Geotechnical Engineering

Getting the mechanics right

BGC provides the complete spectrum of geotechnical engineering services from site characterization through assessment, design, and construction for civil engineering projects in transportation.

Our expertise, combined with a specialized appreciation of engineering geology, is designed to develop reliable long-term solutions to our client’s unique and complex problems. On the heels of getting the geology right, we work diligently to get the mechanics right.

BGC knows that a strong understanding and application of soil and rock mechanics is fundamental to the success of each project. We provide a comprehensive range of geotechnical engineering services throughout North and South America for the transportation industry. We focus on highway and railway projects where the fundamental mechanics are applied to comprehend the issues and the potential solutions for complex projects, often related to geohazard mitigation including landslides and debris flows. Our unique combination of strengths in engineering geology, geohazards, geomechanics, and geo-structural engineering pave the way to delivering high-quality solutions for complex transportation problems. We take pride in supporting our clients through the entire project lifecycle, from characterizing the site and interpreting geomechanics, predicting geohazard impacts, conceptual scoping studies, and finally detailed analyses, design, and construction monitoring.

Our geotechnical engineers provide services related to the following aspects of civil engineering projects for transportation:

Site Characterization

Comprehensive site characterization is the foundation of a successful engineering project. BGC has the expertise to deliver site characterization services from preliminary desktop reviews of geology, geohazards, and seismicity to rigorous site investigation programs on and offshore to support civil and geo-structural engineering. We are adept at planning site investigation and in-situ testing programs that maximize data collection and provide data specific to developing soil and rock parameters for geotechnical analyses and modelling, including soil-structure interaction. Site investigation programs are supported by our modern, state-of-the-art advanced geotechnical laboratory where comprehensive testing services are available to characterize the strength and stiffness of soil and rock, including triaxial, direct shear, direct simple shear, and discontinuity strength tests, one-dimensional consolidation tests and large sample testing equipment. All our laboratory testing is carried out by qualified geotechnical engineers with strong backgrounds in soil and rock mechanics. We pride ourselves in the comprehensive collection of high-quality data in the field and the laboratory. Where geohazard mitigation is a design requirement, we have experts in-house to predict the stresses and impact loads to be born by the mitigation measures and structures, adding further value to our clients.

Assessments & Analyses

BGC has specialists to interpret geomechanics and design earthworks, foundations, and earth retention structures for any ground conditions. Our geotechnical engineering expertise includes:

  • Geotechnical risk assessment
  • Landslide geo-mechanical assessment
  • Development of strength and stiffness parameters for static and dynamic geotechnical and soil-structure interaction modelling
  • Limit equilibrium slope stability analysis
  • Static and transient seepage analysis and filter/drain design
  • Static and seismic liquefaction triggering assessment
  • Earthquake-induced displacement and settlement analysis
  • Soil-structure interaction analysis, including SETTLE3D, LPILE, GROUP, SupportIT and PYWALL
  • Numerical modelling including FLAC, FLAC3D, Plaxis, Phase 2, and UDEC static and seismic loading, including coupled liquefaction triggering and deformation modelling

Detailed Design

BGC’s experts specialize in the application of soil and rock mechanics to civil geotechnical engineering projects. We offer a broad spectrum of design services tailored to our areas of strength, including:

  • Geotechnical design criteria for transportation projects
  • Slope and landslide drainage, stabilization, and remediation design
  • Debris flow mitigation design
  • Embankment design for road and railway
  • Shallow and deep foundation design for bridges and other structures for static and dynamic loading
  • Ground improvement design
  • Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE), geosynthetic reinforced soil (GRS), and reinforced soil slope (RSS) systems for earth retention
  • Temporary shoring and permanent earth retention design utilizing ground anchors, pile walls, concrete panel reinforcement, and other systems
  • Horizontal direction drilling (HDD) and other trenchless technologies
  • Preparation of tender drawings and specifications

Construction Monitoring

BGC provides a full range of services during the construction phase to ensure the constructed works satisfy the design intent, safeguarding the client’s investment. These services include preparing construction drawings and specifications, tender support, installing and monitoring geotechnical instrumentation, field review of construction and quality assurance, and preparing the final construction record documents. We also have expertise in a variety of load tests for structural components relevant to our designs, including plate load and full-scale shallow foundation tests, dynamic tests for driven piles, static tests for drilled shafts including Osterberg cell tests, and load tests for ground anchors and micropiles. Our construction monitoring and strong fundamental engineering knowledge allow design modifications to be executed promptly when complex and variable ground conditions are encountered during construction.

Related Projects

Key Contacts

Geotechnical Engineering

Rod Kostaschuk

Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Geotechnical Engineering

Scott Anderson

Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Geotechnical Engineering

Mark Vessely

Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Geotechnical Engineering

Andrea Lougheed

Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Soil Mechanics Team Lead

Geotechnical Engineering

John Cholewa

Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Transportation Team Lead