Skip navigation

2022 PGS Workshop & 18th G.A. Leonards Lecture

May 6, 2022 - 5:30 p.m.
Krannert Auditorium, Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

Application of Unconventional Geotechnical Solutions

Video of LectureLecture Slides

Rick Deschamps

Richard J. Deschamps

Vice President of Engineering
Nicholson Construction Company

The opportunity to implement unconventional solutions generally requires that several factors are in place:

  • A motivated owner, which generally means the potential for substantial reductions in cost, schedule or risk.
  • An unconventional problem, where routine solutions may not be ideal,
  • Reliable and sufficient geotechnical information,
  • Enough time to explore various options,
  • Analytical tools, often numerical modeling, to demonstrate the approach.
  • The confidence and willingness to try something new.

The lecture will provide an overview of several projects where unconventional solutions were successfully implemented.

Introduction by Vincent Drnevich, Purdue University

Dr. Richard (Rick) Deschamps received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering at the University of South Florida (1988), and his Ph.D. from Purdue University (1993) studying under Prof. Leonards. He worked for the geotechnical consultant Dames and Moore in Tampa between his Master's and PhD. Rick joined the Civil Engineering faculty at Purdue following receipt of his PhD where he did research on pile foundations, constitutive modeling, and constructive use of coal combustion bi-products. In 1996 he received the Harold Munson teaching award. Deschamps joined FMSM Engineers in Lexington KY in 1999 where his focus was on numerical modeling for design of remediation systems for Corps of Engineer dams. In 2004 he joined Nicholson Construction. Since that time he has led Nicholson's design team in development of competitive design-build and value engineered geotechnical solutions for projects throughout the United States. In 2014 he received the Wallace Hayward Baker Award, and the irony still brings a smile to his face.

Presented in conjunction with the 18th Purdue Geotechnical Society Workshop - "Unconventional Geotechnics"

Workshop Program | Event Photos

Support for the PGS Workshop and Leonards Lecture is provided by the following sponsors: