The Geo-Institute (G-I) of the ASCE provides the Cross-USA Lecture Tour to local G-I chapters and Graduate Student Organizations as an ongoing program to enhance the prestige of the Geoprofession and local events. The Cross-USA G-I Lecturer is a nominated distinguished geoprofessional that has to visit at least five different U.S. locations during the tour. Dr.Stark provided the host groups with a choice of thirty lecture topics and each group selected the topic to be presented at their location.
Timothy D. Stark, Ph.D.,P.E., a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an expertise in geotechnical and geosynthetics engineering, was selected by the G-I Local Involvement Committee to be the 2022–2023 Cross-USA lecturer. Dr. Stark says all geoprofessionals are invited and encouraged to attend the meetings because the lectures are geared toward practicing geotechnical engineers and include recommendations for best practices as well as some lessons learned from major projects. He has been involved in a number of projects on these topics, which has facilitated the transfer of his research results to practice.
Dr. Stark says one of the highpoints of the tour for him has been “traveling to many G-I chapters and meeting hundreds of practitioners, students, academicians, contractors and other geoprofessionals. A couple of interesting developments during the Cross-USA Tour include attracting 138 geoprofessionals to the first in-person meeting of the Louisiana G-I chapter and serving as the keynote speaker for a number of regional conferences.”
The Cross-USA Lecture Tour started on September 19, 2022, and continued through early November 2023. The 23 tour stops included Blacksburg, Va.; Hershey, Pittsburgh and Valley Forge, PA.; San Diego, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; metropolitan New York, N.Y.; Atlanta, Ga.; Ames, Iowa; Jackson, Miss.; New Orleans and Baton Rouge, LA.; Columbus, OH; Tampa, FL, Smithfield, VA, Louisville, KY, and three G-I virtual presentations that are available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAw_li-bQfAWRso-1OwNebw.
During the tour, Dr. Stark discussed case histories such as: fill placement on a slope, toe excavation and deep bedrock landslide, 3D analysis of the Yeager Airport reinforced soil slope failure, and 2014 Oso, Washington Landslide: failure mechanism and runout analysis. He also covered technical topics that include 3D slope stability analyses, design geosynthetic interface strengths for landfill stability, drained soil shear strengths for static slope stability analyses, behavior of textured geomembrane/nonwoven geotextile interfaces, importance of design peer review, drilled shaft integrity testing, a new flow failure assessment procedure for dams and embankments, and the effect of liquids on geosynthetic interface strength and landfill slope stability. Some of these topics will be coming to the FGI Webinar Series in the near future.