Adaptation of a University Soils Mechanics Course for a Union Technician Training Program
When dealing with the term “geotechnical”, most often engineers associate this with the engineering during the design phase. However, equally important is the quality control performed during the construction phase. While great time and expense is used in the initial investigation, the field quality control is usually regulated to the lowest bidder. In 2002, the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 started an organizing effort in the Chicagoland area. In the area of Soils, the Union relied on certifications revolving around laboratory testing and not actual field work. This is in a large part due to the fact that the in the field evaluation of soils there is not a trade organization acting as governing body (such as the American Concrete Institute, American Institute of Steel Construction, or the American Welding Society) for certification. Experience is paramount in the field as the evaluation of soils can be as much “art as science”.