D’Appolonia undertakes research and development projects with thee goals of:
D’Appolonia undertakes research and development projects with the dual goals of advancing the state of practice and enhancing the knowledge and experience of our professional engineering and scientific staff. Over the years we have conducted research projects related to soil-structure interaction under earthquake conditions, coal exploration using geophysics, development of site requirements for underground disposal of nuclear wastes, and evaluation of alternative means for underground storage of fuels. We have prepared Load Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) specifications for geotechnical applications, and we have developed and presented LRFD training courses. We have also conducted technical evaluations of innovative earth retention technologies for the Highway Innovation Technology Evaluation Center (HITEC).
D’Appolonia has been retained by federal and state highway agencies to update design manuals and design and construction specifications to include new technologies and methodologies. We are experienced in working with regulatory technical staff in the development of design manual content. In 2009 a technical team led by D’Appolonia completed an update of the Engineering and Design Manual, Coal Refuse Disposal Facilities for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). This project entailed a complete update of the previous (1975) manual and the introduction of several new chapters to reflect the current state of the practice.
D’Appolonia is experienced in the preparation and presentation of technical seminars and other types of instructional courses. We were retained to develop the curriculum, training materials, and presentation graphics for a two-day training course for highway engineers who design foundations, retaining walls, and culverts using the AASHTO Load Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Bridge Design Specifications. The training course addressed: principles of limit state design and calibration; loads, load factors, and load combinations; geotechnical site characterization; substructure type selection; and design of foundations, earth retaining structures, abutments, and culverts. Training materials developed for the course included a Participant’s Workbook, Instructor Guide, example problems, case histories, and visual aids. The planned presentation and training materials were evaluated based on comments from a review panel and from participants who attended pilot courses. Changes were incorporated based on review comments, and the course has subsequently been presented more than 50 times to 35 state transportation agencies.