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Geotechnical details Wednesday May 24

10.15 Theatre A Eliminating the alligators -- the model approach to client satisfaction. Chris Penn, WSP Virtual Solutions.

The much-maligned creature the alligator is symbolically used to personify reoccurring problems in life. WSP Virtual Solutions will demonstrate how by building projects in the computer the major threats to design and construction can be reduced. Alligators Cost, Defect, Ignorance and Time are featured in the built environment to highlight historical problems and how we deal with them.

10.45 Theatre B The geogrid that combines drainage with reinforcement. Geoff Kempton, Terram.

Terram says its new geogrid, ParaDrain, has the unique capability to drain the soil which it is reinforcing. Soils which had been considered unsuitable for reinforcing, such as clays, fine dredged sands and mining wastes, can now be used as Terram ParaDrain can rapidly dissipate pore water pressures which would normally build up in such soils.

12.45 Theatre B Recent developments in high strength geosynthetics. Dr Dimiter Alexiew, Huesker UK.

Use of geosynthetics is gaining ground on more traditional construction techniques.

Manufacturer Huesker Synthetic continues to work on both new products and novel applications. One such area is the field of high strength reinforcement geosynthetics in a variety of new polymers. By using different polymers previously difficult applications, where either highly contaminated fills are present, or only very low deflections are permissible, can now be tackled with confidence.

13.15 Theatre A The Channel Tunnel Rail Link - the largest RTK Global Positioning System network in Europe. Peter Lloyd, Survey Supplies; Keith Hofgartner, Trimble; Chris Kelly, RLE.

At the beginning of the CTRL project, Chris Kelly, data manager for Rail Link Engineering said: 'RTK GPS is now the most effective method of setting out and the permanent base station system provides a controlled environment for the surveyor or engineer to carry out his work.' The seminar will look at why RLE chose a Trimble GPS solution, the management of the network, the benefits of the network and how the system has been adapted to meet the project's specific requirements.

13.45 Theatre B A correct soil description has a value. Peter Dunn, Mini Soil Surveys.

Many engineers do not understand or have forgotten the basics of the mechanical properties of soils. Most engineers do not appreciate that a correct soil description has a numerical value which, if properly understood, has a financial value. Using props such as bags of crisps, sheets of glass and sand pies, Peter Dunn will illustrate why a correct soil description is important. A wall chart containing extracts from the revised BS 5930 - 1999 will be given to all delegates.

15.45 Theatre B Hydrated bentonite waterproof systems. Steve Wharton, Rawell Water Control Systems.

Bentonite's applications in civil engineering from the 1930s until today will be covered, exploring the characteristics of the three types: natural calcium bentonite; activated calcium bentonite and natural sodium bentonite. Cation exchange and the way in which bentonite barriers work in the ground will be explained against the background of the hydrated bentonite membranes developed by Rawel Water Control Systems.

16.15 Theatre A Mini-piling - the future. John Patch, Roger Bullivant.

Roger Bullivant's innovative approach to civil and structural engineering is demonstrated in the various products and services used for its foundations. The presentation will encompass all aspects of mini-piling and will include underpinning techniques used on bridges and structures associated with road and rail works.

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