DFI Announces Winners of 2018 Student Paper Competition 

November 6, 2018, Hawthorne N.J.:

Alexandre P.R.P. Almeida from Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada is the winner of the 2018 DFI and DFI Educational Trust Student paper Competition. The winning paper, “Statistical Evaluation of Design Methods for Micropiles in Ontario Soils,” evaluated the performance of two design methods for micropiles founded in Ontario soils: the modified Federal Highway Administration method and the Bustamante and Doix method. 

The research analyzed the results from 47 full-scale load tests on micropile to determine the most suitable design method to predict the geotechnical capacity of a micropile in Ontario soils. Since most of the tests terminated before achieving failure, the load-displacement curves were extrapolated to obtain the failure load. From an analysis of the test results, the Federal Highway Administration method (2000), which was modified with a diameter expansion parameter suggested by the Bustamante and Doix method (1985), provided reasonable estimations of the geotechnical capacities in Ontario soils. 

The first runners-up of the Student Paper Competition are Jamie J. Crispin and Colm P. Leahy, University of Bristol, for their paper “Settlement of Axially Loaded Pile Groups in Inhomogeneous Soil.” 

Two runners-up were also selected for the 2017 Student Paper Competition: Jennifer Ostrowsky, P.G., Utah State University for “A New Approach for Evaluating the Ductility, Volumetric Stiffness and Permeability of Cutoff Wall Backfill Materials,” and Martijn van Wijngaarden, M.Sc., Delft University of Technology, for “Gravity Based Foundations for Offshore Wind Turbines: Cyclic Loading and Liquefaction.” 

In addition, two student papers are receiving special recognition. 

  • “Performance Modeling of Wave Equation Analysis for Driven Steel H-Piles in IGMs,” by Pramila Adhikari and Yrgalem Z. Gebreslasie, University of Wyoming 
  • “Comparison of FEA and Analytical Methods for Determining Stability of a RAP Supported MSE Wall,” by Emily C. Reed, E.I., and Daniel R. VandenBerge, Ph.D., P.E., Tennessee Technological University 

The awards were presented at the DFI 43rd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, October 24-27, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif., where Alexandre P.R.P. Almeida presented the winning paper to conference attendees. Each of the winners and runners-up will have their papers published in a future issue of the DFI Journal. All of the award recipients received a library of up to 20 DFI publications along with a gratis two-year DFI Individual Membership. The special recognition winners received a plaque and their papers will be considered for the DFI Journal as well.

Contact: Emilio S. Fandino, Trust Administrator, 973-423-4030,

About DFI Educational Trust: The Deep Foundations Institute Educational Trust ( is an independent, 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization established in 2006 by the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) as its charitable arm. The mission of the Trust is to support and encourage individuals in the fields of study related to the deep foundation industry by providing scholarships and opportunities to meet and work with deep foundation industry leaders.

About Deep Foundations Institute (DFI)
DFI ( is an international association of contractors, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, academics and owners in the deep foundations industry. Our multidisciplinary membership creates a consensus voice and a common vision for continual improvement in the planning, design and construction of deep foundations and excavations. We bring together members for networking, education, communication and collaboration. With our members, we promote the advancement of the deep foundations industry through technical committees, educational programs and conferences, publications, research, government relations and outreach. DFI has more than 3,300 members worldwide.

Alexandre P.R.P. Almeida, winner of the 2018 DFI Student Paper Competition

Jamie J. Crispin, one of the runners-up of the 2018 DFI Student Paper Competition