George K. Burke, P.E., D.GE, M.ASCE is the recipient of the Wallace Hayward Baker Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Geo-Institute. The award was presented by Larry Jedele, P.E., D.GE, M.ASCE, president of the Geo-Institute, at the “Heroes and Awards Luncheon” held on March 15, 2011 at the Geo-Frontiers 2011 conference in Dallas, TX.
In receiving the career award, Mr. Burke was cited for his “significant contributions to the field of ground modification generally, as well as his major contributions towards the development, design, and applications of jet grouting and mechanical soil mixing in particular” in the North American construction industry.
George Burke has been an employee of Hayward Baker Inc. since 1985. In 1990, he was appointed head of the company’s newly created Soilcrete Division. Since then, Mr. Burke has spearheaded many important jet grouting projects such as the Brigantine Connector Tunnel in Atlantic City, NJ (the first U.S. application of super-jet grouting), and the Cedar Bay Coal Hopper in Jacksonville, FL – a particularly challenging project involving an essentially dry excavation 25 feet below groundwater level.
The Wallace Hayward Baker Award was established in 2000 by the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The award is given in recognition of creative and innovative contributions in the field of ground modification. Emphasis is placed on the resourceful development of new technologies – or the creative application of existing technologies – to achieve performance not previously demonstrated in the ground modification field.
In being nominated for the award, Mr. Burke’s distinguished career in ground modification, including introducing new technologies to U.S. practice and adapting them to the North American construction environment, was noted. For example, he has combined multiple ground modification technologies to serve needs across a range of applications involving difficult ground conditions – among them soil mixed cutoff walls, column-supported embankments, and deep mixing methods.
Nominators also cited Mr. Burke’s ability to apply creative thinking and technology integration with an interest in advancing industry practices to optimize performance and cost-effectiveness, combined with his ready willingness to share his extensive knowledge with other industry practitioners and researchers.
Commenting on the award announcement, John Rubright, President of Hayward Baker Inc., said, “We are pleased that the Geo-Institute has recognized George’s outstanding talent and expertise. Through his pioneering efforts, jet grouting technology has become successfully integrated into geotechnical engineering practices here in North America. We’re very proud of his accomplishments and congratulate him on this honor.”