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Cross USA Lecture Tour

Editorial | August 1, 2023 | By: Kevin Kerfoot

If you haven’t had a chance to catch the Geo-Institute (G-I) of the American Society of Civil Engineers 2022–2023 Cross-USA Lecture Tour, you still have a few opportunities to do so. This ongoing program for local G-I chapters and graduate student organizations is available to enhance the prestige of the geoprofession. It allows the G-I and host groups to choose from one or more lecture topics; each host jointly decides with the lecturer the final topic to be presented at their location. 

Timothy D. Stark, Ph.D., a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an expertise in geotechnical and geosynthetics engineering, was selected by the Local Involvement Committee  to be the 2022–2023 Cross-USA lecturer. Dr. Stark says all geoprofessionals are invited and encouraged to attend because the lectures are geared toward practicing geotechnical engineers and include recommendations for best practices as well as some lessons learned. He has been involved in a number of projects on these topics, which has facilitated the transfer of his research results to practice.

Dr. Stark says one of the highpoints of the tour for him has been “traveling to many G-I chapters and meeting hundreds of practitioners, students, academicians, contractors and other geoprofessionals. A couple of interesting developments during the Cross-USA Tour included attracting 138 geoprofessionals to the first in-person meeting of the Louisiana G-I chapter and selling out the first post-COVID Geo-Connecticut Conference and giving two presentations.”

The Cross-USA Lecture Tour started on September 19, 2022, and will continue through early 2024. Tour stops have included Blacksburg, Va.; Hershey, Pittsburgh and Valley Forge, Pa.; San Diego, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; metropolitan New York, N.Y.; Atlanta, Ga.; Ames, Iowa; Jackson, Miss.; New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La.; Columbus, Ohio; and Tampa, Fla. 

During the tour, Dr. Stark has discussed case histories such as a toe excavation and deep bedrock landslide, a 3D analysis of the Yeager Airport reinforced soil slope failure, and the Oso, Wash. landslide: failure mechanism and runout analyses. He has also covered technical topics including design geosynthetic interface strengths for landfill stability, and behavior of textured geomembrane/nonwoven geotextile interfaces.

Upcoming tour dates include a virtual September 7 national presentation still to be determined, an October 9 stop in Smithfield, Va., for the Virginia G-I chapter, and a February 9, 2024, stop in Omaha, Neb., for the Nebraska G-I chapter where the topic will be the Port of Anchorage.

Keep these upcoming stops in mind, as Dr. Stark is looking forward to meeting more practitioners, students, academicians, contractors and other geoprofessionals during the remainder of the tour.

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