By Gary Seider
In August, I participated in the 1st International Geotechnical Symposium on Helical Foundations held at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. It was sponsored by the International Society for Helical Foundations (ISHF) and organized by Dr. Alan Lutenegger, P.E.
Dr. Lutenegger is one of the leading authorities on helical piles and anchors in North America. His on-going research continues to break new ground regarding new and better ways to determine the capacity and performance of helical foundations.
Researchers and practitioners from all over the world, including China, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, and the United States, were in attendance and presented. There was the right balance of presentations from academia and practitioners, plus plenty of time given to question and answer sessions. One aspect that I enjoyed was the opportunity to build relationships with people from all over the world with common interests. I came away from the conference convinced that helical foundations have the support and backing of many influential people, not just those I already knew.
Much work has been done over the years on helical foundations, but the Symposium showed that there are many opportunities still to be developed. One of those opportunities is the ISHF Training Course for Field Inspectors specifically suited to the installation of Helical Piles and Anchors. The next Training Course will be held on November 18, 2013 in Atlanta, GA, hosted by distributor, Foundation Technologies.
Gary develops and patents many products currently used in helical applications, while continuing to give educational seminars around the country and abroad. Gary was recently appointed as chair of the DFI Helical Piles and Tiebacks Committee.
Check out Gary’s previous articles, “On the Set of ‘This Old House'” and “Gary Seider Reflects On ‘This Old House’ Helical Pile Episode.”