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Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Structure Design and Construction: Slopes, Walls and Roads

APRIL 6 – 7

This course focuses on the design and construction of geosynthetically reinforced soil systems, including retaining walls, steepened slopes, and roadways. A brief background of the application of each of these technologies will be presented including the advantages, economic considerations, and limitations of each type of system as compared to other conventional practices.

Details concerning the design, selection of reinforcing materials, specification and construction of each type of system will be covered. Current design codes/standards and software will be referenced and summarized. Special issues that have on occasion resulted in undesirable performance will be reviewed. An overview of several recent innovations such as the combination of reinforcement with lightweight fill and newly developed alternative design procedures will also be presented. Each attendee will be given course notes to support the class, which include step-by-step design procedures and example problems.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the key elements regarding design of reinforced soil structures
  2. Provide a working knowledge suitable for preliminary design of reinforced soil structures
  3. Identify those resources and guidelines publicly available to assist in design of retaining walls, steepened slopes and roadways


Optional Certification Exam: FREE

*Course Pricing

$750 – Commercial Rate
$350 – Government Rate
$295 – Marketing Course (April 8, Half Day)
NOTE: The marketing course is held at same time as the optional certification exam for this course.

PRICING: USD $750. Government Rate: $350


Michael Bernardi, P.E.

is the Director of Engineering for Strata Systems, Inc., a Division of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Canada and the USA with 40 years of experience in Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering. For most of his career, he has worked in the geosynthetics field in product development and application design. Bernardi’s tenure includes high-level technical work for manufacturers of reinforcement materials and in private consulting, including being a founding partner (2002-2012) in a design/consulting firm focused primarily on the design and development of geosynthetics and geosynthetic- related structures such as concrete modular block retaining walls, steep slopes and embankments. Bernardi is the primary Technical Editor of the 3rd Edition of the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) Design Manual for Segmental Retaining Walls (2009).

Dr. Jorge Zornberg, P.E.

is Professor and William J. Murray, Jr. Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. He has more than 30 years in research and practice on topics such as retaining walls, reinforced soil structures, and roadway infrastructure. Dr. Zornberg served as president of the International Geosynthetics Society from 2010 – 2014 and has received many prestigious awards, including the Mercer Lecture, the IGS Service Award, ASCE’s Croes medal and Collingwood Prize, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President George W. Bush.

Dr. Erol Tutumluer

serves on the faculty of the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois. He specializes in Transportation Geotechnics with research interests and expertise in characterization of pavement and railroad track geomaterials, subgrade soils and base/ballast unbound aggregates, soil/aggregate stabilization, geosynthetics, and much more. Dr. Tutumluer is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Transportation Geotechnics and is the current Chair of the ISSMGE Technical Committee 202 on Transportation Geotechnics.

Laura Spencer

Dr. Laura Spencer, P.E.

is the Technical Manager of Engineered Structures for TenCate Geosynthetics Americas with over 18 years of experience in geotechnical engineering, MSE design, and geotechnical research. Her responsibilities include managing all technical and engineering aspects of geosynthetic reinforced retaining walls, reinforced slopes and reinforced embankment applications for TenCate Geosynthetics. Laura is the President-Elect of the Arizona Section of ASCE, the Past President of the ASCE Phoenix Branch, and serves as a member of the NCEES PE Civil Engineer Exam Development Committee. She received her BSCE from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a registered professional engineer in AZ, NM, OK, NC, and GA. Laura has completed the Ironman twice, has her black belt in Taekwondo, and loves to camp and ski with her husband, Todd, and her two sons, Coleman and Bennett. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is always looking for a way to escape the summer heat.


April 6 – 7


April 8 Optional Certification Exam: GCI-ICP $50

Instructors: Mark Sieracke, P.E., Sam Allen, and Dr. Jeffrey Kuhn, P.E.

April 6 – 7


April 8 Optional Certification Exam: FREE

Instructors: Dr. George Koerner, P.E. and Abigail Gilson, MS, P.E.

April 6 – 7


April 8 Optional Certification Exam: FREE

Instructors: Michael Bernardi, P.E., Dr. Erol Tutumluer, and Dr. Jorge Zornberg, P.E.

April 6 – 7


April 8 Optional Certification Exam: FREE

Instructors: C. Joel Sprague, P.E., Nathalia Castro, Tom Stephens, and Drew Loizeaux, P.E.

April 8


The Marketing Course is held at the same time on April 8 as the optional certification exams for the April 6-7 courses.

Instructors: Sam Allen and Tamara Tuttle