News Stories

Kaltenbach Wins the Timothy Skeen Geotechnical Professional of the Year Award

Published Nov. 13, 2018

   Kelley Kaltenbach, who earned his Professional Geologist license earlier this year, received another award recognizing his accomplishments in the field of geology.  He’s the South Atlantic Division (SAD) winner of the Timothy Skeen Geotechnical Professional of the Year Award which recognizes his professionalism and commitment to excellence that advances geotechnical, geology and materials community of practice.           

    Kaltenbach has always been intrigued by geology.  In the office, he analyzes sediment, rock formations and various types of concrete used in construction.  But he‘s most comfortable outdoors working from the back of a pickup truck next to a drilling rig in locations such as the District’s Eagle Island Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) or working on board the multi-purpose vessel SNELL conducting vibracore missions.  During the latter, he enjoys the process of sampling the best grains of sand that will remain on beaches longer than other types of sand, and that will bleach in the sunlight for an aesthetically pleasing off white color.           

   In other roles 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.  He’s a well-rounded geologist who caught the attention of SAD officials who acknowledge to reward his professionalism and dedication for  the award. 

   “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 likes to work on a team, something that he grew to love as a Soldier in the U.S. Army.  He likes to give answers to complicated questions on the spot, but he also enjoys the challenge of researching complex geological patterns that he might discover while on a project delivery team.

   “I like to contribute my expertise about geology to the project manager who might need to know if a foundation is solid enough for a structure to be built on top of it.  I really love what I do and being part of a team,” he said.”