ISM Workshop 2010

The International Society for Micropiles (ISM) celebrated its 10th international gathering with a workshop and design and construction seminar in Washington, DC in September 2010.  The workshop was organized in DC to acknowledge the contributions of ISM’s founding sponsor, the Federal Highway Administration.  Over 80 delegates from 9 countries participated in the technical presentations, discussions and healthy debate on all aspects of micropile technology.  The local Organizing Committee for the workshop comprised Dr. Terry Holman (Chair, Moretrench American Corporation), Joe Cavey (Hayward Baker, Inc.), Dan MacLean (CON-TECH Systems, Ltd.), and Fred Tarquinio (Nicholson Construction Company).  Dr. Jesús Gómez and Helen Robinson of Schnabel Engineering, Inc. chaired the one-day seminar on advanced micropile design and construction.

Three full technical sessions covered ongoing micropile research and development programs at universities internationally.  Topics included laboratory and centrifuge testing, numerical analyses and field studies on individual, groups and networks of micropiles.  Dr. Jouko Lehtonen (former, ISM Chair, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland) presented a method for predicting decay in wood piles for use in scheduling retrofit programs.

Dipl.-Ing. Ernst Ischebeck, Technical Director of Friedr. Ischebeck GmbH in Ennepetal, Germany, delivered the 6th Lizzi Lecture on the Design of Direct Drilled and Continuous Flush Grouted Micropiles TITAN.  ISM invited Ischebeck’s lecture in recognition of his significant contribution to micropile technology through the technical development and support of the use of TITAN injection bore “self drilling” bars.

Sherif Lotfy A. Abdelaziz, Ph.D. candidate from Virginia Polytechnic University in Blacksburg, VA, received the 5th Lizzi Memorial Scholarship and delivered a lecture on Virginia Tech’s ongoing research program on geothermal energy piles.


ISM Workshop 2009

The 2009 ISM Workshop was conducted aboard the 1918 British Mine Sweeper the HMS President which has been converted into a conference facility and moored on the Thames River on the Victoria Embankment in London. The local conference Chairman was Mark Hinton, Branlow Limited, Basingstroke, Hampshire, U.K. He was assisted by Mike Turner, Applied Geotechnical Engineering, Ltd., Buckingham, U.K., Clif Kettle, Bachy Soletanche, York, U.K., and Stuart Bradshaw, Terrain Geotechnical Consultants, Ltd. , Yorkshire, U.K.

Fifteen countries were represented at the conference which attracted international experts in the design and construction of micropiles.  Technical sessions focused on new developments in design, construction methods, materials, testing, the challenges of constructing and/or reconstructing in urban environments.

Dr. Donald Bruce (Geosystems, L.P.) presented the 5th Lizzi Lecture titled, “Micropiles in Middle Age: Triumphs, Failures and Challenges.” The talk provided an historical overview of the advent of micropiles with an emphasis on U.S. experiences, including the challenges facing the micropile industry as they relate to marketing the “product”, needed research, education and training, improving the “quality” of the product, addressing a range of project delivery systems (contracting relationships), and the associated role of ISM.

The 4th Lizzi Scholarship was presented to James Amos of Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering, UK, and his presentation was entitled, “Micropiles-The Green Choice”.  The talk focused on calculating a project’s carbon footprint taking into consideration basic materials, equipment used, manufacture of that equipment, transit to and from the project site and installation methods employed.


ISM Workshop 2007

The 8th ISM Workshop held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from September 26 to 30, 2007 will likely be remembered for its superb organization, challenging and controversial field demonstration program and the influx of new, active delegates.  The event was hosted by Isherwood Associates, Geo-Foundations Contractors, Inc., and CON-TECH Systems, Ltd.  The workshop included technical presentations, social gatherings, and cultural excursions.

The workshop was held at the 175-year-old Historic Distillery District in downtown Toronto, the former location of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery originally constructed in 1859.  Eleven countries were represented: Argentina, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, U.K., U.S.A. and Venezuela.

A total of 32 presentations were delivered during the following 8 technical sessions:

  • Welcome, Introductions and Invited Speakers
  • Research and Development/Design
  • Advances in Micropile Materials
  • Case Histories
  • Load Testing
  • Field Demonstration
  • High Capacity Micropiles in Mined Ground for Bridge Support: A Case History of Investigation, Design, Construction and Performance (Joplin, MO)
  • Micropile Market and Education Activities

The 4th Lizzi Lecture was delivered by Dr. Thomas Herbst, retired from Dywidag Systems International, Ltd., of Germany.  Dr. Herbst provided a historic review of 55 years of micropiles, presenting highlights of the evolution of micropiles internationally, and including a comprehensive overview of technical, educational and promotional milestones.

The 3rd Lizzi Scholarship was awarded to Mr. Mohamed Elkasagby of the University of Western Ontario in London, ON, Canada.  He presented results of his ongoing research on finite element analyses of axially loaded micropiles and a proposal for future research on static and dynamic performance of micropile groups and single micropiles.

The technical presentations were supplemented with a full-scale field demonstration program including real time testing and data acquisition.  The project manager for the field demonstration program, Mr. Jim Bruce of GeoFoundations Contractors, Inc., Canada, presented the goals of the demonstration as

  1. Demonstrate low-headroom, restricted access piling
  2. Showcase portable test beam (provided by Terrain Geotechnical Consultants, Ltd., U.K.)
  3. Showcase Accel Array instrument (provided by Monir Precision Monitoring, Canada)
  4. Demonstrate “dial-less” gauge data recovery
  5. Demonstrate real time broadcasting of data (provided by Monir Precision Monitoring, Canada)
  6. Explore the buckling phenomenon
  7. …… ignite some healthy debate….?

A geotechnical investigation was conducted, and the boring logs were provided to the contestants.  Three micropiles were installed for testing, and six rock anchors were installed as reactions.  Each micropile was statically loaded in compression: two buckling tests were performed, and one was tested as a “control” pile.  Results of the field demonstration are included in the proceedings.


ISM Workshop 2006

The 7th ISM Workshop was held in Schrobenhausen, Germany from May 3-7, 2006.  The event was organized by the newly formed International Society for Micropiles (ISM) and hosted by Bauer Maschinen GmbH.  The workshop included technical presentations, social gatherings and cultural excursions.  The workshop was held during the height of the White Asparagus season, this local delicacy being one of Schrobenhausen’s claims to fame.

Mr. Wolfgang Brunner, Bauer Maschinen’s Director of Marketing, was chiefly responsible for the on site organization of the workshop and social programs.  A total of 32 presentations were delivered during the following seven technical sessions:

  • Invited Speakers
  • Design and QA/QC and Monitoring
  • Full Scale Load Testing
  • Advances in Equipment, Techniques, and Materials
  • Case Histories
  • Advances in Research and Development
  • Implementation, Education, Codes and Standards

The delegation comprised representatives from universities, consulting engineering companies, contractors, owners and material and equipment suppliers.  A total of 12 countries were represented: U.S., Japan, Finland, Sweden, Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, and South Africa.

The 3rd Lizzi Lecture was delivered by Mr. Jiro Fukui, Head of the Foundation Engineering Division of the Public Works Research Institute of Tokyo, Japan.  Mr. Fukui presented a state-of-the-practice overview of the performance of seismic retrofits with high capacity micropiles in Japan. 

The 2nd Lizzi Scholarship was awarded to Mr. Stefan Vogt of the Technical University of Munich, who presented interim results from his ongoing research on the buckling of slender piles in soft soils. 


IWM 2004

The 6th ISM Workshop was held at the Musashi Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan from August 24-27, 2004.  The event was organized locally by the Japanese delegates, headed by Prof. Hoshiya, Mr. Otani, and Mr. Yamane, all prominent contributors in past workshops.

The technical program, as requested by the Japanese organizing committee, was similar in structure to the IWM held previously in Seattle:

Day 1: State of Practice (Design, Construction, and Research)

Day 2: Quality Assurance and Monitoring

Day 3: Case Histories, and Strategies for Database Construction

A special feature of the IWM included an opening greeting by Prof. Kiyoshi Horikawa, the President of Musashi Institute of Technology (Japan’s version of MIT).

The 2nd Lizzi Lecture “Research and Practice on Micropile Groups and Networks”, was delivered by Prof. François Schlosser of the ENPC-CERMES, in Paris, France.  This presentation summarized the results of the fundamental French national research program on micropiles, FOREVER.

The 1st Lizzi Scholarship was awarded to Shingo Morimasa of Toyohashi University of Technology, who presented his study on the bearing capacity of foundations reinforced with prestressed micropiles.


IWM 2003

The 5th International Workshop on Micropiles was held in Seattle, WA from September 24 to 27, 2003. This workshop included a total of 53 delegates and 14 companions from the U.S., Canada, England, Finland, Germany, France, and Japan.  The delegation comprised micropile contractors, designers, researchers, suppliers, manufacturers, and owners, who contributed to an intense 3-day workshop on all aspects of micropile design, construction, testing, and research.  Each day’s presentations and discussions centered around the following themes: Day 1 – State of International Knowledge (Design, Construction, Research, QA/QC, and Performance Monitoring); Day 2 – Research and Development, and Future Research Needs Assessment; and Day 3 – Education and Knowledge Dissemination.

The IWM delegation observed a moment of silence in memory of Dr. Fernando Lizzi, the visionary leader of the IWM and inventor of the “pali radice” or “root pile” foundation system, who passed away on August 28, 2003. 

The highlight of the first plenary session was the presentation of the 2nd Lizzi Lecture “Lizzi’s Philosphy: Concepts to Practice” by James Mason (then of McFarland-Johnson, Inc.)

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