Roger A. Failmezger, P.E., F. ASCE
Roger attended Lehigh University for his B.S.C.E., which he received in 1981, and in 1982, he earned his M.E.C.E. from the University of Florida. As a Professional Engineer since 1986 with significant contributions to geotechnical engineering, Roger was appointed as a Fellow by ASCE in 2006. He is licensed in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
While Roger thoroughly enjoys performing in-situ tests, he loves sharing his knowledge with other engineers and geologists and uses his truck as a mentoring laboratory for his teaching. He finds mentoring very satisfying professionally for him by helping others become better engineers and contributors to society.
Roger’s accomplishments include:
- In 1991 for the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge for the Route 17 crossing of the York River, he performed soil pressuremeter and dilatometer tests to depths of 242 feet (the deepest dilatometer test performed at that time).
- In 1995 after purchasing the University of Florida research truck, the first direct push truck in North America and used by Dr. Schmertmann for his pioneering research, Roger started In-Situ Soil Testing, L.C.
- From 2000 to 2002, he performed a variety of different in-situ tests for the design of the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge for the Interstate I-495 south crossing of the Potomac River including dilatometer testing 100 feet into the very hard Potomac Group Clay.
- In 2004, Roger performed pressuremeter tests for the rebuilding design of the World Trade Center in New York City.
- In 2005, he restarted the geotechnical engineering group meetings that later became the Virginia Chapter of the ASCE Geo-Institute under his leadership. He continues to serve as the chairperson for the Virginia Chapter and they hold a one and a half day regional technical conferences every 18 months. Roger also helped the Carolinas form a Geo-Institute Chapter and start their 1.5 day technical conferences.
- In 2006, Roger organized and edited the Second International Conference on the Flat Plate Dilatometer Test in Washington D.C. He had the entire conference video taped and it can be viewed (links also are on the dilatometer page).
- In 2008, Roger performed dilatometer tests for the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Project to a depth of 399 feet, the now deepest dilatometer test sounding, breaking his earlier record in 1991.
- In 2008, Roger and his life-long friend, Dr. Paul Bullock wrote “Which In-Situ Test Should I Use—A Designer’s Guide”
- In 2009, he performed soil and rock pressuremeter tests for the design of 90 miles of high-power transmission lines in northeast Pennsylvania.
- In 2011, Roger performed pressuremeter tests to 200 feet deep for the Bonner Bridge crossing of Oregon Inlet between Nagshead and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
- In 2015, Roger developed a 15-ton direct push seafloor machine and performed numerous CPT and seismic DMT soundings for the Harry Nice Bridge for the Route 301 crossing of the Potomac River (just like performing tests on land eliminating parasitic effects from tides and waves).
- In 2020, Roger developed an electric motor system to rotate an SPT sampler at a controlled and constant rate of 0.2 degrees per second, similar to the vane shear test.
- In 2021, Roger consulted with numerous clients and from 129 projects he published a technical paper that showed that dilatometer tests saved the owners more than $25,000,000 than if the designs had been based on less accurate SPT.
- Presently Roger is working with Dr. Jeramy Ashlock, Iowa State University, and his Ph. D. Student, Hasung Kim to develop a cyclic borehole shear test.
- Presently, Roger is working to develop an undisturbed soil sampler that uses baked-on Teflon coatings on Shelby tubes.
Roger has published more than 30 technical papers and made technical presentations worldwide (following Jerry DiMaggio’s advice—if asked to present, always say yes!).
1999—“SPT?—A better approach to site characterization of residual soils using other in-situ tests” , Behavioral Characteristics of Residual Soils Geotechnical Special Publication No. 92, Bill Edelen, editor, ASCE,1999, Reston, VA
2001—Discussion of “Factor of safety and reliability in geotechnical engineering” , ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
2004 – “Site Variability, Risk and Beta” , International Site Characterization ‘2, Porto, Portugal
2004 – “Individual Foundation Design for Column Loads” , International Site Characterization ‘2, Porto, Portugal
2004 – “Case Studies Using In-Situ Testing to Develop Soil Parameters for Finite Element Analyses”, International Site Characterization ‘2, Porto, Portugal
2005 – “Optimization of Deep Foundation Design in a Sand, Gravel, and Cobble Formation Using Pressuremeter Testing” , International Symposium 50 years of Pressuremeters – 2005, Paris, France
2005 – “Development of a Robust Push-In Pressuremeter”, International Symposium 50 years of Pressuremeters – 2005, Paris, France
2005 – “Use of Rock Pressuremeter for Deep Foundation Design” , International Symposium 50 years of Pressuremeters – 2005, Paris, France
2005 – Discussion of “Compaction Grouting Test Program for Liquefaction Control”, ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
2006 – “Use of Dilatometer Testing for Design of a Large Diameter Steel Water Main” , Second International Conference on the Flat Dilatometer – 2006, Arlington, VA
2006 – “Settlement Analyses from Dilatometer Test Data Justify Supporting Parking Garage on Spread Footings” , Second International Conference on the Flat Dilatometer – 2006, Arlington, VA
2006 – “DMT Testing for Redesign Using Shallow Foundations” , Second International Conference on the Flat Dilatometer – 2006, Arlington, VA
2006 – “The Use of Dilatometer and In-Situ Testing to Optimize Slope Design” , Second International Conference on the Flat Dilatometer – 2006, Arlington, VA
2006 – “Modifications to the Control Unit to Enable a Computer to Control and Take Readings” , Second International Conference on the Flat Dilatometer – 2006, Arlington, VA
2006 – “Risk Quantification for Design” , 22nd Central Pennsylvania Conference, Hershey, PA
2008 – “Measurement of effective stress shear strength of rock”, International Site Characterization ‘3, Taipei, Taiwan
2008 – “Effective in-situ tests for measurement of soil properties for over water or deep investigations using wire-line methods”, International Site Characterization ‘3, Taipei, Taiwan
2008 – “Which in-situ test should I use — a designer’s guide”, Ohio River Valley Soils Seminar 39, Cincinatti, Ohio
2011 – Discussion of “CPT-DMT Correlations”, ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
2011 – “Owner Involvement-Choosing Risk Factors for Shallow Foundations”, GeoRisk, Atlanta
2013 – “New Method to Compute Reload and Unload Pressuremeter Moduli”, Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering– Parallel Session ISP 6, Paris
2013 – “Relationship between Menard EM and Young’s E Moduli for cohesionless soils”, Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering– Parallel Session ISP 6, Paris
2013 – “Evaluation of the Settlement Behavior of Flyash for Ash Basin Closure Projects”, Proceedings of the World of Coal Ash
2014 – “Evaluation of the Pre-bored and Pushed-in Pressuremeter Tests Compared to Seismic CPTu in Miocene Aged Fine Grain Soil”, Proceedings of CPT’14, Las Vegas
2015 – “A 400-ft (122-m) Deep Dilatometer Sounding in Atlantic Coastal Plain Soils”, Proceedings of DMT’15, Rome
2015 – “Redesign of shallow foundations using dilatometer tests—more case studies after DMT’06 conference”, Proceedings of DMT’15, Rome
2015 – “Predicting settlement and stability of wet coal ash impoundments using dilatometer tests”, Proceedings of DMT’15, Rome
2016 – “Measuring and comparing soil parameters for a large bridge on East coast of United States”, Proceedings of International Site Characterization #5, Gold Coast, Australia
2018 – “Quantifying Geotechnical Engineering Probability of Failure—A Simpler Approach”, Innovations in Geotechnical Engineering-Honoring Professor Jean-Louis Briaud
2021 – “Financial Failure—The High Cost of Not Knowing”, Proceedings of International Site Characterization #6, Budapest, Hungary
2021 – “Using the Dilatometer to Make Accurate Settlement Predictions”, Proceedings of International Site Characterization #6, Budapest, Hungary
ASCE National Convention
2004 Baltimore, Maryland – “Quantifying Risk—Owner Involvement”
ASCE National Capital Section
1995 -“Influence of reaction piers on test load pier”
ASCE Baltimore Section
ASCE Virginia Section
1997—“Use of in-situ tests”
Virginia Department of Transportation
1998 – Full day training course on dilatometer/cone penetration tests
Soil Nailing Conference
2003 – Day 1 – “In-situ tests for soil nailing design”
2003 – Day 2 – asked to expand talk for second day
2004 – “Owner involvement and risk analyses for geotechnical design”
Iowa State University
2004 – “Owner involvement and risk analyses for geotechnical design”
2019 — Short Course on In-situ Testing
International Symposium – 50 Years of Pressuremeter
Second International Conference on the Flat Dilatometer
2006 – “DMT Testing for Redesign Using Shallow Foundations”
Central Pennsylvania Geotechnical Conference – Hershey, Pennsylvania
2009 – “Which in-situ test should I use – a designer’s guide”
International Site Characterization Conference
1998 – taught 20-minute portion of short training course on dilatometer testing and demonstrated dilatometer testing for field exercise with first direct push truck in North America
2008 – “Effective in-situ tests for measurement of soil properties for over water or deep investigations using wire-line methods”
Geo-Risk Conference--Atlanta, Georgia
2011 – “Owner Involvement–Choosing Risk Factors for Shallow Foundations”