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Cross-USA lecture Tour 2019-2020

Robert Bachus, Ph.D., P.E.

Robert Bachus is a Senior Principal engineer based in Georgia with more than 40 years of professional experience focused on geotechnical engineering, geoenvironmental engineering, waste by-product characterization, and the permitting and design of waste containment facilities. He provides analysis, design, and forensic investigation services on projects related to these practice areas. He also provides expert consultation on matters in litigation.

Bob is nationally recognized for his expertise in geotechnical site characterization, in situ and laboratory testing, settlement and slope stability analysis, performance monitoring of geotechnical and earthen structure systems, and geotechnical data management. He has worked extensively on the design and rehabilitation of earth dams, levee structures, and earth retaining systems, with extensive experience on soil and rock strength characterization and slope stability assessment. He is a leading authority in the characterization, assessment, and construction of engineered structures in areas underlain by karst geologic features.

While on the geotechnical engineering faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology, Bob focused his research on the beneficial re-use of coal combustion by-product materials and engineering applications for geosynthetic materials. He continues to work in these areas, and recently served as the lead author of a design guidance document related to drainage geocomposites used in civil engineering applications. He served as co-chair of the GeoCongress 2006, a national conference emphasizing geotechnical engineering in the information age. His applied research in geotechnical engineering and solid waste management has yielded significant advancements in performance monitoring instrumentation used for assessing settlement beneath embankments and other earthen structures. In addition to his ongoing research and interest in coal combustion residuals (CCRs) and geotechnical data management and visualization, Bob has authored or co-authored more than 100 technical publications. These include several technical design guidance documents on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration regarding geotechnical engineering design. Bob is currently a member of the G-I and TRB committees related to soil and rock properties and the USSD committee regarding tailings dams.

Lecture Topics for Cross-USA Lecture Tour 2019-2020

Geotechnical Engineering Case Study

  • Where are the Giants?  An Inspiration from George Sowers
  • Dam Failures: Recent Experience with Mine Tailings and Coal Ash Impoundments
  • Use of Field Instrumentation and Monitoring to Assess Ground Modification by Blast Densification
  • Lessons and Challenges from Rehabilitation of a Major Landslide in Colluvium
  • A Perspective on Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls:  Pushing the Limits or Pulling Us Down
  • Yeager Airport:  Geogrid Performance in a Reinforced Soil Slope
  • Standard or Modified Compaction:  Potential Problems when More is Less
  • Lessons Learned from Full-scale Hydraulic Load Test of London Avenue Canal I-Wall after Hurricane Katrina

Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs)

  • You Be the Judge…. Ash Cell Failure at the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant
  • Lessons Learned from Geotechnical Characterization of Ponded Fly Ash and Their Impacts on Pond Closure Design and Construction

Geotechnical Data Management

  • DIGGS and Its Use in Managing Geotechnical Data
  • Data Management System and Construction Monitoring Results from Wolf Creek Dam Rehabilitation

Landfill Engineering

  • Evaluation of Waste Compressibility on a Large Scale:  Challenges of Landfill Vertical Expansion over Waste
  • Recent Lessons and Future Trends in Landfill Design and Performance

Development in Karst

  • Geotechnical Analysis in Karst – Interaction between Engineers and Hydrogeologists
  • Lessons Learned from the Investigation and Remediation for Projects Sited Over Karst and Abandoned Underground Mines (AUMs)

Timely Topics

  • Geotechnical Engineering Strategies to Meet Effects of Climate Change on Transportation Infrastructure
  • Application of Ground Improvement Technologies Towards Sustainable Engineering Practices

Focused Geotechnical Topics

  • Standard of Practice Update:  AASHTO Subsurface Characterization and Geotechnical Engineering Circular #5
  • When Seismic Design Really Governs:  West Coast Lessons to East Coast Practice

Focused Landfill Topics

  • Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls in Landfill Applications
  • Elevated Temperature Landfills:  Short History and Recent Lessons
  • Landfill Fires:  Cause Prevention and Mitigation
  • Leachate Seeps in MSW Landfills: Cause, Prevention, and Remediation
  • Leachate Spray Mist Evaporation
  • When Sludge is not a Four Letter Word
  • Benefits of Landfill Closure During the Operation of the Landfill