ASCE Seattle Section Geotechnical Group - 27 February 2020
The Application of Drilled Displacement Elements for Liquefaction Mitigation and Foundation Improvement
Willie M. NeSmith, PE
Former Chief Geotechnical Engineer
Berkel & Company Contractors
When drilled displacement piles are installed in materials that exhibit granular behavior, there is a significant increase in density in the vicinity of the piles. The increase is most pronounced in loose to medium dense materials and can be utilized to mitigate liquefication and increase the foundation response stiffness of the mass of the material penetrated. Case histories are presented wherein ground improvement elements were installed using drilled displacement pile processes to mitigate liquefaction and increase allowable foundation loading.
Willie M. NeSmith, P.E., is the former chief geotechnical engineer for Berkel & Company Contractors. NeSmith received a B.S. in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1974, and for the following 25 years worked as a consulting geotechnical engineer on projects in the U.S., the Middle East and Africa. He began to specialize in deep foundations in 1990, and joined Berkel & Company in 1999, after serving as a consultant for implementation of Berkel's displacement pile system. He is a leading authority on the design and installation of cast-in-place displacement piles in the U.S., having designed or evaluated over 200 displacement pile projects nationwide. NeSmith has authored over 20 professional publications and is a past member of the DFI Augered Cast-in-Place (ACIP) Pile Committee. He also served as the lead instructor for the DFI ACIP Short Course. NeSmith received his first professional registration in Georgia in 1978.
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