Contemporary design for a harsh environment



  • Wednesday September 20, 2017 08:00 - 14:00.

Workshop Description

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Photo Credit: (c) L. Mihalik / Associated Engineering

Cold regions in the arctic and at high altitude pose particular challenges for structural engineers. The cold environment influences the performance of a structure above grade, at grade and below grade in different manners than structures built in warmer regions. The workshop will summarize these issues and review recent projects for practical solutions.

Part 1 of the workshop will present an overview of the cold region environment, both above and below grade, with an emphasis of factors that influence structural design. The nature of frozen ground and its seasonal variations will be discussed. Factors that drive the structural design, including remote site logistics and construction capabilities as well as structural performance requirements particular to the region will be presented. An overview of various types of foundations and substructures, connections between sub and superstructures, measures for providing robustness and dealing with vibration will follow. These topics will be illustrated with examples from recent projects.

Part 2 will cover bridge construction in the north, with an emphasis of special challenges posed to design and construction and recent examples of how these challenges were met.

Registration Fees:

This course is being offered by the SEABC and enrolment is offered to participants of the 2017 IABSE Symposium at preferred rates:

  • Regular attendees: $300 for on-line registration before Sept 1, 2017. $350 after Sept 1, 2017.
  • Full-time students: $225 for on-line registration before Sept 1, 2017. $275 after Sept 1, 2017.

All registration fees are in CAD and subject to prevailing taxes (currently 5% Goods & Services Tax). Additional Terms & Conditions apply.

The registration fee includes:

  • Printed course notes and handouts during workshop
  • Morning and mid-day coffee break on day of workshop


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L. Mihalik

Leslie Mihalik, holds a MS (Civil Engineering) degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and is registered as a Professional Engineer in BC, NWT, Yukon, Alaska and Washington State. He is a Director at Associated Engineering (BC) Ltd. and manages their Transportation Division. Leslie has a bridge engineering and project management background and his experience includes private/public partnership projects having acted as Independent Certifier/Engineer, Owner’s Engineer and Design Team Manager on numerous large projects. Leslie has a particular interest in the north and his many northern projects include leading the consultant team on Phase II of the Deh Cho Bridge Project, leading the project team on the replacement of the Kakisa River Bridge and acting as Independent Engineer on the Inuvik to Tuktoyuktuk Highway Project.

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A. Gygax

Adrian Gygax, is a registered Structural Engineer and is a graduate of the civil engineering program at the University of British Columbia. Adrian has over thirty-five years of experience in structural and foundation engineering. Adrian has been working on projects in Canada’s north for over two decades and many involved remediation of failing foundations in permafrost due to improper design. Adrian’s professional experience also includes numerous hydroelectric projects ranging from micro-hydro large storage schemes, major urban infrastructure facilities, municipal water supply projects, thermal power projects, large urban rail projects as well as industrial plants such as cement terminals, clinker plants and weaving mills. Recent northern projects include the Taloyoak and Qikiqtarjuaq power stations in Nunavut and a vibration assessment of the Inuvik power station.

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E. Hoeve

Ed Hoeve is a senior geotechnical engineer with 35 years of Northern experience, the last 28 of those gained while based in Yellowknife, working on projects throughout the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. He is thoroughly familiar with the practical constraints on foundation and earthworks design and construction in the north, and is recognized as a local authority in this regard. He has provided geotechnical services for over 30 bridges in the Northwest Territories, with spans ranging from 10 m to 1,000 m. He has been engaged in consulting practice his entire career and has developed an awareness of the perspectives of other members of a project team, such as owners, architects, structural engineers and contractors. Thus, he is able to collaborate with a project team so that geotechnical considerations are addressed on a project in a practical and effective manner.