Boston Area

April 28, 2017 ~ Boston, MA

The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) and Lee James & Associates have teamed up to present a one-day seminar titled: Project Financials Management to be taught on April 28, 2017 in Boston, MA.

This training program will arm participants with skills to assess and win work, improve pricing, communicate with client and peers, positively start projects, track and report project progress, timely bill and collect, complete changes while building relationships with clients and successfully manage all size projects.

Numerous real-life experiences and case studies are used to teach and bring to light the principles taught.  Sessions are highly interactive with active learning occurring throughout.

This is a “must-attend” to improve project financials management.

Registration closes April 20, 2017

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

CLICK HERE FOR THE SCHEDULE

PROGRAM FLYER

 

Head, Vogt, Morrison lead 2017-2018 Board of Directors Slate

 

Head, Vogt, Morrison Lead GBA’s 2017-18 Board of Directors Slate

GBA’s Nominating Committee has announced its slate of officers and directors for the May 1, 2017-April 30, 2018 fiscal year.

GBA President-Elect Charles L. “Charlie” Head, P.E., P.G. (Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc.) will become President and Chair of the GBA Board of Directors.

Those nominated for the other two officer positions are, for President-Elect and Board Chair-Elect, Woodward L. “Woody” Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ACI, F.ASCE, F.ASTM (Paradigm Consultants, Inc.) and, Kimberly F. “Kim” Morrison, P.E., R.G. (Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc.) for Secretary-Treasurer.

Those nominated to serve as Directors-at-Large are: Saiid Behboodi, P.E., P.G. (PBS Engineering and Environmental); Thomas W. “Tom” Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE (Blackburn Consulting); Arthur G. “Art” Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE (Gannett Fleming, Inc.); Kenneth R. “Ken” Johnston (GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.); and Leo Titus, Jr., P.E.(ECS, Ltd.)

 

GBA and AEG Ink a Memorandum of Understanding

GBA and AEG Ink a Memorandum of Understanding

The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) and the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding which establishes a foundation for collaboration and mutual support for both organizations.

AEG serves the engineering geology and environmental geology fields through their technical publications, lectures series, and educational opportunities at local, regional and annual meetings.

In January 2017, leaders of both organizations met to learn from each other and to identify opportunities to execute the agreement.

“Partnering with AEG is a great opportunity to share GBA’s risk management and business performance content with a broader geoprofessional community. It expands the platform on which we can share GBA’s mission and it is a wonderful complement to our relationship with the Geo-Institute.” noted Joel Carson, GBA’s Executive Director.
For more information: GBA’s Alliance Organizations