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16th Annual Sowers Symposium looks at issues in geotechnical engineering, May 7

A wide-ranging exploration of issues in energy geomechanics will highlight the 16th Annual George F. Sowers Symposium, which takes place on Tuesday, May 7, 2:45 - 8:30 p.m in the Student Center Theatre.

A poster session, featuring the research of undergraduate and graduate students, will take place at 5:00 p.m. in the third floor of the Student Center.

Doctoral student Alejandro Martinez is president of the Georgia Tech Geotechnical Society and will be one of the many presenters at the poster session. His poster, "A Study of  Interface Strength for Pile Design" looks at the variables that affect the bond between pile and soil.

"The better we understand this bond, the more effetive we can be in creating a better bond," he said.

There will be three featured speakers for this year's Symposium.

Giving the State of the Art Lecture will be C. Guney Olgun, PhD, whose presentation, "Energy Piles: Background and Geotechnical Engineering Concepts" will look at the results of recent field, laboratory and numerical modeling research at VIrginia Tech. Olgun is a research assistant professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. 

Presenting the State of the Practice Lecture will be Dr. Ken Been, P. Eng, whose talk, "Gas Processing Projects near the Coast: Geotechical Issues and Foundation Design Solutions" will look at some geotechnical and coastal engineering 'surprises' encountered by Dr. Been during his research in Nigeria. Dr. Been is a Principal with Golder, Associates, Ltd. in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Sowers Lecture will be given by Georgia Tech Professor Dr. Paul W. Mayne, PE. Dr. Mayne's talk, "Geotechnics 2013 in the Atlantic Piedmont and Costal Plain Provinces" will look at several case studies within the framework of geocharacterization, including the Thomas Jefferson Accelerator on which both Dr. Mayne and Professor Sowers collaborated.

The Sowers Symposium is a joint venture between the Georgia Geo-Institute Chapter and the CEE Geosystems Group. Each year, it celebrates the spirit and decidation of the late George F. Sowers, a Georgia Tech  Board of Regents Professor and longtime senior consultant with the former Law Engineering. Like previous symposia, this year's event is built on a partnership between practice and academia that emulates George Sowers' personal career.