Short Courses

GeoVancouver 2016 is pleased to be offering short courses as part of the official conference program.

  • SC1 - Geotechnical Remote Sensing: Case Studies and State-of-the-Art Developments from Underwater to Satellite Based Platforms
  • SC2 - Grouting
  • SC3 - Fundamentals of Geosynthetics
  • SC4 - Update of Dam Safety Guidelines


GeoVancouver reserves the right to cancel any short course should the minimum number of registrants not be reached. In the event of a short course cancellation, the registrants will be notified via email and offered another short course attendance or a full refund.



  Early registration - students


  Early registration - CGS members and non-members


  Late registration - students


  Late registration - CGS members and non-members




  • The registration cost includes light breakfast, refreshments during breaks, lunch and course notes
  • Early registration deadline: July 31, 2016
  • All courses will be in English only

SC1 - Geotechnical Remote Sensing: Case Studies and State-of-the-Art Developments from Underwater to Satellite Based Platforms

Instructor: Dr. Matt Lato
Date: Sunday, October 2, 2016 
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 


Modern 3D and satellite remote sensing and imaging technologies are evolving into standard investigation tools for geotechnical problems. Extensive options for data collection and processing software programs have made the adoption of remote sensing technologies challenging. The morning of the course will introduce and explain the fundamentals of terrestrial LiDAR, terrestrial photogrammetry, oblique aerial photogrammetry (fixed wing, helicopter, and UAV), aerial LiDAR, multibeam SONAR, and InSAR. We will present the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of each technology and what the data can be used for with respect to geotechnical engineering. The afternoon will focus on case studies involving pipeline, railway, highway, mining and construction projects in which 3D remote sensing data served as a critical component of the successful execution of the project.

Short Course Agenda

To view the course agenda, click here.

Course Coordinator

Dr. Matt Lato is a Senior Engineer at BGC and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering at Queen’s University. He has over 10 years of experience working on geotechnical engineering and remote sensing projects in North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. Dr. Lato has worked on various projects including tunneling (drill and blast and TBM excavation), mining (open pit and underground), natural and cut slopes, and glacier monitoring. His direct field of expertise is in the application of LiDAR and photogrammetry for geotechnical mapping, change detection monitoring, and stability assessment. 

In the presentation of this short course, Dr. Matt Lato will be joined by many other experts in the field of geotechnical remote sensing, including: Dr. Helen Reeves, Carie-Ann Lau,Tony Gilman, Dr. Stef Kruse, Dr. Matthieu Sturzenegger, Michael Henschel, Ryan Kromer, Martin Lawrence, Gord Anderlini and Dr. Gabe Walton.

SC2 - Grouting

Instructors: Paolo Gazzarrini and Federico Stucchi P.Eng.
Date: Sunday, October 2, 2016 
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


For a long time, grouting has been considered as “black magic". Still today, some continue to consider it that way.  The objective of this course is to demonstrate that today grouting is a well-engineered process, based on mathematical rules and not “rules of thumb".

Among many of the techniques available to geotechnical and geo-structural engineers, grouting is probably the most versatile tool to address many of the challenges often encountered in soil and rock mechanics. In general, grouting refers to the injection of cementitious or chemical grout mixes into soil or rock formations. Grouting allows for the creation of specific and effective solutions to enhance the mechanical properties of soil and rock and decrease their permeability, when necessary. Grouting techniques, such as jet-grouting, can also be used to construct retaining walls and shafts. When a site has limited access, jet-grouting has proven to be essential for underpinning existing structures and improving existing foundations.

For the successful and effective completion of grouting projects, everyone involved in the design and construction process, from owners to designers and specialty contractors, should be familiar with the technologies available in the industry. An understanding of their particularities, including equipment, procedures, material, quality control/assurance procedures and specifications are essential. The aim of this course is to provide the attendees with the basics of the most commonly available grouting techniques. The course will also be useful to those who would like to improve their knowledge through active discussions about theories and case histories related to grouting projects.

Short Course Agenda

To view the course agenda, click here.

Course Coordinators

  Paolo Gazzarrini is an independent specialty foundation consultant based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, since 1998. He received his Master’s in Civil Engineering at the Milan Polytechnic, Italy, and has more than 30 years’ experience in geotechnical contracting and engineering. He was involved in grouting foundation projects for major hydroelectric projects all over the world with experience in foundation techniques, tunneling, tunneling consolidation, diaphragm walls, anchoring and jet-grouting. He is a member of ASCE, CGS, TAC, ASDSO and DFI and he is an active participant on the ASCE- Geo Institute Grouting Committee, as Chairman of the Committee. Paolo also participates as an educator at the Austin University, TX, at the annual Grouting Fundamental & Current Practice course providing instruction on several aspects of rock grouting and jet-grouting, and he is lecturer at the UBC with topic soil/rock improvement and TBM.

Federico Stucchi is a geotechnical and foundation engineer currently working at Stantec Consulting in Burnaby, BC, Canada. He received his Masters in Civil Engineering at the Milan Polytechnic, Italy, in 2005 and has more than 10 years of international experience in geotechnical work, geo-structural work, and engineering. During his career, Federico developed vast design and on‐site experience with a particular emphasis on heavy industrial projects and civil projects in urban environments. His experience encompasses shallow and deep foundations, soil improvements, deep excavation, soil anchors, retaining walls, soil nailing, and jet-grouting work. Federico has been directly responsible for the execution of the foundations for a major project in Baku (Azerbaijan) involving the implementation of jet-grouting techniques for the consolidation of the foundations and construction of the retaining walls for deep excavation at the site. Federico is a member of the AGI (Italian Geotechnical Association), ISSMGE (International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering), the CGS (Canadian Geotechnical Society), and of the local VGS (Vancouver Geotechnical Society).  

SC3 - Fundamentals of Geosynthetics 

Instructors: Professor Richard J. Bathurst, P.Eng., Ph.D., FEIC, FCAE and Professor Richard Brachman, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Date: Sunday, October 2, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


This short course is designed to equip engineers, contractors and manufacturers new to geosynthetics with fundamental knowledge on the types, functions and properties of geosynthetics. In an interactive learning environment, geosynthetic design by function will be emphasized with a focus on key engineering properties. Fundamentals of soil reinforcement, filtration and environmental protection with geosynthetics will be discussed in greater detail.

Learning objectives: Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to:

1)  identify geosynthetic properties required to serve its function as a separator, filter, reinforcing element, or liner;

2) conduct stability calculations for reinforced walls to better reflect the course;

3) specify filtration requirements; and,

4)explain factors required to obtain low leakage through geosynthetic liners.

Course Coordinators 

Professor Bathurst graduated from Queen’s University in 1985 with a PhD in geotechnical engineering. He is currently Professor of Civil Engineering at the Royal Military College of Canada. He is cross-appointed to the Civil Engineering Department at Queen’s University and holds adjunct positions at University of Waterloo and Edith Cowan University in Australia. He is the author of the chapter on geosynthetics in the 4th Edition of the Canadian Foundation Engineering Manual, co-author of the First Edition of the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) Manual for Segmental Wall Design and Construction, author of the NCMA Seismic Design Supplement for Segmental Retaining Walls, co-author of the Transportation Research Board Circular E-C079 on LRFD calibration and, co-author of two chapters of books describing reinforced soil wall technologies. In addition, he has acted as a consultant to many of the major players in the geosynthetics industry in North America. Dr. Bathurst has been awarded numerous research grants including a multi-year pooled fund from 12 USA departments of transportation and administered through the Washington State Department of Transportation. He has authored or co-authored more than 400 papers, the majority in the area of the reinforced soil technologies and been an invited keynote speaker at more than a dozen international conferences. Dr. Bathurst is Immediate Past-President of the Canadian Geotechnical Society, Past-President of the International Geosynthetics Society, Past-President of the North American Geosynthetics Society and is currently President-elect of the Engineering Institute of Canada. Dr. Bathurst is the Editor of the technical journal Geosynthetics International and currently serves on the editorial board of seven other peer reviewed technical journals.

Dr. Brachman is a Professor of Civil Engineering at Queen’s University. He has been an active volunteer in the geosynthetics field serving: on the Editorial Board of both Geotextiles and Geomembranes and Geosynthetics International, as a Vice-President of NAGS, and as the Chair of the Geosynthetics Division of the Canadian Geotechnical Society. Dr. Brachman’s expertise is on assessing the physical response of geosynthetic liners and buried structures using innovative large-scale experiments, field studies and numerical analysis. His unique scholarly contributions are related to determining the effects of stress, temperature, chemicals and time on soil-structure interactions that directly impacts how well, and how long, they perform their function. He is a co-author of the prominent book Barrier Systems for Waste Disposal Facilities. He has received six Best Paper Awards for works published in the Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, and Geosynthetics International. His geosynthetic contributions have also been recognized with the IGS Award from the International Geosynthetics Society and the Geosynthetics Award and the Canadian Geotechnical Colloquium from the Canadian Geotechnical Society.

SC4 - Update of Dam Safety Guidelines

Instructor: Neil K. Hemrajani Singh, P.Eng.
Date: Sunday, October 2, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Since the failure at the Mount Polley tailings storage facility in 2014, our industry has taken a hard look at how we do business, with the goal to improve our practice, restore public confidence, and to protect the public and the environment by designing, building and operating safe dams. This short course has gathered together industry leaders representing government, institutions, owners, consulting engineers, and the professional practice organizations that provide guidance to our industry. This one day course will provide updates on dam safety guidelines including the recently updated Health, Safety and Reclamation Code (HSRC), as well as input from both owners and regulators on what a dam safety program should comprise. The morning will cover code and guideline updates, and the afternoon will review case studies and existing dam safety programs. A highlight will include a round-table discussion with these industry leaders where you will be able to participate in a lively discussion on the path forward. We hope to see you there.

Short Course Agenda

To view the course agenda, click here.

Course Coordinator 
Neil Singh is the BC Regional Manager for the Mining Environment Group of Klohn Crippen Berger. He has nearly thirty years of experience in geotechnical, geological and geophysical design and investigations with a focus on mining dams, dam construction, and risk assessment. He has worked on some of the largest tailings dams in the world including the Highland Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) and Antamina TSF, and has conducted dozens of Dam Safety Inspections and several Dam Safety Reviews.  He has a Masters of Civil Engineering from UBC, and a B.A.Sc. in Geological Engineering from UBC.




  CGS Venue West