Chapter Meeting: Geotechnical Challenges of Building in Chicago

When:  Apr 24, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (CT)
Associated with  Chicago

Geotechnical Challenges of Building in Chicago

Chicago’s skyline of towering skyscrapers is especially impressive if you consider that when the city was first settled, it was a swampy marsh. Chicago’s bedrock is buried deep beneath silt, mud, and clay that for 150 years engineers and architects have been innovating new design and construction strategies to prevent buildings from sinking. This program will provide an overview of and discuss effective foundation construction strategies to address Chicago’s challenging soil conditions.

Presented by: Michael Wysockey, PhD, PE | President | Thatcher Foundations, Inc.

Time: 5:30pm-8:00pm
Location: Walsh Construction, 307 S. Sangamon, Chicago
Cost: CSI Chicago Members Complimentary, Nonmembers $45
(Includes drinks and light dinner.)
Registration: Due by April 17, 2018
Parking: Complimentary parking is available in the Walsh lot across the street (no pass needed during event hours).
Continuing Education: 1.0 AIA/CES LU

Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify and describe the typical soil and rock profiles present in Chicago.
  2. Identify and describe specific geotechnical problematic areas of Chicago for construction.
  3. Understand different construction techniques for deep foundations and earth retention structures that address the many challenges of Chicago soils.
  4. Understand how code and regulations address geotechnical design, including the Building Department memo that modifies Chapter 18 of the Chicago Building Code.

About the Presenter: Michael Wysockey, PhD, PE is the president of Michael_Wysockey.pngThatcher Foundations, Inc. Thatcher Foundations is a specialty contractor working in design-build earth retention, pile driving, drilled foundations, and marine construction. Thatcher has built a reputation for innovative solutions to challenging deep foundation and shoring work. From limited access micropiles to high capacity driven and augercast piles (ACIP), Thatcher has been installing piles since 1946.

Michael received his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from The Citadel, his Master’s from MIT, and Doctorate in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign – where he was awarded both the Wilson and Peck Fellowships. His publications range from shore erosion, to the effect of local soil conditions on earthquake motions, to the capacity of deep foundations. He is a member of the Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings, the Pile Driving Contractors Association, a past Chairman of the Driven Pile Committee of the DFI and the ASCE Geo Institute, Illinois Section.

Photo of the earth retention system at 300 N. LaSalle provided by Thatcher Foundations, Inc.

Event Image


Beth Winkler


Walsh Construction
307 S. Sangamon
Chicago, IL 60607