Landslide & Soil Stabilization Workshop

Landslide & Soil Stabilization Workshop

March 18, 2020 215 S Depeyster St, Kent, OH 44240

The workshop will present an introduction to landslide identification and mitigation. Particular attention will be paid to geohazard events affecting critical earthen embankments carrying infrastructure (such as highways) as well as difficult access terrain (such as oil and gas ROW). Participants will learn basic theories for a variety of innovative mitigation techniques, the proper construction for various solutions, with several case studies showing the application of various solutions. Suggestions for improvements in design and construction/maintenance of highway, dam and levee infrastructure will also be discussed.

From this workshop participants should leave with a better understanding of:

  • Key Factors in Geology and Geomorphology for recognizing, preventing and remediating geohazards
  • Traditional and Innovative Soil Nailing for Landslide
  • Remediation (including (FHWA Guidance, Limit Equilibrium Analysis Overview and commonly used Modeling Software)
  • Manufacturer’s discussion on Soil Nail Types and their proper application
  • Landslide Modeling and Comparisons between Programs
  • Design considerations for Shotcrete Facing, including Facing Option Advantages/Disadvantages (Shotcrete, Mesh, Bio-Technical Facings)
  • History and Evolution of Geosynthetically Confined Soil Technologies including case studies and applications
  • Comparisons between FHWA’s Geosynthetically Reinforced Soil (GRS) and Traditional Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) walls – which is better?
  • Lightweight fill and proper applications
  • Specialty Grouting Techniques and applications

Please contact Justin Anderson, PE or Chris Ruppen, PG for more details. This workshop will be held at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center in Kent, Ohio.

Keynote Speakers

Bob Whipp, P.E.

Bob Whipp, P.E.

Senior Road Engineer, Gulfport Energy

After graduating from West Virginia University with a degree in Civil Engineering, Bob began a 33 year career with the West Virginia Division of Highways where he held various positions including Assistant District Engineer for Construction and the position of District Engineer (equivalent to District Deputy Director in Ohio) which he held for ten years.

After retiring from the Division of Highways, Bob worked for Chesapeake Energy with road improvement and upgrade responsibilities in three states. He spent the last two years with Chesapeake working mainly in the Utica play in Ohio with emphasis on road upgrades and maintenance.

Since leaving Chesapeake, he has taken a similar position with Gulfport Energy Corporation in their St. Clairsville office. In his current position, Bob is continuing the work on RUMA routes as well as taking a larger role in maintain working relationships with county and township officials. He also has responsibilities in the planning phase to determine acceptable locations based on road conditions and access locations.

Amy Zwick, P.S., P.E.

Amy Zwick, P.S., P.E.

Engineer, Monroe County

Amy completed her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Ohio University in 2004. After holding the position of Survey Crew Chief with Vernon Surveying from 2001 to 2007, Amy went on to become a Project Engineer with Pickering Associates & Lock One, Inc., a position she held from 2007 to 2013.

Amy became the Washington County Deputy Engineer in 2013 and held the position until 2017 when she took on her current role with Monroe County as Monroe County Engineer.

Dr. Abdul Shakoor

Dr. Abdul Shakoor

Professor Emeritus of Geology, Kent State

Dr. Abdul Shakoor earned his Masters and Ph.D. in Engineering Geology from Purdue University. He has taught Geology at Kent State University for over 35 years, specializing in Engineering Geology. Engineering Geology is applied geologic work that is relevant to the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of engineering structures as well as to the development, protection, and remediation of groundwater and surface water resources. At Kent State University, the focus of the Engineering Geology program is on studies related to the engineering behavior of soils and rocks, slope stability, water resources development projects, evaluation of construction materials, and engineering applications of waste materials. The research in these areas is diverse, inter-disciplinary, and collaborative in nature.


Justin Anderson, P.E.

Justin Anderson, P.E.

Midwest Project Development Engineer

Justin has over sixteen(16) years of civil engineering and geotechnical experience from his time working as a consultant. His experience has a heavy focus on geotechnical design and subsurface engineering projects. Prior to consulting, Justin worked for two heavy construction contractors in central Kentucky and Norfolk Southern Railroad.

He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky where, in addition to his studies, Justin worked as a Research Assistant on various geotechnical research projects pertaining to railroad track and subgrade design. He is a licensed professional engineer in KY, NE, IN and IA and has extensive knowledge of transportation, power, and water resources projects.

Chris Ruppen, P.G.

Chris Ruppen, P.G.

Energy Services Director

Chris brings nearly 35 years of Geotechnical and Geohazard experience to help solve the energy industry’s challenging slope-related issues. When midstream, upstream, electric transmission line right of ways and infrastructure are impacted by Geohazards involving slips, over-steepened slopes, stream and road crossings, access roads, effects of erosion and poor drainage, karst, mining impacts, rockfalls, and rockslides, Chris helps to deliver solutions to protect these facilities.

Chris earned double Bachelor of Science degrees in geology and conservation of natural resources from Kent State University and a master’s certificate from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business. Chris is a licensed Professional Geologist in Pennsylvania and has published and presented numerous papers on Geotechnical and Geohazard related topics.

Bob Barrett, P.G.

Bob Barrett, P.G.


Robert “Bob” Barrett earned a B.S. in Geology from Marshall University and worked for the West Virginia DOH and the Colorado DOT for over 30 years as a landslide specialist. He was also the chief geologist for design and construction of Interstate 70 across the Colorado Rockies. Bob was Manager of Geotechnical Research for the Colorado DOT and for the Colorado Transportation Institute; and a co-inventor of the Colorado Rockfall Simulation Program (CRSP). He chaired the Transportation Research Board Committee on Geosynthetics, the NCHRP Panel on Sealing Geotechnical Boreholes, and the NCHRP Panel 12-59, dealing with the design of GRS bridge abutments.

Bob is a leading geotechnical researcher and, together with Al Ruckman, holds eight patents for soil stabilization and rockfall mitigation devices; as well as Geosynthetically Confined Soil (GCS®) retaining wall innovations, earthquake wings for bridges, scour micropiles for open bottom boxes, and other applications. For his tireless efforts to further the geotechnical profession, Bob received the 1991 Colorado Governor’s award for Creativity and Innovation in Government Service. Bob is currently a member of the NCHRP Project Panel committed to developing seismic guidelines for GRS bridge abutments. His commitment to the education of GCS technology for the geotechnical community is best illustrated at his self-maintained website

Bob was the former Manager of Bridge Design and Construction for Yenter Companies. In 2002 he co-founded the Soil Nail Launcher company [predecessor to GeoStabilization International] with Al Ruckman. He now serves in a Senior Advisor capacity and is still involved in the company’s research and development efforts. Bob and Al Ruckman were the recipients of the 1998 IFAI design award for the design and construction of a 55-ft high GCS® retaining wall in Grand County, Colorado. They continue to enjoy solving difficult problems. Together, they have presented technology transfer programs on five continents about GCS®, landslide mitigation, and rockfall control. They have constructed GCS® walls and abutments across the globe. Bob is currently using his expertise to promote a new venture, US GCSBRIDGE®, which aims to use GCS® technology to rebuild failing bridges across the continent at a fraction of the cost.

Matt Williams, P.E.

Matt Williams, P.E.

Project Development Engineer

Matt is a Project Development Engineer for Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. After earning a BS in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky, Matt began his career in project engineering for a regional engineering consultant based in Pikeville, KY. Matt then transitioned to become Civil/Site Section Manager and Local Design Center Manager for a national engineering firm’s Lexington, KY office. Matt’s recent experience focused on developing a large-site development project, ongoing since 2012, which required consulting with architects, structural engineers, public officials, and the developer to bring the project to a successful completion. He also has experience in power transmission & generation, solar power, transportation, aviation, and rail market sectors. Matt is a licensed Professional Engineer in Kentucky.

Scott Embry, P.E.

Scott Embry, P.E.

Director, North Central Region

Scott holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Western Kentucky University and a M.S. Degree in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical Engineering) from the University of Kentucky. Scott has extensive experience in slope stability analyses, settlement analyses, external retaining wall analyses, rock cut slope design, seismic design, pavement design, and deep and shallow foundation analyses. Scott also joins GeoStabilization’s long list of military veteran employees-he served as a Squad Leader in the Kentucky Army National Guard for over eight years and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006 to 2007.

Dylan Jones, P.E.

Dylan Jones, P.E.

Assistant Project Development Engineer

Dylan is an Assistant Project Development Engineer for the North Central region. A graduate of GeoStabilization’s Summer Intern Program prior to joining as a full-time employee, Dylan graduated from Western Kentucky University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. During his time at WKU, Dylan worked as an engineering intern for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Dylan went on to earn his Masters of Science in Civil Engineering, emphasis in geotechnical engineering, from Auburn University. At Auburn, Dylan studied the effectiveness of remediation strategies for roads experiencing damage caused by expansive clay soils in western Alabama.

Greg Bachman, P.E., P.S.

Greg Bachman, P.E., P.S.

Retired, Senior Project Development Engineer

Greg has over 36 years of engineering and surveying experience. He has been a City Engineer, Service Director, County Engineer supervising staffs of up to 150 with annual budgets of up to $17,000,000, and most recently a Project Development Engineer with GeoStabilization for over 6 years.

Event Schedule

7:30 - 8:00 am

Coffee provided

8:00 - 8:10 am

Introductions with workshop overview and goals. Presenter: Justin Anderson

8:10 - 8:40 am
What Happened Here?

Overview (historic geology, stratigraphy, geomorphology, geohazard development, landslide types/mechanisms). Presenter: Chris Ruppen & Dr. Abdul Shakoor

8:40 - 9:30 am
Geohazards impacting our infrastructure (Part 1)

Presenter: Amy Zwick and Greg Bachman

9:30 - 10:15 am
Geohazards impacting our infrastructure (Part 2)

Presenter: Bob Whipp

10:15 - 10:35 am

Short break

10:35 - 11:10 am
History of Geosynthetic Confined Soil (GCS®)

History of GCS® technology including case studies and applications. Presenter: Bob Barrett

11:10 - 11:35 am
Traditional Soil Nail Design

Presenter: Justin Anderson

11:35 - 11:50 am
Working Lunch

Lunch will be provided

11:50 - 12:15 pm
Launched Soil Nail Design

Working Lunch. Presenter: Dylan Jones

12:15 - 12:50 pm
Steep Slope Stabilization Techniques

Presenter: Chris Ruppen

12:50 - 1:15 pm
Facing Options Advantages/Disadvantages

With shotcrete, mesh, bio-wall, etc. and case studies. Presenter: Matt Williams

1:15 - 1:35 pm

Short break

1:35 - 2:05 pm
Compaction Grouting Technology

Including case studies and applications. Presenter: Justin Anderson

2:05 - 2:55 pm
Integrated Design Concepts

Case studies (GCS/V/L walls). Presenter: Scott Embry

2:55 - 3:20 pm
Open Discussion & Questions

Justin Anderson and Chris Ruppen

3:20 - 3:30 pm

Closing words by Justin Anderson and Chris Ruppen


Landslide & Soil Stabilization Workshop
This is a no-cost workshop that also includes a complementary lunch. PDH certificates (8 hours) will be issued for each participant at the workshop’s satisfactory conclusion.