S. Trent Parkhill

S. Trent Parkhill
MSCE 1979
Senior Fellow and Senior Principal Geotechnical Engineer

"Surround yourself with great engineers and don't confine yourself to conventional solutions."

S. Trent Parkhill completed an undergraduate major in Geological Engineering at the University of Missouri's engineering campus, now Missouri S&T. Trent went on to complete an MSCE in geotechnical engineering at Purdue. After graduation, Trent joined Haley & Aldrich in Boston; working there for 32 years. In 2011 he moved to Salt Lake City, joining Kleinfelder as a Senior Principal, later to become a Senior Fellow.

Trent feels unusually blessed in his career, in that he has had the chance to work on many "once in a lifetime" projects that had the opportunity for innovation. From building a new interstate highway underneath an active highway (as geotechnical project manager for the north half of the downtown section of Boston's "Big Dig") to supporting buildings on fill made from municipal waste and building demolition debris, the solutions involved coming up with new approaches. Trent’s Boston work also included building of seven 20 to 45-story buildings on basements as deep as five levels, the emergency re-design of a 26-mile-long railroad causeway over very weak soils at a 1.04 factor of safety, and design for a five-mile-long cable stay bridge in a magnitude 8 earthquake zone. In Salt Lake, Trent has developed a design approach using full-scale footing load tests and geophysics to build footings on thick undocumented tailings fill at a Superfund site.

Trent's interest in innovation also led him to research and publish a 150-year history of the evolution of geotechnical construction and create new approaches in information systems that led to a national "top Chief Technology Officer" award.

In recent years Trent has also published and presented on the relationship between structural and geotechnical engineers, trying to help structural engineers better understand geotechnical recommendations and how the structural engineer can reduce project costs and risks associated with geotechnical work.

While at Purdue, Trent married Rebecca Dye who was pursuing post-graduate work in Mathematics. Last year they celebrated their 40th anniversary. They have two sons, Jason and Scott, and two grandchildren. The move to Utah has given them great opportunities to explore the outdoors and share the beautiful state with their family.