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    Author Jim Sanneman

    Date05 10 2018

    Last month in Detroit, nearly 100 attendees joined Tensar International and Geopier Foundation Company for a technical design seminar covering a variety of civil engineering topics.


    Attendees listened to a keynote presentation by Kord Wissmann, President of Geopier Foundation Company, who provided a interesting perspective around the ‘evil shadow’ approaching the Bright Side and who the Dark Side knows all too well about – commoditization in our industry. Kord discussed the innovation in engineering and construction, including solving construction challenges better as a way not to become bored and stagnant in our profession, and how to achieve differentiation in the market. He talked to how differentiation can be achieved by providing a unique customer experience. In an article Kord wrote for Geo-Strata, he said: “The best differentiators, the ones most secure in their market position, are those who differentiate by understanding knowledge gaps. They then use acumen to form bridges to the unknown.”

    The commoditization of components of engineering and construction have created that stagnation, and the best way to improve is to adapt and stay “in love” with the profession.

    Also, at the Tensar Road Show, attendees were able to attend 5 possible courses from a possible 30 sessions offered, in addition to the keynote address. The sessions included the use of Geopier foundation and ground improvement systems; pavement design, stabilization, haul roads and unpaved surfaces with TriAx geogrid; pavement maintenance using GlasGrid interlayer products; Tensar grade-separation structures and MSE systems; and Case Histories for all applications presented by non-Tensar employees, including engineers, public agency representatives, contractors and distributors.


    What would a seminar be without sidebar conversations? Well we had plenty of that as well. Tensar Area Engineer Garrett Fountain helped one fellow engineer review a crane platform design.

    At the end of the day, the attendees gathered to test their knowledge of content that was presented throughout the day. The quiz was delivered in a game-like atmosphere with attendees competing with one another using smart phones to answer quickly and correctly. Prizes, including gift cards and other swag, were handed out to the top achievers.

    Interested in attending a Tensar and Geopier Foundation Company Road Show? Click here to learn more about the Road Show and see what stops the Road Show is making next.


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