Monthly Archives: April 2020

GeoNiagara 2021 Short Courses Survey / CGS Kingston Webinar May 8

Dear Colleagues:

GeoNiagara 2021 Short Course Survey:
In an effort to give delegates the best possible experience at GeoNiagara 2021, the 74th Annual CGS Conference / 14th Joint CGS/IAH-CNC Groundwater Conference, the Local Organizing Committee has created a survey to gauge interest in possible Short Course topics. This survey is anonymous, quick and simple, and should take five minutes or less to complete. Please click here to complete the survey before April 30, 2020: GeoNiagara 2021 Short Course Survey

GeoNiagara 2021 will take place in Niagara Falls, ON, September 26-29, 2021.

CGS Kingston Webinar May 8:
CGS Kingston is hosting a webinar on ground improvement by Mark Tigchelaar on May 8th. The webinar can be accessed through the link below:


While RSVP is not required, it is appreciated. Please RSVP Elizabeth Arif (


Everyone knows that high capacity spread footings are the most-cost effective foundation system, when they can be employed. High capacity footings can only really be designed for relatively high quality sub-foundation soils, and it is the approach of choice for the glacial till that blesses much of the province of Ontario. Owners and developers today are challenged by the low supply of high-quality sites. The leftover sites often have less-than-adequate soils for spread footings.

Traditional approaches in the province, and certainly across Canada, to deal with less-than-adequate sub-foundation soils generally have been limited to a few options up until about 15 years ago:
-Sub-excavate and replace poor soils with good soils (engineered fill or U-fill)
-Drive deep foundations through the poor soils to better soils or end bearing soil/rock,
-Place the structure on a raft to float and spread the loads over a poor sub-soil situation.

Today, ground improvement is widely used as cost-saving option for situations where regular spread footings are not possible. Ground improvement is a “work smart, not hard” approach for treating challenging soils throughout Ontario.

To truly appreciate the theory, methods and development behind ground improvement, it is essential to understand its origins. This talk aims to demystify the early beginnings of ground improvement and cover it’s short, but very rich history in Ontario including the introduction of mainstream ground improvement in 2006 to the province. This presentation will also engage attendees by citing various eye-opening case study’s featuring some of the most complex projects to date throughout Ontario with compelling data gathered on site. Attendees will also benefit from gaining an appreciation for the ongoing innovative technologies and methods that are continually emerging in the ever-growing field of ground improvement.


Mark Tigchelaar is the President and Founder of GeoSolv Design-Build Inc in Toronto, a geotechnical contracting firm with focus on innovative foundation solutions in challenging soils. Mark is a licensed engineer in both Ontario and Alberta, is the chair of the industry Advisory Board of York University, and is the surviving past chair of the Canadian Geotechnical Society-Southern Ontario section. Mark’s passionate about the geo-science profession and has always had a strong desire to contribute to its excellence by promoting the concepts of sustainability, risk mitigation, and true value for stakeholders within the arena of geotechnical engineering. Mark has authored numerous papers and articles related to the geo-profession, and has an extensive list of speaking engagements, including frequent talks at local universities to encourage students to find a career in the exciting field of geotechnical engineering.

Kind Regards,

CGS-SOS Executive Committee


GeoNiagara 2021 Short Courses Survey / CGS Kingston Webinar May 8 2020-04-28T10:50:56+00:00

Update on CGS-SOS activities amid COVID-19 pandemic

Dear Colleagues:

In response to the current ongoing pandemic concerns, CGS-SOS executive committee is committed to follow the safety protocols issued by authorities. Therefore, the following decisions are made during this period to better serve our community:

  • All of our in-person gatherings, workshops, golf tournament and executive committee meetings are cancelled at least until September 2020. The situation will be re-evaluated by end of July 2020 and further notice with respect to the future in-person 2020 events will be provided.
  • We are in the process of securing a platform to facilitate our monthly lectures online, in order to continue to offer our members opportunity for professional development and to stay connected. We will send out additional correspondence on these lectures once it becomes available.
  • Considering the uncertainties in the timing for our future executive committee meetings and business conditions, the recruiting process for new committee members for the 2020-21 is put on hold. The existing committee members agreed to serve for one additional year to direct the CGS-SOS through this uncertain period. New committee members will be recruited for 2021-22 and the announcements will be sent out in February/March 2021.

Take Care and Stay Safe

CGS-SOS Executive Committee

Update on CGS-SOS activities amid COVID-19 pandemic 2020-04-17T13:01:27+00:00