News Stories

Kaltenbach Earns Professional Geologist License

Published Feb. 16, 2018

   Licensed geologists and engineers provide professional and technical credibility to any and all infrastructure projects that are designed or overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  In today's environment, having a professional license is a mandatory requirement for all mid and senior level geologists and engineers in civil engineering and the petroleum/mining industry.

   Within USACE, professional geologists and professional engineers are the only authorized people to conduct investigations or supervise work on dams, locks, and levees. Furthermore within USACE, technical leaders on navigation, engineering or design projects must have to hold a professional license. Supporting team members are strongly suggested to maintain professional licenses as well.  For geologists, this guidance is pushed down from USACE headquarters in Washington. 

   Kelley Kaltenbach is passionate about geology.  When he’s not in the office, he’s either working from the back of a pickup truck next to a drilling rig, or working on board the multi-purpose vessel SNELL conducting vibracore missions to find the best grains of sand that will remain on beaches longer than other types of sand and will bleach in the sunlight for an aesthetically pleasing off white color.  As a geologist, he provides expertise in the field of soils, rock, material strengths, groundwater assessment, rock slope stability assessment, foundation assessment, and execution of drilling, survey, and explorations to the geotechnical engineer.

   “A geologist and geotechnical engineer have complimentary roles that are not all inclusive of one another,” he said.  “Together, they provide engineering guidance, design parameters, text, verbal and graphical input to plans and specifications, field inspections of infrastructure and may conduct construction quality assurance on demand. Geologists are integral to the USACE Dam Safety Program by monitoring instrumentation, conducting field inspections, implementing foundation repairs, drilling operations, and helping the project delivery teams visualize complexities in the subsurface.” 

   Kaltenbach has a busy schedule.  He’s a project delivery team member on the Post-45 Charleston Harbor Deepening Project which began in mid-February. This project will deepen the harbor to a depth of 56 feet and involves at least 11-12 miles of limestone dredging offshore of Charleston.  He’s also working on the Wrightsville Beach Validation Study which seeks to reauthorize the Wrightsville Beach Project which uses sand dredged from Masonboro Inlet and Banks Channel. And to top off his high priority list he’s also a Dam Safety PDT member and steward for W. Kerr Scott Dam.  In March, he’ll lead an annual inspection to the dam and a nearby levee project.