IFCEE 2021 Technical Program

Conference Proceedings

The IFCEE 2021 conference proceedings will be published as a series of volumes organized around particular topics. Most of the volumes will be published as Geotechnical Special Publications (GSP), and one volume, reserved for case histories and lessons learned in general practice will be a Geotechnical Practice Publication (GPP).

  • Geotechnical Special Publications (GSP): GSPs originated with the proceedings of the first geotechnical specialty conference (held in 1960 on the Shear Strength of Cohesive Soils), and the G-I has administered the publications ever since its formation in 1996. GSPs are the G-I’s primary outlet for continuing the tradition of geotechnical knowledge transfer. They are recognized internationally as premier publications for geotechnical engineering and the geoprofession. Papers published in a GSP are indexed in Civil Engineering Database, Google Scholar, and others. A GSP is special because the content is subject to rigorous technical review during a three-phase submission process. Each paper must receive a minimum of two positive peer reviews before final acceptance.
  • Geotechnical Practice Publications (GPP). Geotechnical Practice Publications (GPP) showcase practice-oriented papers presented at conferences, and serve as a means to make material developed by practicing engineers available to a broader audience. Papers included in a GPP must be reviewed by an editorial board or receive one positive review from a designated reviewer.

NOTE: A copy of the proceedings will be provided ONLY to those who register for and attend the conference, or to those who purchase a copy after the conference. Complimentary copies of the proceedings are not automatically provided to authors; only to conference attendees.

You are invited…

…to submit an abstract to any of the technical tracks listed below.
Abstracts without all the details requested below may not be considered:

  • Abstracts may only be submitted via the online CATALYST Submission System:
    Information about how to log into CATALYST, create a new account, and navigate through the submission process is available:
  • Abstracts are expected to be between 100 to 300 words.
    Abstracts can not contain images, tables, or other graphic elements. No not include, keywords, HTML formatting codes, or data from other database fields.
  • Authors may select between two paper types to indicate the intended format of their final submission: Technical Paper (6 to 10 pages in length) or Case History (12 to 15 pages in length).
  • Submissions must include the full formal names, credentials, affiliations, contact information and email addresses for all authors.
  • Submit your abstract to one of the following tracks:
Due Dates-at-a-Glance

Abstracts Due January 15, 2020
Decision on Abstracts February 10, 2020
Draft Papers Due July 17, 2020
Decisions on Draft papers September 4, 2020
Revised Papers Due October 23, 2020
Final Decision October 30, 2020

TRACK A/ Piles, Shafts, and Load-Bearing Elements

Including sub-topics such as: driven piles; drilled shafts/bored piles; CFA/augered castin-place/drilled displacement piles; micropiles; helical piles; and load bearing elements (LBEs)

TRACK B/ Deep Foundations

Including sub-topics such as: seismic loads on deep foundations; integrity testing and QC issues, re-use of foundations; reliability and LRFD; energy piles (geothermal piles); other sustainability topics for deep foundations; and transmission foundations.

TRACK C/ Earth Retention and Support

Including sub-topics such as: deep excavation design; helical anchors; numerical modeling of excavation performance; dewatering and excavation stabilization; and procurement practices for anchored earth retention projects.

TRACK D/ Ground Improvement & Seepage Control

Including sub-topics such as: ground improvement for static reinforcement (aggregate piers, vibro-replacement); ground improvement for seismic reinforcement
(DSM, vibro-stone columns, etc.); deep soil mixing/cutter soil mixing technologies; densification (vibro-compaction, deep dynamic compaction); seepage control barriers (slurry walls, trenching) and grouting; and bioremediation and bio-inspired.

TRACK E/ Other Topics in Geotechnical Engineering

Including sub-topics such as: shallow foundations; earthquakes and soil dynamics; embankments, dams, and slopes; geoenvironmental; rock mechanics; soil erosion; unsaturated soils; sustainability in geotechnical engineering; monitoring/instrumentation; subsurface characterization/site investigation; and laboratory testing.

TRACK F/ Case Histories, Lessons Learned and General Practice

Including practical aspects and lessons learned on technical topics in Tracks A through E such as: innovative solutions and challenging foundation and excavation applications; advancements in construction methods, materials and equipment; contractor optimization/value engineering, and use of quality control and assurance processes to increase project value.

IMPORTANT: Copyright transfer Agreement
Authors are required to sign the ASCE Copyright Transfer Agreement during the submission process, stating that 1) all authors listed on the manuscript are aware of their authorship status and qualify to be authors on the manuscript, 2) all content, figures (drawings, charts, photographs, etc.), and tables in the submitted work are either original work created by the authors listed on the manuscript or work for which permission to reuse has been obtained from the creator, and 3) the author transfers copyright to the ASCE. Further details are available here.

Should circumstances require, submission can be withdrawn, and the CTA rendered null and void, any time before October 1, 2020. All abstracts are due by November 20, 2019.

GSP/GPP Submission Process and Deadlines

(deadlines may be subject to change)

Phase One — Abstract Submission

  • Authors submit abstracts (see guidelines above) for consideration by January 15, 2020
  • The Program Committee will review all abstracts. The committee will decline abstracts that do not fit the
    theme of the conference, do not have strong scientific merit, are too commercial, or are unlikely to produce a quality paper.
  • Notice of these decisions will be sent to the authors by TBD.


Phase Two — Draft Paper Submission

  • Authors submit draft papers for consideration by July 17, 2020.
  • Draft papers must be formatted according to ASCE guidelines. A sample document that may be used as a template is available here.
  • Session Chairs will arrange for a minimum of two peer reviews for each draft paper based on the ASCE Guidelines for Peer Reviewers of Proceedings Papers, available here.
    Then, on the results of those reviews and their own judgement, the chairs will make decisions about whether or not to accept the draft paper. Papers may be declined for the same reasons as an abstract or for not following ASCE paper format. Preliminary decisions about presentation formats (rescindable if the final paper is still not of an acceptable quality) may be made at this time, depending on the preference of the Program Committee.
  • Notice of these decisions, along with the two reviews (presented anonymously), will be sent to the authors by September 4, 2020.

Phase Three — Final Paper Submission

  • Authors submit final versions of their approved draft papers for consideration by October 23, 2020.
  • Session Chairs will review the final papers for compliance with review suggestions made during draft phase.
    Based on instructions from the Program Committee, Session Chairs will accept a specific number of papers for oral podium presentation at the conference. Usually, no more than six papers are presented at the podium during a 90-minute technical session. Other papers submitted to the session will be approved for poster presentations. Final decisions about presentation formats will be made at this time.
  • Notice of the final decision will be sent to the authors by October 30, 2020.

You are invited to propose…

A Special Session

Special sessions allow attendees ways to explore the sub-disciplines of geotechnical engineering in formats other than academic technical papers.

Information for all Special Sessions:

Papers: Unless otherwise noted, no papers are associated with any of these session formats.
If the speaker or the Program Committee strongly wish to include a paper in the conference proceedings, the paper must be submitted via the Call for Abstracts mechanism. THESE PAPERS MUST FOLLOW ALL REQUIREMENTS AND DEADLINES FOR TECHNICAL PAPERS, and will be subject to the same level of technical review.
Presentations: Unless otherwise noted, there are no formal presentations (i.e., PowerPoint) associated with any of these session formats.
Length: Special sessions are generally no more than 90-minutes long, but other lengths may be proposed.
Room-set: Rooms for special sessions are generally set theater-style with a riser, a podium, and table and chairs for speakers at the front of the room.
AV: Screen, LCD projector, cables, and podium mics will be provided for all sessions. Mics will be provided at the head table for panel sessions. Presenters must provide their own computers.
Internet: While the committee makes an effort to provide wireless internet at its conferences, it is not always possible. Proposals should assume internet will not be available on-site.
Proposals must be submitted to this email address: msuleiman@lehigh.edu; bkeelor@asce.org
Proposals must provide all information requested in order to be considered:

  • Title (under10 words): What is the name of your session?
  • Topic: Select from the drop-box one of the conference topics listed in this document.
  • Format: Select from the drop-box one of the session format types listed in this document.
  • Length: How long a session are you proposing?
  • Presentation: Will you support your session with an AV presentation?
  • Q&A: Will your session include Q&A?
  • Description (under 150 words): Sell your session to potential conference attendees. Provide a short pitch to be used in the Preliminary and Final Programs. Write with attendees in mind and keep it simple, clear, and concise. Include what the session will cover and what attendees can expect.
  • Organizer: Provide full formal contact information for the proposer of the session.
  • Other Session Participants: Provide full formal contact information for all participants and describe their role (speaker, moderator, organizer, other) in the session.

Comments for the Program Committee (under500 words): Sell your session to the Program Committee. What will take place and why should it be part of the conference? Why is it important, new, different, innovative, or unique? What will the audience learn?

A Short Course

Short Courses are in-depth experiences offering specialized knowledge to students, academics, and practitioners. They provide a sequence of lectures and discussions on specific topics from high-level experts, formatted to encourage participant interaction. Attendees receive a heightened understanding of the topic and solutions to the problems presented and discussed.

Information for all Short Courses:

IFCEE 2021 Short Courses will be held Monday, May 10, 2021. Proposals are welcome for both full-day (8 hours) and half-day (4 hours) courses, submitted to any of the conference topics.
Expenses: Instructors shall be required to finance their own travel and housing. Expenses related to AV requirements beyond the standard set or to the purchase of short course materials must also be covered by the Instructor.
Instructor Agreement: If a course is selected for the conference, the lead instructor will be expected to sign an Instructor Agreement, which will provide all logistical details for the course.
Proposals must be submitted to this email address: msuleiman@lehigh.edu; bkeelor@asce.org
Proposals must provide all information requested in order to be considered.

  • Title (under 10 words): What is the name of your short course?
  • Topic: Select from the drop-box one of the conference topics listed in this document.
  • Length: Full-Day (8 hours) or Half-Day (4 hours)?
  • Handouts: What kind of handouts will attendees receive?
  • Description (under150 words): Sell your course to potential conference attendees. Provide a short pitch to be used in the Preliminary and Final Programs. Write with attendees in mind and keep it simple, clear, and concise. Include what the course will cover and what attendees can expect.
  • Learning Objectives: What can students expect to have learned by the end of the course?
  • Lead Instructor: Provide full formal contact information for the lead instructor, who will serve as point of contact for the course.
  • Other Course Participants: Provide full formal contact information for all participants and describe their role (co-instructor, speaker, other) in the session.

Comments for the Program Committee (under 500 words): Sell your short course to the Program Committee. What will take place and why should it be part of the conference? Why is it important, new, different, innovative, or unique? What will attendees learn?

Special Session Format Types

  • Keynote: Keynote sessions provide high-level perspectives on important, complex, and thought-provoking issues. Proposals should seek to cover multiple perspectives on issues that will be of interest to a broad range of attendees. There may be one or more consecutive keynotes within a session. These sessions may be ‘plenary’ without other competing conference content, or ‘breakout’ with two or more other simultaneous sessions. Formal presentations (i.e. PowerPoint) are expected; associated papers are not.
  • PIT (Powerful, Informative Talks): Like a TED talk, these are short presentations that present a specific idea, recommendation, or case study, but without a set format. It may be from 7 to 10 minutes long. It may or may not include slides, images, or video. Propose a single PIT, or several consecutive PITs. PITs will be combined by the Program Committee into 90-minute sessions based on their content.
  • Panel: Panel sessions generally include no more than four panelists and a moderator. Each panelist is given a certain amount of time to formally present their material.
  • Debate: This variation on a panel session features two to six debaters plus a moderator. The moderator announces the topic, and the others debate. Depending on the subject, this may include several related topics.
  • Conversation With….: Three to four speakers and a moderator conduct an informal discussion without formal presentations. Discussion questions for use by the moderator will be prepared in advance and approved by the Program Committee.
  • Town Hall: In these sessions, one or more presenters briefly provide information to attendees and engage the audience in a discussion about that information. The session is primarily devoted to the conversation between presenters and attendees.
    Roundtable Discussions: The meeting room is set with multiple tables and as many chairs as can fit around each table. A topic is assigned to each table, and displayed on a sign posted in a stanchion. Attendees select tables and topics based on their particular interests. Each table has a host, who starts the discussion and keeps it on track during the session. A bell is rung every 20 minutes (or other appropriate time interval), and attendees switch to another table/topic.

Technical Program Committee

  • Muhannad T. Suleiman, Ph.D., Lehigh University


  • Tracy T. Brettmann, P.E., D.GE, A.H. Beck
  • Les Chernauskas, Geosciences Testing and Research Inc.
  • Peggy Hagerty-Duffy, P.E., D.GE, ADSC
  • Mary Ellen Bruce Large, P.E., D.GE, Deep Foundations Institute
  • Anne Lemnitzer, Ph.D., P.E., University of California, Irvine
  • Alec Mcgillivray, Precast Piling Technology
  • Morgan Nesmith, Berkel
  • Helen Robinson, GEI Consultants
  • Jeff Segar, Braun intertec
  • Anna Selloutou, Pile Dynamics
  • Michael Venezia, ECS Limited
Proceedings Editors:
  • Chadi El Mohtar, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Stacy Kulesza, Kansas State University
  • Tugce Baser, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Regarding technical support related to the CATALYST submission system:
• Click on Support on the top left segment of the screen

Regarding issues related to paper submissions:
• Brad Keelor
Geo-Institute of ASCE

Regarding technical program
content or other general program
• Brad Keelor
Geo-Institute of ASCE