Hayward Baker Inc. (HB) announced that retired vice president Joseph Welsh is a 2014 recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Award. The OPAL Award, established in 1999 by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), recognizes Welsh’s lifetime accomplishments of noteworthy advancements in construction, and the many contributions he provided the civil engineering industry over the past 50 years. He received the award on March 20, 2014, at the OPAL Gala, a black-tie event held annually in the Washington, D.C., area.
During his tenure with HB from 1978 to 1999, Welsh oversaw more than 1,600 projects focusing on ground modification, many of which required the development of state-of-the-art solutions and techniques to solve challenges in the geotechnical field. He specialized in chemical, slurry and compaction grouting, along with dynamic deep compaction, slurry wall trenches, tieback and tiedown anchors, and underpinning.
Several of these developments included combinations of techniques, such as at a planned coal-fired generating plant requiring the densification of 55 ft of loose granular soil over limestone in 1982 in Jacksonville, Fla. Dynamic deep compaction densified the upper zone and compaction grout densified and filled the voids within the lower zone.
Welsh is internationally known for his contributions in the geotechnical engineering community, and now serves as a consultant for projects throughout the world. Notable projects include the Port of West Africa, Central Boston Artery Tunnel, Pakistan Tarbela Dam, and the Malaysia Petronas Twin Towers.
His extensive list of achievements also includes assisting with the introduction of jet grouting, fracture grouting, fine grain cement, dynamic deep compaction, vibro displacement and replacement, the use of fabrics for concrete forming, and deep soil mixing techniques in the United States.
Throughout his career, Welsh has been an active member in the civil engineering community. He is a Life Member and Fellow of the ASCE, and has published and contributed to numerous works, including co-authoring the first hardbound geosynthetics book with R.M. Koerner, “Construction and Geotechnical Engineering Using Synthetic Fibers.”
Other noteworthy publications by Welsh include “Soil Improvement – A Ten Year Update” published by the ASCE, and a Federal Highway Administration Manual, “Ground Improvement Technologies.”
In 1998, Welsh was awarded Villanova University’s Alumni Award for Professional Achievement and the U.S. Universities Council on Geotechnical Research (USUCGER) Research Investment Award. More recently, he was the recipient of the Grouting G.R.E.A.T Award by the Grouting Committee of ASCE for his contributions to the grouting techniques as well as the Wallace Hayward Baker Award of the Geo-Institute ASCE “in recognition of a career of inventive landmark contributions to the technical and practical application and development of Ground Improvement Methods.”