Spring 2015 Seminars
The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department seminar series is held on two Wednesdays a month from 4:00-4:50 pm in the Classroom Building, CB204W. The SD Mines and engineering community are welcome to attend. Professional development hour (PDH) certificates will be mailed to attendees upon request for the seminars noted below. For more information, contact Dr. Soonkie Nam (
Spring 2015 Schedule
Wednesday, January, 28, 2015:
TITLE: Geochemical Modeling of the Down Gradient Transport Potential of Uranium at an In-Situ Recovery (ISR) Facility
PRESENTER: James J. Stone, Ph.D., P.E. Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, SDSM&T
ABSTRACT: In situ recovery (ISR) uranium mine restoration is generally based upon a return of the site to baseline conditions. Restoration is an expensive and time intensive task, and most sites are unable to restore the groundwater to baseline conditions for all constituents. However, as the water travels down gradient, the aquifer may possess some degree of natural contaminant attenuation that allows for restoration to alternate concentration limits. Surface complexation modeling provides useful insight into the physical removal capabilities of an aquifer that can aid stakeholders in better understanding restoration needs. To accomplish this, we present a 1-D Uranium transport surface complexation model of the Mine Unit 3 extension of the Highlands-Smith Ranch ISR site near Douglas, Wyoming. The modeling effort uses a general composite approach which incorporates batch tests with 4 core depths and 3 concentrations of pCO2 for model calibration. PHREEQC was used for the geochemical and transport calculations and a parameter estimation software, PEST, was used to aid in model calibration. The results predict significant uranium plume retardation in terms of both peak concentration and velocity, and stress the importance of understanding site heterogeneity, pCO2 concentrations, and calcium uranyl carbonate complexes for developing aquifer restoration strategies.
BIO: Jim Stone is an Associate Professor within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at SDSM&T. His research focus in a broad sense is contaminant fate and transport in complex environmental systems, and sustainability. More details regarding his research group may be found at
**PDH Credit Available
Friday, February 20, 2015 - at noon, in the Bump Lounge, Surbeck Center
TITLE: Modeling and Design for Earthquake Effects
PRESENTER: Bret Lingwall, Ph.D., P.E.
ABSTRACT: For engineers working in areas of moderate to high seismicity, design of structures for earthquake effects is of paramount importance. For these engineers, considerations for design include the hazards strong ground shaking, surface fault rupture, liquefaction, lateral spreading, and land-sliding. Though engineers have many tools at their disposal to evaluate these hazards and design according to the owner’s risk, many of the tools are limited in assisting owners qualify and quantify their risk. One means that geotechnical engineers have at their disposal for helping owners assess their risk is geotechnical modeling. This presentation will show three examples of research where geotechnical modeling has great potential for not only quantifying risks, but also providing analysis and design solutions. Two examples will be shown where surface fault rupture hazard is being assessed and mitigated to reduce owner risk. One of these examples is the use of EPS Geofoam for buried steel pipeline design. This example shows state of the art soil-EPS-pipe interaction information that has been used in 14 pipe-fault crossings to date. The second example is use of sophisticated modeling with new synergistic approaches for design of deep foundations at locations of surface fault rupture. This example shows state of the art numerical modeling with new approaches for integrating structural analysis with robust soil models. Finally, the presentation will demonstrate areas of liquefaction evaluation which have little to no current data. These areas of liquefaction evaluation can be constrained by new testing to develop simplified and complex numerical models. A uniform and consistent approach to liquefaction evaluation for fine grained soils is being proposed, and this presentation will show the outlook for this project. Overall, the goal of the presentation is to show the power in modeling and the applicability to engineering designs across the globe.
**PDH Credit Available
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 11:00 am, in CM 310
TITLE: “Resilience: Challenges at the Frontier of Structural Engineering”
PRESENTER: Johnn P. Judd, S.E.
ABSTRACT: A large part of the United States is at risk from multiple hazards. The impact of these hazards can be disastrous in terms of losses and recovery time. For example, the 5.7-magnitude 2011 Virginia earthquake caused damage in excess of $100 million and significant recovery time. Windstorms and related coastal inundation have caused over 4,000 casualties and led to property losses in excess of $250 billion over the past 16 years. Tornadoes alone have devastated communities and caused more casualties since 1950 than for earthquakes and hurricanes combined. As a consequence, multi-hazard disaster resiliency has become a national imperative.
This seminar will discuss recent and on-going experimental and computational research intended to mitigate the impact of earthquakes and windstorms. A variety of steel-frame building systems have been explored. The risk of collapse is predicted by integrating hazard and vulnerability. Performance, in terms of repair costs and downtime, is assessed at key hazard intensities and is used to characterize the tradeoff between construction and repair costs, and the ability to recover rapidly after an event.
**PDH Credits Available
Monday, March 2, 2015 - Noon, in Surbeck BallroomTITLE: “Observational Method and Great Challenges in Geotechnical Engineering”
ABSTRACT: The massive enlargement of cities in developing countries, increase in population densities and aging infrastructure in older cities as well as high demand for sustainable infrastructure are leading governments and municipalities to look more for underground developments, and develop or maintain more resilient infrastructure subjected to natural and man-made hazards. The sever impact of the excavation induced ground movements on surrounding structures, or the overstressed induced damages to the energy pipelines on urban life, or roof failures during underground construction, or levee erosion on sustainability of flood protection measures are a few examples that show the necessity for innovative methods of design and construction in the coming years. In this lecture, it is the aim to show that understanding soil and rock behavior and their characterization are the key factors in geotechnical design and need to be supplemented by the observational method introduced by Ralph B. Peck in early 20th century. The presentation will focus on the prediction methods for ground movements in deep excavations, effect of ground movements on energy pipelines, roof stability of underground opening, and erodibility characterization of soil material.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 11:00AM, in Surbeck BallroomTitle: “Shear Lag in Longitudinally-Welded Steel Tension Members”
ABSTRACT: The 2016 version of the AISC 360 Specification presents a new equation for determining the shear lag factor for longitudinally-welded tension members. In previous versions of the Specification, these types of connections were limited to plates and considered shear lag only in the plane of the plate. The revised case is expanded to include more shapes and now considers a biaxial shear lag effect. In this presentation, the shear lag models currently used in the U.S. and Canada are presented, the background related to the development of the new model is discussed, and an example problem illustrating the application of the new equation are presented.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 10:00 am, in the Bump Lounge
TITLE: “Optimization of Composite Laminate Lap Joints through Fiber Tow Steering”
PRESENTER: Tyler Adams, Graduate Research Assistant at SDSM&T
ABSTRACT: Composite materials are widely used as structural components in aerospace, automotive, and marine applications due to their high strength to weight ratio. In these industries, structures are made up of a combination of many parts. These individual parts are connected using adhesive bonds, mechanical fasteners, or a combination of the two. Mechanical fasteners typically use a bolted or riveted connection that requires a hole in the laminates that induces unwanted stress concentrations. Properly designed adhesive joints eliminate the need for mechanical fasteners and allow for a more efficient load transfer. The most efficient bonded joints utilize tapered single or double lap joints or scarf joints. The taper reduces the adherend stiffness at the tip of the joint leading to reduced shear stress concentrations in the adhesive layer. Typically these tapers are produced by machining or “ply-dropping.” This research proposes an alternative method utilizing fiber tow steering (FTS) to control the adherend stiffness without tapering. Analytically, Volkersen’s model is used along with Classical Laminate Theory to provide the theoretical optimum fiber angle along the length of a lap joint that reduces the adherend stiffness. Experimentally, this study incorporates the use of FTS in both single and double lap joints
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 2:00 PM, in CBEC 2228
TITLE: “The Role of Extreme Hydrologic Events in Surface Water Quality”
PRESENTER: Robert M. Hirsch, Ph.D., Research Hydrologist, USGS, Reston, VA, Former USGS Chief Hydrologist and Associate Director for Water
ABSTRACT: Dr. Robert M. Hirsch is a Research Hydrologist at the USGS. From 1994 through May 2008, he served as the Chief Hydrologist of the U.S. Geological Survey. In this capacity, Dr. Hirsch was responsible for all U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) water science programs. These programs encompass research and monitoring of the nation’s ground water and surface water resources including issues of water quantity as well as quality. Hirsch earned a B.A. in Geology from Earlham College, an M.S. in Geology from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering. He began his USGS career in 1976 as a hydrologist and has conducted research on water supply, water quality, pollutant transport, and flood frequency analysis. He had a leading role in the development of several major USGS programs: 1) the National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program: 2) the National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP); and 3) the National Water Information System Web (NWISWeb). He has received numerous honors from the Federal Government and from non-governmental organizations. He is co-author of the textbook “Statistical Methods in Water Resources.” He has testified before congressional committees on many occasions and presented keynote addresses at many water-related meetings in the U.S. and in other countries. Since returning to a research position in 2008, he has focused his efforts on describing long-term changes in streamflow and water quality. This includes exploring century-scale trends in flooding nationwide. It also includes the development and applications of new methods for characterizing trends in nutrient transport for the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Champlain, and Mississippi River watersheds. This research has provided important insights on causes of the observed trends and has also resulted in the development of software (the EGRET R-Package “Exploration and Graphics for RivEr Trends”) to help scientists analyze long-term water quality and quantity records.
**PDH Credit Available
Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 9:00 AM, in Dorr Room, Surbeck CenterTITLE: “Generic Complexation Sorption and Transport Modeling for the Smith Ranch Highland Uranium In-situ Recovery Site in Wyoming, USA”
PRESENTER: Ryan Truax, Graduate Research Assistant at SDSM&T
General complexation modelling was performed to assess the potential natural attenuation of elevated uranium concentrations due to in situ recovery (ISR) mining. Downgradient core samples and upgradient water samples were collected from the Smith Ranch-Highland site owned by Cameco and located in Converse County, Wyoming. The materials were used to performed batch tests involving uranium spikes at 0.5, 1 and 2 mg/L of uranium as well as introducing 0%, 6.5% and 10% pCO2 gas concentrations in the vial headspace. The data was used to calibrate the model with the aid of PEST, a parameter estimation software. Transport and geochemical speciation calculations were performed using PHREEQC software using an updated database which included calcium and magnesium uranyl carbonate complexes. Modelling was generally successful with some model shortcomings. The results indicate significant natural attenuation potential; however, there is uncertainty due to large variances in sorption performance from the heterogeneous core samples. After 60 years, under baseline conditions the peak uranium concentration of the least sorptive sample depth traveled at an average velocity of 0.59 m/yr compared to the estimated groundwater velocity of 2.74 m/yr and a peak uranium concentration reduction 16.5% from an initial 2 mg/L. Furthermore mobile calcium and magnesium uranyl carbonate complexes drastically effect the efficacy of sorption, suggesting additional focus is needed on alkalinity, pH, calcite and other controlling variables in the carbonate system. More data on carbonate system and how it changes downgradient is a key factor in accurately predicting long term attenuation.
In addition to seminars yet to be scheduled, we invite and encourage you to attend the following conferences this spring:
Friday, March 6, 2104: Annual Concrete Conference
Theme: High Performance Concrete
Where: Surbeck Center Ballroom
Time: 7:55 am – 5:00 pm
Schedule & Speaker Information:
Early Registration (thru February 27, 2015): $145.00 (+Tax $8.70 if applicable)
Students & Retirees Registration: $30.00,
**7 PDH Credits Available
Wednesday, April 15, 2015: Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference
Theme: Reliability, Vulnerability, and Resiliency
Where: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD
Keynote Speaker: Rob Harmon, President and CEO of EnergyRM, Presentation Title: “How Markets and People Can Keep Streams Flowing”
Registration Available Online February 9, 2015:
Early Registration (February 9 – March 9, 2015): $70.00 (+Tax $8.70 if applicable)
Students Registration: Free (optional $20 lunch available), **PDH Credits Available
Potential Speaker & Poster Presenters: Abstracts for oral and poster presentations will be accepted through January 13, 2015. Abstracts concerning any earth science topic are welcomed, as are student presentations and posters. Abstracts concerning reliability, vulnerability, and resiliency are especially welcomed as that is our theme for 2015. The 2015 conference will include a poster session for both professionals and students. The poster session will include a student poster contest with prizes awarded for 1st ($300), 2nd ($200), and 3rd ($100) places. All speakers and poster presenters will be required to pay conference registration fees unless they have student status. All speakers and poster presenters will be notified of abstract acceptance by February 2, 2015. For more information and instructions for abstract submittal for both oral and poster presentations, go to
http://sd.water.usgs.gov/WSDconf/callforabstracts.pdf. When submitting an abstract to the 2015 conference, please indicate whether oral presentation or poster is preferred.