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DFI Announces Winners of 2018 Student Paper Competition

Alexandre P.R.P. Almeida from Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada is the winner of the 2018 DFI and DFI Educational Trust Student paper Competition. The winning paper, “Statistical Evaluation of Design Methods for Micropiles in Ontario Soils,” evaluated the performance of two design methods for micropiles founded in Ontario soils: the modified Federal Highway Administration method and the Bustamante and Doix method. 

The research analyzed the results from 47 full-scale load tests on micropile to determine the most suitable design method to predict the geotechnical capacity of a micropile in Ontario soils. Since most of the tests terminated before achieving failure, the load-displacement curves were extrapolated to obtain the failure load. From an analysis of the test results, the Federal Highway Administration method (2000), which was modified with a diameter expansion parameter suggested by the Bustamante and Doix method (1985), provided reasonable estimations of the geotechnical capacities in Ontario soils. 

The first runners-up of the Student Paper Competition are Jamie J. Crispin and Colm P. Leahy, University of Bristol, for their paper “Settlement of Axially Loaded Pile Groups in Inhomogeneous Soil.” 

Two runners-up were also selected for the 2017 Student Paper Competition: Jennifer Ostrowsky, P.G., Utah State University for “A New Approach for Evaluating the Ductility, Volumetric Stiffness and Permeability of Cutoff Wall Backfill Materials,” and Martijn van Wijngaarden, M.Sc., Delft University of Technology, for “Gravity Based Foundations for Offshore Wind Turbines: Cyclic Loading and Liquefaction.” 

In addition, two student papers are receiving special recognition. 

  • “Performance Modeling of Wave Equation Analysis for Driven Steel H-Piles in IGMs,” by Pramila Adhikari and Yrgalem Z. Gebreslasie, University of Wyoming 
  • “Comparison of FEA and Analytical Methods for Determining Stability of a RAP Supported MSE Wall,” by Emily C. Reed, E.I., and Daniel R. VandenBerge, Ph.D., P.E., Tennessee Technological University 

The awards were presented at the DFI 43rd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, October 24-27, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif., where Alexandre P.R.P. Almeida presented the winning paper to conference attendees. Each of the winners and runners-up will have their papers published in a future issue of the DFI Journal. All of the award recipients received a library of up to 20 DFI publications along with a gratis two-year DFI Individual Membership. The special recognition winners received a plaque and their papers will be considered for the DFI Journal as well.

Contact: Emilio S. Fandino, Trust Administrator, 973-423-4030, efandino@dfi.org