CHARLES AUBENY

Associate Professor
Geotechnical Engineering
 

 

Telephone: (979) 845-4478
E-mail: caubeny@civil.tamu.edu
URL: http://ceprofs.tamu.edu/caubeny

caubeny.jpg (5621 bytes)


Background

Research

Courses

Professional Experience


Education

Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992

M.S. Civil Engineering, University of Colorado at Denver, 1984

B.S. Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, 1978

Honors and Awards

2002 ASCE Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award for the paper "Effects of Disturbance on Undrained Strengths Interpreted   from the Pressuremeter Test." 


General Research Interests

Numerical Modeling

Offshore Foundations and Anchors

In Situ Testing

Partly Saturated and Expansive Soils

Slopes and Embankments

Penetration Problems

Sponsored Research Projects

Model Anchor Testing, sponsored by Delmar

This study investigated the performance of a dynamically installed (torpedo) anchor. Scale model tests in a clay test bed were conducted to related impact velocity and soil strength to penetration depth. Results were used to calibrate an impact penetration model. Parallel wind tunnel and tow tank tests were conducted to measure anchor drag characteristics in a fluid column to support a predictive model for predicting terminal velocity. (PI's Randall and Aubeny)

 

The Performance of Drag Embedment Anchors, sponsored by Minerals Management Service

Reliable deepwater anchor performance is critical for mooring floating Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs).  Anchor failure can result in MODU’s going adrift and colliding with production structures and/or dragging anchors and damaging oil and gas pipelines or subsea production systems. Drag embedment anchors (DEAs) are the most utilized anchor for mooring floating MODUs in the Gulf of Mexico.  There have been a number of anchor failures in recent hurricanes (Ivan, Katrina, Rita, and Ike).  During hurricane Ike there were at least four failures in MODU mooring systems that caused MODUS to leave station.  During hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, and Rita, 24 MODUs experienced mooring system failures.  Anchors were dragged during some of these MODU mooring failures and are suspected to have caused several instances of pipeline damage that in turn led to delays in restoring oil and gas production after the hurricanes. The goal of this project is to increase the understanding of DEA performance and improve the design and application practices so as to increase the overall reliability of their application for moored MODUs.  This goal will be reached through experimental investigations (including small-scale tests in a kaolinite test basin and large scale tests conducted at the Haynes Coastal Engineering Laboratory), data analysis, and engineering interpretations that can be used to develop recommendations for regulatory assessment and engineering design practices. (PI's Aubeny, Randall, Gilbert)

 

Testing and Analysis for Delmar Pipeline Safe Anchor, sponsored by Delmar

This study investigated the performance of various types of anchors (suction caissons, drag embedment anchors, vertically loaded anchors) through numerical modeling and single-gravity small scale model tests in a kaolin test basin. The numerical modeling effort was directed toward development and refinement of programs for predicting (1) suction caisson insertion and extraction, (2) suction caisson capacity under general conditions of inclined loading, and (3) prediction of trajectory and pullout capacity of drag embedment and vertically loaded anchors. The laboratory effort was directed toward measurements of the performance of drag embedment and vertically loaded anchors. (PI's Aubeny and Gilbert)

 

Behavior of Suction Embedded Plate Anchors (SEPLA) during "Keying" Process, sponsored by Geoscience, Earth and Marine Services, Inc.

The trend in development of offshore hydrocarbon fields towards deep and ultra-deep water has necessitated greater attention to the anchoring system that withstands significant uplift loads developed by floating structures. The VLA (vertical loaded plate anchor) has been proven to be a cost-effective and efficient anchoring system that is employed to tether floating structures to the seabed. However, uncertainties in determining the exact embedment depth and location of the anchor have limited its application particularly for permanent production facilities. To overcome this limitation, the SEPLA (suction embedded plate anchor) was conceived. The SEPLA uses a suction caisson that has known penetration depth and geographical location to embed a rectangular plate anchor to the target depth. The SEPLA installation consists of three steps: caisson penetration, caisson retraction and anchor “keying." First the caisson with a plate anchor slotted vertically in its base is lowered to the seafloor and penetrated into soil under its dead weight until the skin friction and end-bearing resistance equal the dead weight. Then the vent valve on the top of the caisson is closed and the water trapped inside is pumped out. The ensuing differential pressure at the top drives the caisson to the design depth. The plate anchor is then released and the water is pumped back into the caisson, causing the caisson to move upward, leaving the plate anchor in place in a vertical orientation. The caisson is retracted from the seabed and prepared to be used for next installation. As the anchor chain is tensioned in the design direction it cuts into soil and the plate anchor starts to rotate or “key”. It finally reaches the target orientation that is perpendicular to the direction of loading such that the maximum capacity of the anchor can be mobilized. The installation of the SEPLA is a significant improvement over drag embedment, but there are two problems that arise. The first one is the soil in the vicinity of the SEPLA is disturbed because of the caisson penetration and anchor “keying” and hence the soil strength is reduced in certain regions. The second problem is that the “keying” process gives rise to the loss of embedment depth. The reduced soil strength can be largely recovered over time by soil reconsolidation, but the loss of embedment depth is irretrievable. The capacity of the SEPLA largely depends on its embedment depth when the soil has increasing strength with depth, typical of offshore soil condition and the loss of embedment depth can cause a loss of capacity. Consequently, it is very important to accurately estimate the loss of embedment depth during the “keying” process. The current study developed a theoretical model of plastic limit analysis to predict the trajectory and corresponding capacities of the SEPLA during the “keying” process. (PI's Murff and Aubeny)

 

Out of Plane Loading of Plate Anchors, sponsored by ABS Consulting through the Offshore Technology Research Center.

This study investigated the performance of various types of anchors (suction caissons, drag embedment anchors, vertically loaded anchors) through numerical modeling and single-gravity small scale model tests in a kaolin test basin. The numerical modeling effort was directed toward development and refinement of programs for predicting (1) suction caisson insertion and extraction, (2) suction caisson capacity under general conditions of inclined loading, and (3) prediction of trajectory and pullout capacity of drag embedment and vertically loaded anchors. The laboratory effort was directed toward measurements of the performance of drag embedment and vertically loaded anchors. (PI's Aubeny and Gilbert)

 

Out of Plane Loading of Plate Anchors, sponsored by ABS Consulting through the Offshore Technology Research Center.

 Experiences in recent hurricants point to the need t better understand how out-of-plane loading can affect the trajectory and ultimat holding capacity of an anchor. To date, there have been limited studies on the behavior of plates and plate anchors under three-dimensional loading conditions. This study comprised analytical and experimental studies for out of plane loading on plate anchors in normally consolidated clays. A simplified model describing the combination of forces and moments that would cause a square or rectangular plate to move (yield) is based on three-dimensional finite element modeling. This model provides an analytical expression of a multi-axial yield interaction surface for the bearing plate that includes all six degrees of freedom. A series of experimental pull-out tests on square and rectangular bearing plates with a variety of different load geometries provides validation to the analytical model. A demonstration is presented where the behavior of a flat bearing plate attached to a thin shank is predicted and then tested under normal out of plane loading. This demonstration illustrates how the fundamental work completed thus far can subsequently be used to predict the performance of of actual anchors. (PI's Murff, Aubeny and Gilbert)

 

Steel Catenary Riser Touchdown Project, sponsored by  Minerals Management Service through the Offshore Technology Research Center.

The introduction of compliant floating systems for hydrocarbon production has led to the development of new designs for the riser pipes, with the catenary steel compliant riser (SCR) often being system of choice.  Fatigue stresses are critical to SCR performance, and the touchdown zone (TDZ) where the SCR contacts the seabed is often the critical location for fatigue.  Analyses show fatigue damage to be sensitive to seafloor stiffness, which cannot be reliably estimated at present.   The project objectives are to (1) improve the current state of understanding of the basic mechanisms affecting the seafloor stiffness in the TDZ, (2) develop a model for quantitative estimates of seafloor stiffness, and (3) relate seafloor stiffness conditions to SCR bending stresses. The first component of the study involves modeling of the soil resistance in the TDZ as a series of soil springs, an approach analogous to P-y analyses of laterally loaded piles.  The effects of various types of P-y curves on SCR bending stresses are investigated in this series of analyses. A master’s thesis presenting preliminary work in this area is scheduled for publication in December 2005. The second series of analyses involves two-dimensional finite element studies to develop P-y curves for various conditions of trench geometry, backfilling, and soil softening under cyclic loading. The portion of the project studying the motions of SCRs near the TDZ was started in September 2005. Firstly, CABLE3D, a coupled time domain program that simultaneously predicts the motions of an FPS and its moorings and risers in a specified ocean environment, is used to investigate the motions of two SCRs near their TDZ. The SCRs are attached to a truss spar, Horn Mountain, deployed in the Gulf of Mexico in 1,650 m of water. Predicted motions will be applied to the study of the soil resistance in TDZ. Secondly, the linear stiffness model in the current version of CABLE3D is being upgraded to model non-linear soil stiffness using a cubic polynomial. (PI's Aubeny, Biscontin, Zhang)

 

Re-evaluate Current Potential Vertical Rise Design Procedures, sponsored by Texas Department of Transportation.

This project builds upon the research work that has been done with and for the Texas DOT over the last two decades to reevaluate the current Potential Vertical Rise (PVR) design procedures that are currently in use in the Texas DOT as the standard test method TEX-124-E. This test method is based upon the work of McDowell that was originally published in 1956. The procedure is based upon five assumptions that subsequent research in the laboratory and field has shown can be refined and improved considerably. The refinements will lead to a new method of predicting how pavement roughness is determined by the properties of the underlying expansive soil. Revised test methods will be needed to determine these soil properties but all of the tests are simple and practical. The project will require the reactions of the soil with moisture in the field to be defined in a scientific way, making use of the soil moisture energy, suction, to develop a model of the flow of moisture and movement of the soil under pavements. (PI's Lytton, Aubeny)

 

Deepwater Anchors, sponsored by Minerals Management Service through the Offshore Technology Research Center.

The Offshore Technology Research Center is undertaking a comprehensive research program on deepwater anchors with applications to drilling and production operations. Suction caisson and vertically loaded anchors are being considered. The overall program objectives include determining the currently available, best practices for analysis and design, characterizing deepwater environments and site investigation strategies, improving the accuracy and precision of installation and capacity predictions for theoretical and experimental studies. Research at TAMU (Aubeny, Murff) is focusing on developing upper bound plastic limit formulations for suction anchor load capacity. The plastic limit solutions permit validation of ultimate capacity predictions from finite element studies, and they provide the basis for a simplified analytical framework for use as a design tool. Plastic limit formulations are being developed to address a number of issues relevant to suction caisson design, including horizontal load capacity, inclined load capacity, and load capacity in anisotropic soils. (PI's Aubeny, Bryant, Gilbert, Murff, Olsen, Rauch, Tassoulas)

 

Long Term Strength Properties of High PI Clays Used in Embankment Construction, sponsored by Texas Department of Transportation.

Highway slopes and embankments comprised of plasticity clays frequently experience slope failures. The failures are typically relatively shallow, but they can create widespread maintenance problems. Times to failure can range from several years to decades. The postulated mechanism of these failures involves three phases: crack formation in the slopes, diffusion of moisture into the partly saturated soil mass, and loss of soil suction to the extent that driving forces on the slope exceed soil resistance. The first phase of the research entails development of a model for predicting depth and spacing of cracks. The second phase entails prediction of the rate of moisture diffusion based on a moisture diffusion model with boundary conditions controlled by the crack geometry. This phase also entails development of laboratory procedures for determining a moisture diffusion coefficient for partly saturated soils. The third phase entails characterizing the relationship between suction and strength in high plasticity clays to allow prediction of strength loss over time. (PI's Aubeny & Lytton)

 

Experimental and Theoretical Studies on Mine Burial Penetration, sponsored by Office of Naval Research.

Experimental and theoretical studies are being conducted to develop a predictive model for depth of penetration of mines in soft sediments. The studies will investigate the effects of impact velocity, mine orientation, mine weight, and soil properties on mine penetration depth. The experimental studies involve single-gravity tests in a model test basin using actual Gulf of Mexico plastic clays. The sediments were collected from box core samples and then mixed and processed to achieve a uniform soil with appropriate strength levels. Rate-dependent sediment strength properties will be established based on laboratory vane shear values at varying rotation rates. The theoretical studies involve finite element analyses using rate-dependent yield and viscous fluid models to simulate soil resistance during penetration. Inertial effects as well as changing soil-mine contact boundaries will be incorporated into the analyses. The finite element studies will be evaluated and calibrated to the experimental measurements.                              (PI's Aubeny & Dunlap)

 

 

Courses

Undergraduate:

CVEN 207, Introduction to Civil Engineering

CVEN 302, Computer Applications and Numerical Methods in Civil Engineering

CVEN 305, Mechanics of Materials

CVEN 365, Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering

CVEN 400, Design Problems in Civil Engineering

CVEN 435, Geotechnical Engineering Design

 

Graduate:

CVEN 647, Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering

CVEN 648, Advanced Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering

CVEN 649, Physical and Engineering Properties of Soil

CVEN 667, Slope Stability and Retaining Walls

CVEN 681, Seminar in Constructed Facilities

CVEN 689, Advanced Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering

Professional History

Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 1999-present.

Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2007

University of Western Australia, Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, Gledden Senior Visiting Fellow, 2006

Roger Foott Associates/GEI Consultants, Inc., Sacramento, California, 1992-1998. Site investigations, analysis, design, construction monitoring on geotechnical projects including earth dams, levees, pipelines, and structure foundations.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Embankment Dam Design, Denver, Colorado, 1978-1986. Planning, design, construction monitoring, and safety evaluations of embankment dams in 17 western states.

Professional Registration

Texas Professional Engineer 85903

California Civil Engineer 51323

Colorado Professional 20624

Publications

Journal

Yang, Y., Murff, J.M., and Aubeny, C.P.  (2010) “Undrained capacity of plate anchors under general loading,” accepted for publication in ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering.

Aubeny, C.P. and Chi, C-M., (2010) “Mechanics of drag embedment anchors in a soft seabed,” ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, vol. 136, No. 1, 57-68.

Aubeny, C.P. and Biscontin, G. (2009) “Seafloor-riser interaction model,” ASCE International Journal of Geomechanics, Vol. 9, No. 3, 133-141.

Aubeny, C.P., Kim, B.M., and Murff, J.D. (2008) “Prediction of anchor trajectory during drag embedment,” Intl. J. Offshore and Polar Engineering, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp 314-319.

Aubeny, C.P., Gaudin, C. and Randolph, M. (2008) “Cyclic tests of model pipe in kaolin,” Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal, Projects, Facilities and Construction, Vol. 3, No. 4, 123131-PA.

Aubeny, C.P. and Biscontin, G. (2008) “Interaction model for steel compliant riser on soft seabed,” Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal, Projects, Facilities and Construction, Vol. 3, No. 3, 120077-PA.

Aubeny, C.P. and Long, X. (2007) “Diffusivity of unsaturated clay masses,” ASCE J. Geotech. and Geoenv. Engrg., Vol. 133, No. 10, 1241-1248.

Aubeny, C.P., Shi, H. (2007) “Penetration of cylinders in cohesive soils: strain rate effects,” IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Vol. 32, Issue 1, 49-56.

Long, X., Aubeny, C., Bulut, R., Gay, D., and Lytton, R. (2006) “Two-dimensional moisture flow-soil deformation model for application to pavement design,” Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.

Hong, G., Bulut, R., Aubeny, C., Jayatalaka, R., and Lytton, R. (2006) “Design model for roughness and serviceability of pavements on expansive soils.” Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.

Hong, G., Long, X., Aubeny, C., Bulut, R., and Lytton, R.(2006) “Comparative design case studies of pavement performance on expansive soils,” Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.

Aubeny, C.P., Shi, H. (2006) “Interpretation of impact penetration measurements in soft clays,” ASCE J. Geotech. and Geoenv. Engrg, Vol. 132, No. 6.

Aubeny, C.P., Shi, H., Murff, J.D.(2005) “Collapse load for cylinder embedded in trench in cohesive soil,” ASCE Intl. J. of Geomechanics, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 320-325.

Aubeny, C.P. and Murff, J.D. (2005) “Simplified limit solutions for undrained capacity of suction anchors,” Ocean Engineering, Elsevier, Vol. 32, pp. 864-877.

Clukey, E.C., Aubeny, C.P. and Murff, J.D.(2004) “Comparison of analytical and centrifuge model tests for suction caissons subjected to combined loads,” ASME Journal for Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, Vol. 126, No. 4, pp. 364-367.

Aubeny, C.P. and Lytton, R.L. (2004)“Shallow slides in compacted high plasticity clay slopes,” ASCE J. Geotech. and Geoenv. Engrg., pp. 717-727.

Aubeny, C.P., Lytton, R.L., and Tang, D. (2003) "Simplified analysis of unsteady moisture flow through unsaturated soil," 82nd Annual Meeting of Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.  

Aubeny, C.P., Han, S.W., and Murff, J.D. (2003) "Inclined load capacity of suction caissons," in review Intl. J. for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics.

Aubeny, C.P., Han, S.W., and Murff, J.D. (2002) "Suction caisson capacity in anisotropic, purely cohesive soil," Intl. J. of Geomechanics.

Aubeny, C.P., Moon, S.K., and Murff, J.D. (2001) "Lateral undrained resistance of suction caisson anchors," Intl. J. Offshore and Polar Engineering.

Aubeny, C.P., Murff, J.D., and Roesset, J.M. (2001) "Geotechnical issues in deep and ultra deep waters, Intl. J. of Geomechanics.

Aubeny, C.P., Whittle, A.J., and Ladd, C.C. (2000) "Effects of disturbance on undrained strengths interpreted from pressuremeter tests," ASCE J. Geotech. and Geoenv. Engrg.

Conferences

Murff, J.D., Aubeny, C.P. and Yang, M. (2010) "The effect of torsion on sliding resistance of rectangular foundations," accepted for publication at the 2nd International symposium on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics, Perth, Australia.

Aubeny, C.P. and Chi, C.-M. (2010) "Trajectory prediction for Drag Embedment Anchors under Out of Plane Loading," accepted for publication at the 2nd International symposium on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics, Perth, Australia

Gilbert, R.B., Lupulescu, C., Lee, C.H., Miller, J., Kronke, M., Yang, M., Aubeny, C.P. and Murff, J.D. (2009) “Analytical and experimental modeling for out-of-plane loading of plate anchors,” 2009 Offshore Technology Conference, OTC 20115, Houston.

Aubeny, C.P., Beemer, R., and Zimmerman, E. (2009) “Soil impact on non-stationary anchor performance,” 2009 Offshore Technology Conference, OTC 20081, Houston.

Aubeny, C., Rao, K., and Schmidt, H. (2009) “Seismo-acoustic waves generated by an object impacting the seabed,” 16th International Conference on Sound and Vibration, Krakow, ICSV16, Poland.

Zimmerman, E., Chi, C.-M., and Aubeny, C.P. (2009) “Stability assessment of spudcan foundations,” Oceans 09 MTS/IEEE, Marine Technology Society/Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers,  090608-005, Biloxi.

Hong., G.T., Aubeny, C.P. and Lytton, R.L. (2009) “Lateral earth pressure on a wall in expansive soil,” 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Unsaturated Soil, 2009275, Newcastle, Australia.

You, J., Biscontin, G. and Aubeny, C.P. (2008) “Seafloor interaction with steel catenary risers,” 2008 International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers Frontier Energy Resources Symposium, Vancouver.

Langford, T. and Aubeny, C.P. (2008) “Large scale soil-riser model testing on high plasticity clay,” 2008 International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers Frontier Energy Resources Symposium, Vancouver.

Hong, G.T., Bulut, R., Aubeny, C.P., Jayatalaka, R., and Lytton, R.L. “Prediction of pavement roughness on expansive soils,” Proc. 4th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils, American Society of Civil Engineers, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 147, pp. 415-426, 2006.

Hong, G.T., Aubeny, C.P., Bulut, R., and Lytton, R.L. “Design of pavements on expansive soils,” Proc. 4th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils, American Society of Civil Engineers, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 147, pp. 427-438, 2006.

Long, X.Y., Aubeny, C.P., Bulut, R., and Lytton, R.L. “Two dimensional shrink-swell model for pavement surface movement predictions,” Proc. 4th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils, ASCE, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 147, pp. 2150-2161, 2006.

Mun, B., Aubeny, C.P., and Lytton, R.L. “Calculation of pseudo strain and dissipated pseudo strain energy in unsaturated soil,” Proc. 4th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils, American Society of Civil Engineers, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 147, pp. 1956-1967, 2006.

Bulut, R., Aubeny, C.P., Lytton, R., Sood, E., and Thakur, A., “Evaluation of moisture diffusion coefficient for design of pavements on expansive soils” Transportation Research Board 85th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. Paper No. 06-1669, 2006.

Aubeny, C.P., Bulut, R., and Lytton, R.L. “Laboratory versus field values of unsaturated soil diffusivity,” International Symposium on Advanced Experimental Unsaturated Soil Mechanics – EXPERUS 2005, Trento, Italy, pp. 495-500, 2005.

Bulut, R., Aubeny, C.P., and Lytton, R.L. “Unsaturated soil diffusivity measurements,” International Symposium on Advanced Experimental Unsaturated Soil Mechanics – EXPERUS 2005, Trento, Italy, pp.281-286, 2005.

Aubeny, C.P, Kim, B.M, and Murff, J.D. “Proposed upper bound analysis for drag embedment anchors, International Symposium on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics, Perth, Australia, September 2005, pp. 179-184, 2005.

Andersen, K.H., Murff, J.D. Randolph, M.F., Clukey, E., Jostad, H.P., Hansen, B. Aubeny, C., Sharma, P., Erbich, C., and Supachawarote, C. “Suction anchors for deepwater applications,”  Keynote lecture, International Symposium on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics, Perth, Australia, September 2005, pp. 3-30, 2005.

Aubeny, C.P, and Dunlap, W.A. “Penetration of cylindrical objects in soft mud,” Oceans 2003, September, 21-26, San Diego, pp. 2068-2073, 2003.

Aubeny, C.P. and Murff, J.D. “Simplified limit solutions for undrained capacity of suction anchors,” Deepwater Mooring Systems: Concepts, Design, Analysis, and Materials, October 2-3, Houston, pp. 76-90, 2003.

Aubeny, C.P., Han, S.W. and Murff, J.D. “Refined model for inclined load capacity of suction caissons,” 22nd International Conference on Offshore and Arctic Engineering, June 8-13, Cancun, Mexico, OMAE2003-37502, 2003.

Clukey, E.C., Aubeny, C.P. and Murff, J.D. “Comparison of analytical and centrifuge model tests for suction caissons subjected to combined loads,” 22nd International Conference on Offshore and Arctic Engineering, June 8-13, Cancun, Mexico, OMAE2003-37503, 2003.

Aubeny, C. Li, Y., and Briaud, J. (2002) “Geosynthetic reinforced pile supported embankments: numerical simulation and design needs,” 7th Intl. Conf. on Geosynthetics, September 22-27, Nice.

Hueste, M.D., Aubeny, C.P., Briaud, J.-L., Kim, Y.-S., and Roesset, J.M. “Dynamic stiffness and damping characteristics for micro-pile retrofitted foundations.” 7th Intl. Conf on Earthquake Engineering, July 21-25, Boston, 2002.

Aubeny, C.P., Murff, J.D., and Roesset, J.M. “Geotechnical issues in deep and ultra deep waters,” International Conference for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics, January 7-12, pp. 13-26, 2001.

Gilbert, R.B., Olson, R.E., Rauch, A.F., Tassoulas, J.L., Aubeny, C.P., Bryant, W.R., Murff, J.D. (2001) "Toward the design of new technologies in deep water anchorages,"Intl. Society for Offshore and Polar Engrg., ISOPE 2001.

Whittle, A.J. & Aubeny, C.P. (1992). "The effects of installation disturbance on interpretation of in-situ tests in clays," Predictive Soil Mech., Proc. of the Wroth Memorial Symp., Oxford, England.

Whittle, A.J. & Aubeny, C.P. (1991). "Pore pressure fields around piezocone penetrometers installed in clays," Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics, Cairns, Australia.

Research Reports

Aubeny, C., Gilbert, R., Chi, C.-M., Beemer, R, Kronke, M. and Ganjoo, G., Testing and Analysis of Delmar Safe Pipeline, Offshore Technology Research Center, College Station, TX.

Ming, Y., Murff, J.D., Aubeny, C.P., Lee, C.H., Lupulescu, C. Gilbert, R. (2009) Out of Plane Loading of Plate Anchors, Analytical Modeling Phase II Report., Offshore Technology Research Center, College Station, TX.

Ming, Y., Murff, J.D., and Aubeny, C.P. (2007) Out of Plane Loading of Plate Anchors, Analytical Modelling Phase I Report, Offshore Technology Research Center, College Station, TX.

Aubeny C.P. and Biscontin G. (2006) Seafloor Interaction with Steel Catenary Risers, Offshore Technology Research Center Report Number 9/06A173, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

Lytton, R.L., Aubeny, C.P., and Bulut, R. Design Procedure for Pavements on Expansive Soils, Technical Report 0-4518-1, Texas Transportation Institute, August 2005.

Aubeny, C.P. Mine Burial in Cohesive Sediments: Undrained Shear Strength Characterization, Grant Number N00014-04-1-0019, 04PR00796-00, February 2006.

Aubeny, C.P., Biscontin, G., and Murff, J.D. SCR Touchdown Project OTRC Project Status Report, Offshore Technology Research Center, May 2005.

Aubeny, C.P. and Murff, J.D. Suction Caisson Anchor – Vertically Loaded Anchors Project Summary Report, Offshore Technology Research Center, November, 2005.

Aubeny, C.P. and Dunlap, W.A. Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of Mine Burial Penetration Final Research Report, Office of Naval Research, May 2005.

Lytton, R.L., Aubeny, C.P., and Bulut, R.F. Design Procedure for Pavements on Expansive Soils, Research Report FHWA/TX-05/0-4518-1, Texas Department of Transportation, October 2004.

Aubeny, C.P. and Lytton, R.L. Long-Term Strength of Compacted High-PI Clays, Research Report FHWA/TX-03/2100-1, Texas Department of Transportation, February 2003.

Aubeny, C.P. and Lytton, R.L. Estimating Strength versus Location and Time in High Plasticity Clays. Research Report FHWA/TX-03/2100-P1, Texas Department of Transportation, February 2003.

Aubeny, C.P. and Lytton, R.L. Properties of High-Plasticity Clays. Research Report FHWA/TX-02/2100-2, Texas Department of Transportation, January 2002.

Li, Y., Aubeny, C.P., and Briaud, J.L. Geosynthetic Reinforced Pile Supported Embankment, Research Report for Federal Highway Administration, January 2002.

 

Thesis Publications

The Amplification of Seismic Shear Waves Propagating through Horizontally Stratified Soil Deposits, University of Colorado at Denver

Rational Interpretation of In Situ Tests in Cohesive Soils, Doctor of Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

Professional Experience

SEAFLOOR GEOTECHNICS: From 1999-present., served as consultant on a variety of projects involving drag anchors, suction embedded plate anchors, suction caissons, impact penetration into the seafloor and pipelines. Selected projects are described below.

Performance of Suction Caisson in Sand (May 2010) for Delmar Systems, Houston, Texas.

Value Engineering Study for US Army Corps of Engineers Addicks and Barker Dam Outlet Works Dam Safety Filter Wraps, Houston, Texas (May 2010) for Value Management Strategies, Inc.

Peer Review of US Army Corps of Engineers Santa Maria Levees in Santa Maria Valley, California (Mar 2010-present) for Battelle.

Parametric Study of Vertically Loaded Anchor Performance (Nov 2009 – May 2010) for Franklin Offshore International, Pte. Ltd., Singapore.

Drainage and Rate Effect Studies for Suction Embedded Plate Anchors (Oct 2009) for Trendsetter Corp/ExxonMobil.

Trajectory and Load Capacity Predictions for Vertically Loaded Anchor (Apr-May 2009) Geoscience, Earth & Marine Science, Inc.

Impact Penetration Studies for Seabed Acoustic Sensors (Jul 2008-Oct 2009) for Blue Sea Corporation.

Peer Review of US Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Coastal Improvement Study (Sep 2008-May 2009) for Battelle.

Peer Review of US Army Corps of Engineers Freeport Harbor Navigation Improvement Project Draft Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (July-December, 2008) for Battelle.

Prediction of Mine Impact Burial for Marine Security (May-Aug 2008) for VASA Associates.

Expert Witness for Eagles Bluff Development, Lake Palestine, Texas (Nov 2007 to Aug 2008) for Looper, Reed, and McGraw.

Analysis of seabed-flowline interactions for laterally loaded pipelines (Apr-Aug 2008) NGI, Inc., Houston. 

Geotechnical Seminar and Laboratory for Short Course on Dredging (annually 2003-2010) for TAMU; presented principles of geotechnical engineering and laboratory testing for dredging short course.

Drag Anchor Trajectory and Installation Capacity Prediction for FPSO Vessel, Corocoro Field, Gulf of Paria, Venezuala (Aug 2006) for Solquest Engineering Group, LLP.,.

Chayvo Approach to “Orlan” Platform, Sakhalin Island, Russia, (Mar-Apr, 2004) Technip Offshore, Inc.

Seismic Analysis of Hotchkiss Tract Levee System, California (2004) Lowney Associates.

Mad Dog Spar Platform Suction Caisson Design (Jun 2003) Geoscience, Earth & Marine Science, Inc. for BP-Amoco.

Dredging Engineering Short Course, (2003-2010) TAMU Ocean Engineering Program, Geotechnical Seminar and Laboratory.

Geotechnical Seminar and Workshop Review for the Principles and Practice Examination in Civil Engineering, Testmasters (2000-2009).

Pile Driving Analysis of Conductor in Sand Layer in a Shallow Water Flow Environment (Oct-Dec 1999) Offshore Technology Research Center.

GENERAL GEOTECHNICAL: From 1992-1999, served as consultant on a variety of geotechnical projects involving slopes, excavations, shallow foundations, soft ground conditions, pipelines, piles, and site development. Role in projects included field investigations, analysis, design, and construction monitoring. Selected projects are described below.

Vallejo Parking Garage, San Francisco, California: Directed geotechnical investigations for evaluation of proposed 6-story underground parking garage for determining site stratigraphy, evaluating soil parameters for earth pressure and bearing capacity estimates, and evaluating groundwater conditions.

San Francisco International Airport, California: Performed geotechnical studies for roadway and bridge construction for airport expansion. Evaluations included settlement analysis for roadway embankment on Bay Mud, and analysis of laterally and torsionally loaded piles.

Illinois Street Pipeline, San Francisco, California: Evaluated alternatives for sewerline construction in artificial fill overlying Bay Mud; portions of fill were contaminated with heavy metals and hydrocarbons. Tasks included delineation of extent of contamination; evaluation of cut and cover, pipe jacking, and micro tunneling alternatives; and field investigations for identifying and locating obstructions in fill which could impact trenchless construction alternatives.

Zinfandel Development, Rancho Cordova, California: Performed site investigations and evaluations for reclaiming former placer mining and aggregate mining site for proposed residential and commercial development. The former mining activities created extremely heterogeneous soil conditions ranging from very soft silt/clay deposits in former sediment pond areas to cobble/boulder deposits left over from the placer mining activities. The evaluations provided treatment alternatives for the very soft soils (e.g., removal, pre-loading), a quality control plan for earthwork operations in highly heterogeneous soil conditions, water retention capabilities of soils in planned pond areas, and soil bearing capacity and settlement for structures in planned residential and commercial areas.

Bufferlands Mitigation, Elk Grove, California: Directed geotechnical investigation development of a wetland area. Investigations identified soil types for developing specifications for earthmoving operations, evaluated water retention capabilities of soils for development of pond areas, and evaluated bearing capacity of soils for access road bridge footings.

Floor Slab Moisture Study, Fountains Medical Complex, Stockton, California Evaluated soils, groundwater conditions, and floor slab design and construction details in a medical complex experiencing moisture transmission problems through concrete floor slab.

DAM ENGINEERING: Engaged in dam engineering assignments as design engineer in USBR Embankment Dams Branch (1978-1986) and as consultant (1992-1999).  Studies included field investigations; analysis of seepage, stability, liquefaction, and dynamic deformations; embankment, foundation, drainage system, and slope protection design; construction monitoring; development of design standards; and safety evaluation of existing dams. Experience includes projects involving dispersive clays, decomposed basalt foundations, shale foundations, foundation grouting, and rockfill embankments.  Selected projects are described below.

Butt Valley Dam, Chester, California: Resident engineer for construction of $10 million upgrade to existing hydraulic fill dam. Supervised field laboratory and inspection staff for quality control; monitored instrumentation during foundation excavation and dewatering; evaluated suitability of alluvial, colluvial, and weathered basalt foundations; directed foundation treatment; reviewed contractor submittals, prepared design changes in response to unanticipated conditions encountered in field, interfaced with designers, contractor, and regulatory personnel from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the California Division of Safety of Dams. Prepared reservoir re-filling plan and performed on-site monitoring of dam during filling.

Pardee Dam, Valley Springs, California: Supervised geotechnical field investigation for a major raise of a 325 ft high concrete gravity dam. Investigations involved drilling and coring to collect information on lithology, jointing, faulting, weathering, and rock quality; pressure testing; and laboratory strength and point load tests.

Jamieson Canyon Dam, Napa, California: Performed site investigations and analysis of slope stability, seepage, and seismic performance for review by California Department of Water Resources Division of Dam Safety.

Wastewater Retention Ponds, Sonoma County, California: Performed site investigations and evaluated slope stability, seepage stability, seismic performance, and reservoir seepage for three wastewater retention ponds under jurisdiction of California Department of Water Resources Division of Dam Safety.

McGee Creek Dam, Atoka, Oklahoma: Performed initial feasibility studies, final geotechnical design, construction monitoring, and reservoir first filling criteria for a $35 million dam project. Studies included evaluation of earthfill and rockfill embankment alternatives, stability analyses, seepage analyses, wave run up analysis, and settlement analysis. Tasks included design of embankment cross section, slope protection design, foundation excavation and surface treatment, grout curtain, and special defensive measures against dispersive erosion. Developed field investigation studies and laboratory test programs. During construction, monitored quality control testing and inspection, foundation excavation, surface treatment, grouting, diversion, unwatering, and fill placement. Prepared criteria for reservoir first filling and operation.

Standards Development, USBR, Denver, Colorado: Prepared chapter of Foundation Surface Treatment for U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Design Standards for embankment dam design. Standard included guidelines for preparing and shaping soil and rock foundation surfaces; placing dental concrete, slush grout, and shotcrete; and special earthfill placement procedures on foundation surfaces.

Grass Valley Debris Dam, California: Performed preliminary design and cost estimates for proposed embankment to be founded on decomposed granite and designed to trap sediment eroding from adjacent mountainside. The study included an evaluation for a reinforced flow-through rockfill embankment. Led USBR team for investigating feasibility of flow-through rockfill embankments.

Strawberry Dam, Utah: Prepared design and specifications for controlled breaching of an existing dam, as part of a reservoir enlargement scheme; the project involved dredging through the existing embankment, and removal of concrete corewall by blasting.

Seminoe Forebay, Wyoming: Performed appraisal study for a proposed pumped–storage project. Study included preliminary design and cost estimates for rock excavation of the forebay reservoir, and construction of a concrete deck rockfill embankment from required rock excavation.

Choke Canyon Dam, Three Rivers, Texas: Performed earthwork and concrete inspection and field laboratory testing for construction of earth dam.

Kendig Dam and Dry Hollow Dams, Colorado: Performed feasibility level designs, including section selection, materials utilization studies, and cost estimates for proposed dam projects.

 

LEVEES AND FLOOD CONTROL: Provided geotechnical consulting services to governmental agencies and reclamation districts for flood control levees in the Sacramento River Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Tasks included field investigations, stability and seepage analyses, liquefaction analyses, design of upgrades (expanded levee sections, stability berms, sheetpile walls), floodwall design, and evaluation of levee systems with regard to regulatory (FEMA, COE, DSOD) requirements.

Mokelumne Aqueduct Seismic Upgrade, Byron, California: Geotechnical project engineer for pipeline and levee upgrades at three Mokelumne Aqueduct river crossings having estimated project cost of $39 million. Geotechnical evaluations included drilling and sampling, evaluating strength of organic foundation soils, evaluating residual post liquefaction strength of loose sand foundations, design of excavations (support systems included sheetpiles and mixed-inplace piles) for removal of segments of aqueduct, design of pile supports for aqueduct, analyses and design of stability berms for levees at river crossings, design of sheetpile walls through levee crown, and development of earthwork specifications.

SAFCA Levee Upgrades, Sacramento, California: Managed geotechnical evaluations for upgrades to the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant levee and the North Beach Lake levee in south Sacramento. Upgrades included earthwork expansion of the levees, concrete floodwalls, and sheetpile floodwalls. Evaluation of levees included drilling and sampling the levee embankment and foundation, laboratory index and engineering properties testing, and seepage and stability analyses. Design recommendations were made regarding configuration of the expanded levee, floodwall foundations, foundation treatment, treatment of utility penetrations through the levee, and construction quality control testing. Potential borrow areas were evaluated with regard to suitability of material types for levee construction, workability, and processing and moisture control requirements. During construction of the SRWTP, provided consulting services for reviewing quality control data and approval of levee and floodwall foundations.

Sherman Island Levees, Antioch, California: Managed geotechnical investigations for analysis and design of upgrade of levees on soft peat and clay foundations. Work tasks involved installing inclinometers and piezometers to monitor future construction activities, collecting undisturbed peat and clay samples, characterizing strength and deformation properties from consolidation and direct simple shear tests, performing stability analyses, and design recommendations for a stability berm and seepage collection system.

Hotchkiss Tract Levees, Bethel Island, California: Evaluated deficiencies and provided upgrade recommendations to remove study area in the Sacramento River Delta from FEMA 100-year floodplain. The preliminary assessment considered freeboard requirements, adequacy of existing slope protection, static stability, seismic stability, and seepage stability. Evaluated impacts of developments on or near levees and provided guidelines for controlling future encroachments.

Los Vaqueros Old River Intake, Byron, California: Oversaw foundation evaluations, earthwork quality control, and instrument monitoring program for construction of setback levee around intake structure for Old River Pipeline for Los Vaqueros Project. Construction activities included sheetpile wall installation, foundation excavation through peats, and earthfill placement.

Twitchell Island Stabilization, Rio Vista, California: Served as resident engineer for $8 million levee embankment stabilization project involving utilization of dredged fill for construction of stabilization berm on soft peat foundation. Responsibilities included monitoring the dredging and earthwork construction activities, verifying the contractor's performance for compliance with specifications, reviewing the construction schedule, approving the contractor's quantities and requests for payments, and monitoring integrity of the levee during construction.

Elkhorn Levees, Sacramento, California: Evaluated deficiencies and provided upgrade recommendations to remove study areas from FEMA 100-year floodplain. The preliminary assessment considered freeboard requirements, adequacy of existing slope protection, static stability, and seepage.

ENVIRONMENTAL: Provided consulting services to governmental and private clients for preliminary environmental site assessements and site investigations for various northern California sites.

Preliminary Environmental Assessments, Sacramento and Northern California: Directed preliminary environmental site assessments at sites throughout the Sacramento area. Tasks included aerial photograph review, agency record searches, historical record searches, on site inspections, and report preparation. Sites included commercial buildings, underground storage, and mining facilities.

Hydrocarbon Contamination Sites, Sacramento and Northern California: Directed subsurface investigations to evaluate the type and extent of contamination at various sites. Conducted feasibility pilot vapor extraction tests and groundwater pump test to obtain parameters for design of remediation systems. Monitored interim remediation actions involving excavation, sampling, characterization, and removal of contaminated soils.

McClellan Air Force Base, California: Performed assessments for above and below-ground tanks and secondary containments for chemical compatibility, structural integrity, foundation supports, and watertightness. Tank contents included fuels, solvents, acids, caustics, and effluent from an industrial waste stream containing heavy metals.