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Cross-USA lecture tour 2021-2022

Silas Nichols

Silas Nichols is the Principal Geotechnical Engineer for the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Infrastructure. Silas is responsible for providing leadership and direction for the FHWA National Geotechnical Team through policy support, technical developments, and coordination with industry and professional groups.  Silas’ experience is in both public and private sector engineering work.

Professional experience includes design and construction services for numerous routine, and complex or unusual projects throughout the United States; development and delivery of instructor led and web based training for continued education of transportation engineers; development and delivery of university courses; invited and keynote presentations; authoring technical articles and editorial columns; and various levels of participation on technical and steering committees.

Silas is internationally recognized for accomplishments related to design and construction, risk in project delivery, and quality assurance in foundation construction. He has led, and overseen a variety of research efforts and the development of several geotechnical engineering circulars (GECs) that have established or updated the state of the practice for highway geotechnics, provided expert forensic assistance in several high-profile projects throughout the United States, and provided technical training and expert assistance to numerous foreign agencies on a diverse selection of topics. Silas is a Certified Instructor and a Master Trainer for the National Highway Institute (NHI), and teaches classes part-time at the University of Delaware. Silas has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University, and a Master’s Degree in Geotechnical Engineering from Tuft’s University.

Potential Lecture Topics:

  • Considerations for Improved Site Characterization
  • The Role of Foundation Acceptance in Geotechnical Engineering
  • Challenges with Large Diameter Foundation Elements
  • Mentoring - A Key to Professional Success
  • Geotechnical Challenges for the Future of the Transportation