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May 2019 Meeting – Geoforensic Investigation of a Storage Dome Collapse at a Plant, Louisiana, USA



THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019 at HESS (Houston Engineering and Scientific Society), 5430 Westheimer, Houston 77056. Tel: 713 627 2283

11:30 am – Social
11:45 am – Lunch
12:00 pm – Program

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David A. Eastwood of Geotech Engineering and Testing (GET) will present “Geoforensic Investigation of a Storage Dome Collapse at a Plant” at our May meeting.


Mr. Eastwood will present the Geoforensic evaluation of a dome failure north of the Mississippi River bank. The plant consisted of three iron ore storage domes, 248-ft diameter and 124-ft height. Each dome was designed to store of about 230,000-ton iron ore. After construction completed in 2013, an iron ore surcharge load exceeding the design load, was placed on the subsoils.  This resulted in failure of the dome.  The settlement measured prior to failure of dome was about 2.5 ft.  An investigation of causation of the dome collapse was performed.  This study indicated that the surficial loading exceeded the subsoil bearing capacity, where the presence of organic soils was relatively significant, resulting in failure.  Costs to remedy the collapsed and damaged areas are estimated to about US$90 million. Mr. Eastwood will present the background information, details of soil foundation failure, results of stability analysis and the solutions recommended for the remedial construction.


Mr. Eastwood is the President of Geotech Engineering and Testing (GET). He has practiced geoforensic engineering for about 42 years. His experience in these functions includes a wide range of project types ranging from commercial, industrial, residential, public infrastructure and petrochemical projects. Mr. Eastwood’s extensive experience is to provide clients with causations of distress on projects and develop repair techniques. Mr. Eastwood’s geoforensic experience has been in the areas of buildings, roads, parking lots, slope failures, retaining walls, sewer leaks, pools, etc.

Mr. Eastwood received his Bachelor and Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston with specialization in soils engineering. Mr. Eastwood has attended Continuing Education Seminars at Rice, Princeton, University of Maryland, and the University of Houston.

Mr. David Eastwood has been accepted as a Diplomate in Forensic Engineering (DFE) by National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE). In addition, he has been accepted as an Academy of Geo-Professionals (AGP) as a Diplomate, Geotechnical Engineer Fellow Member. Furthermore, his is an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Fellow Member.

Mr. David Eastwood has been inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Civil and Environmental Engineers at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering. Mr. Eastwood is also a 2017 Member of Distinguished Alumni of College of Engineering at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering. Mr. Eastwood has several publications on the design and construction of foundations on expansive soils. Geotech Engineering and Testing is a member of PTI, ACI, HCEC, ABC, GHBA, AIA, ASTM, TSPE, TIBD, HCEC, TCEL, and ASCE. Mr. Eastwood is on the Geotechnical Committee of PostTensioning Institute Slab-On-Grade Committee. Furthermore, he is a founder and past President of the Foundation Performance Association. The mission of this organization is to serve the public by advancing the skill and the art of engineering analysis, investigation of foundations.

Mr. David Eastwood is also the past president and board member of Houston Chapter of Texas Council for Engineering Laboratories. He helped with development of the geotechnical guidelines for design and construction of infrastructure for City of Houston, Harris County, Harris County Flood Control District, etc. facilities. In addition, Mr. Eastwood has been certified as a Corrective Action Project Manager with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Mr. Eastwood conducts training seminars in geotechnical, environmental, materials, and geoforensic engineering for the City of Houston, Harris County, City of Sugarland, Associated Builders and Contractors, American Institute of Architects, and Greater Houston Builders Association.