Short Courses

GeoQuébec 2015 is pleased to offer six short courses as part of the official conference program. Five courses will be held at the Hilton and one at Université Laval.

CANCELLED SC1 - Présentation de la version française de la 4e édition du Manuel canadien d'ingénierie des fondations

Instructors: Jean Lafleur, Paul Chiasson and Muhsin Elie Rahhal
Date: Saturday, September 19 and Sunday, September 20
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Instruction language: French
Cost: Before August 1st – $975; On/After August 1st – $1075 (Students $635)
The French version of the 4th Edition of the Canadian Foundation Engineering Manual was published in 2013. Jean Lafleur was the the Editor and he has agreed to lead this special 2-day course on its content. The course fee includes a copy of the Manual and will cover the following items:
Day 1: Introduction - Definitions, Identification of Soils, Site Investigation, Special Conditions, Limit States Design, Seismic Design, Bearing Capacity and Foundation Settlement, Deep Foundations - Geotechnical Design;
Day 2: Deep Foundations - Structural Design/Load tests/Control of Deep Foundations, Drainage and Filters, Groundwater Monitoring, Frost Action, Improving Soil in Place, Side Pressures, Excavation With and Without Support, Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Walls.
About the Instructors:
Dr. Jean Lafleur received his Ph.D. from the University of Sherbrooke and was a Professor in the Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering at École Polytechnique de Montreal from 1977 to 2011. He has taught, conducted research and acted as a geotechnical consultant particularly on the application of geosynthetics in civil engineering and the stability of clay slopes. He has participated in many intensive courses and is the author of over 100 scientific publications in the field of road pavements, embankment dams and works to protect the environment.
Dr Paul Chiasson received his Ph.D. from École Polytechnique de Montréal and is Dean of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Moncton and a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering. He teaches geotechnical engineering and is conducting research on the mechanical behavior of unsaturated granular soils, hydraulic conductivity, low-permeability soils and probabilistic approaches in geotechnical engineering.
Dr Muhsin Elie Rahal received his doctorate from the University of Sherbrooke in 1997 and is a Professor at the Superior School of Engineers of Beirut Saint Joseph University. He teaches and conducts research in geotechnical engineering, particularly on the rheology of soils, foundations, geotechnical earthquake, soil liquefaction, seismic zoning, landslides and geotechnical calculations in reliability. He worked on the study of the behavior of clays and sands in eastern Canada under monotonic and cyclic loads. He is the author of over 50 scientific publications and a member of several international scientific committees.
SC2 - Quantitative risk assessment in geotechnical engineering: theory and applications, with emphasis on landslides, geohazards, offshore foundations and dams
Instructors: Farrokh Nadim and Suzanne Lacasse
Date: Sunday, September 20
Time: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Instruction language: English
Cost: Before August 1st – $420; On/After August 1st  – $470 (Students $250)
Society and regulations increasingly require that the hazard and risk associated with engineered activities be quantified. Frameworks for quantifying the risk associated with natural hazards and unsatisfactory performance of constructed facilities aim at answering the following questions:
  • What are the probable dangers? [Danger Identification]
  • What would be the magnitude and frequency of danger? [Hazard Assessment]
  • What are the elements at risk? [Elements at Risk Identification]
  • What might be the degree of damage to the elements at risk? [Vulnerability Assessment]
  • What is the probability of damage? [Risk Estimation]
  • What is the significance of the estimated risk? [Risk Evaluation]
  • What should be done? [Risk Management]
Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) involves going through each of the above steps, some of which require probabilistic analysis. QRA is an important tool to account for uncertainties in a design, obtain a reliability safety margin and assist the process of decision-making. The probabilistic approach provides a rational framework for taking into account the uncertainties in an engineering design and evaluating the probability of non-performance or failure.

The short course presents hazard assessment in the context of QRA. The practical methods for doing probabilistic analyses, such as first-order, second-moment (FOSM) approach, first- and second-order reliability methods (FORM and SORM). Monte Carlo simulation techniques and event trees are described. The central part of the course is the application of reliability approaches in geotechnical practice. Examples are provided for, among others, slope instability on land, calibration of safety factor, dams and offshore foundations, including the stability of underwater slopes under earthquake loading.
About the instructors:
Dr Farrokh Nadim is Technical Director at NGI, former Director of the International Centre for Geohazards (ICG) and former Chair of ISSMGE TC32: "Engineering practice of risk assessment and management". His major fields of work are geohazards, risk and reliability analysis, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and offshore foundation engineering. He is the author or co-author of over 150 scientific publications and one of the Lead Authors of IPCC’s Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation.
Dr Lacasse was educated at Ecole Polytechnique of Montréal and MIT. She was Managing Director of NGI from 1991 to 2011, and now acts as Technical Director. She was President of the CGS in 2003-2004. Since the mid-80s, she has worked with applications of statistics, probability and reliability concepts to foundation design. She gave the ASCE 37th Terzaghi Lecture in 2001, the ISSMGE 8th Terzaghi Oration in 2013 and the ICE/BGA 55th Rankine Lecture in 2015.
SC3 - Permafrost science and engineering applied to transportation infrastructure

Instructors: Guy Doré and Chris Burn
Date: Sunday, September 20
Time: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Instruction language: English
Cost: Before August 1st  – $420; On/After August 1st  – $470 (Students $250)
The short course will focus on several geotechnical aspects of permafrost environment and engineering practices for northern transportation infrastructure. The course will begin with considerations of the ground thermal regime in permafrost regions. This will include discussion of factors controlling temperature and thickness of permafrost, and a range of temperature to be expected in in the ground during the year. Ground ice occurrence and development in permafrost terrain will be considered with special attention to the growth of segregated ice lenses. The importance of the presence and the distribution of ice wedges, especially on hillslopes will be emphasized. Principles and methods for site investigation and design of roads, airstrips, railways and other linear structures built in permafrost environments will also be included in the course. The course will provide basic information required to understand the context and the challenges of building linear infrastructures on permafrost. Basic principles leading to effective site investigation, design and management of linear structures built on permafrost will also be presented and discussed.
About the instructors:
Dr Guy Doré is professor in pavement engineering at the civil engineering department of Laval University since 1997.  He is very active in research on pavement engineering and on permafrost engineering. He co-authored the books “Cold regions pavement engineering” and “Guidelines for development and management of transportation infrastructure in permafrost regions”. He currently holds the NSERC industrial research chair on the interaction between trucks, climate and pavements and he manages the “ARQULUK” research program on permafrost engineering applied to transportation infrastructure.
Dr Chris Burn is professor of geography and environmental studies at Carleton University. He has specialized in research on permafrost since 1982. His research is based in Yukon and the western arctic. From 2002 to 2012, he held the NSERC Northern Research Chair in the Yukon and in Northwest Territories.

SC4 - Workshop on numerical analysis for embankment and rockfill dams verification & validation for better prediction

Date: Sunday, September 20
Time: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Instruction language: English
Cost: Before August 1st – $420; On/After August 1st – $470 (Students $250)
Several dams designed and built in Canada and elsewhere have shown atypical behavior such as the loss of strength of rockfill at first filling or the long term creep. The workshop will provide an overview of current Canadian and international practice for the stress-strain analysis of embankment and rockfill dams. These developments will be presented by experts with emphasis on verification and validation (V&V) importance for correct predictive modeling. According to the V&V approach applied to dam engineering, the dam behavior during its first filling and its service life is the «reality of interest» (complete full scale physical model) and represents the target of our predictions. V&V approach relies heavily on physical models for the validation part of the process in order to demonstrate how «correct» the mathematical and numerical models are. Expanding on these basic principles, the workshop will examine stress-strain analysis of tailing, embankment and rockfill dams. The analysis procedures will be illustrated through examples and/or case histories with emphasis on constitutive models, site instrumentation, statistical analysis of monitoring data, laboratory characterization, statistical prediction models, «benchmarking» process, coupled and multiphysics modeling, etc. This workshop is held in collaboration with Hydro-Québec.

Workshop Organization: Eric Péloquin, Hydro-Québec Production
Workshop Moderator: Guy Lefebvre, Emeritus Professor, Université de Sherbrooke
Instructors: Lars Andresen - Norwegian Geotechnical Institute
                       François Duhaime - École de technologie supérieure de Montréal
                       Michael James - École Polytechnique de Montréal
                       Mourad Karray - Université de Sherbrooke
                       Jean-Marie Konrad - Université Laval
                       François Laigle - Électricité de France - DPIH - Centre d'Ingénierie Hydraulique
                       Denis LeBoeuf - Université Laval
                       Daniel Verret - Ingénieur en géotechnique au sein de l’unité Expertise en barrages d’Hydro Québec
                       Fjóla G. Sigtryggsdóttir - Earthquake Engineering Research Centre
                       Mahdi Taiebat - University of British Columbia

Click here for preliminary agenda and mini-bios of instructors.
CANCELLED SC5 - Integration of geoscientific data into a geographic information system: Assessment of vulnerability to permafrost degradation (case study of the Inuit community of Salluit, Northern Québec, Canada)
Instructor: Richard Fortier
Date: Sunday, September 20
Time: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Instruction language: English
Cost: Before August 1st – $420; On/After August 1st – $470 (Students $250)
This course will be given at Université Laval. Cost includes transportation from the conference to Université Laval
Vulnerability to natural hazards is a key geoscientific knowledge in decision-making for land use management and planning. For example, the zonation of vulnerability to landslides allows planners to avoid areas of risk for municipal development. An assessment of vulnerability must consider and integrate all available and relevant geoscientific information of a study area. In this short course, a case study in cold regions land use management and planning will be reviewed. Synthesis layers of vulnerability to permafrost degradation for the Inuit community of Salluit in Northern Québec, Canada, will be assessed through the weighted overlays of thematic layers (slopes, Quaternary deposits, surface runoff water, ice content in permafrost and revealing microforms). The rasterization of these thematic layers, their ranging and rankings, and their weighted overlays will be carried out in a geographic information system (GIS) under ArcGIS 10.1. These synthesis layers can be then used for municipal planning purpose. Each participant will produce his own GIS to assess the vulnerability to permafrost degradation using a computer in a laboratory at Université Laval under the supervision of Dr. Richard Fortier. This short course is an introduction to ArcGIS 10.1.
About the instructor:
Dr Richard Fortier is a Physics Engineer specialized in northern regions geophysics and engineering. He has a wide-ranging background in lecturing in geophysics and tutoring undergraduate and graduate students, as well as research supervision. He is very active in permafrost science and cold regions engineering in Northern Quebec. He is a specialist in field logistic in remote location, drilling and sampling of ice-rich permafrost, and in situ measurement methods in geotechnics and near-surface geophysics.

CANCELLED SC6 - Seismic soil-structure interaction

Instructor: Liam Finn
Date: Sunday, September 20
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Instruction language: English
Cost: Before August 1st – $420; On/After August 1st – $470 (Students $250)
Soil-structure interaction has two main components: an approximate but adequate model of interaction between soil and structure and the selection of appropriate ground motions for analysis. Both aspects are covered in the course.

First an introduction to the new probabilistic ground motions in NBCC 2015 is presented and their impact on structural design and seismic liquefaction is discussed. Then the selection and scaling of candidate ground motions for seismic response analysis of soil sites and structures are explained and the number of ground motions required to guarantee a reliable response is discussed.  This background will also be useful in dealing with NBCC (2015) and the new bridge code.

The role of soil-structure interaction (SSI) in the seismic response of slab foundations, pile foundations, bridges, tall buildings, and deep basement walls will be presented in the context of best current practice.  In order to avoid complicated time consuming nonlinear dynamic analysis, current practice simplifies the computational model by separating the soil from the structure and simulating the interaction  by nonlinear springs, for example, p-y curves for single piles and, in addition, interaction factors for pile groups. Many of the quantitative factors in modern practice are based on old and/or limited research and more recent research has found them to be deficient. For example the interaction factors for pile-soil-pile interaction recommended by AASHTO and FEMA are based on tests on small pile groups and recent research has shown that recommendations for large pile groups are inadequate. In a global sense current practice will be evaluated by analysis of the response of an instrumented bridge in California to strong earthquake shaking and comparing calculated and measured responses. All these issues will be clearly explained and recommendations will be made that improve current methods of handling soil-structure interaction in analysis.
About the Instructor:
Dr Finn is a Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia. Finn’s main research interest is geotechnical earthquake engineering with particular interest in liquefaction, seismic response of sites and earth structures, seismic safety evaluation of dams, seismic response of pile foundations and seismic risk.