Geotechnical Engineering

Founded as a geotechnical firm, R&M has remained at the forefront of that field in Alaska for 50 years. Given the extreme variability in Alaska’s environments and physical settings, the success and economics of any project starts with a thorough appreciation and understanding of geologic and geotechnical conditions. R&M has developed a wealth of experience and knowledge from successfully completing geotechnical engineering services for projects throughout Alaska, including performing analysis and developing project-specific recommendations for design and construction of transportation infrastructure, ports and harbors, hydroelectric facilities, structures of all kinds, utilities and other civil works. Our service areas include: foundation evaluations; retaining wall and reinforced steepened slope designs; slope stability modeling; seismic hazard assessments; thermal modeling; and pavement design.

Group Manager, Geotechnical Engineering and Geology

Bob Pintner, PE

read Bob's bio

Bob is a Senior Geotechnical Engineer with more than 33 years of experience in geotechnical engineering and engineering geology, including 28 years with R&M. His experience includes field, laboratory and office aspects of geotechnical and environmental investigations. Bob is experienced in geologic mapping and reconnaissance, geotechnical and geophysical site investigations, foundation analysis and design, seismic hazard analysis, soil and rock slope slope stability analysis, analysis and design of shallow and deep foundations, retaining walls and evaluation of earthwork material sites. He provides innovative and creative solutions to geotechnical, construction and logistical problems and is fully knowledgeable of cold region design requirements, earth science applications and construction field operations in rural and urban Alaska. Bob holds a M.S. in Geotechnical Engineering from Oregon State University and a B.A. in Geology from Earlham College. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Association of Engineering Geologists.

R&M provided geotechnical services associated with design and construction of a 280’ long, single-span timber pedestrian bridge across the Placer River to enhance the trail system at the Whistle Stop Recreational Area in Chugach National Forest, about 10 miles south of Portage. During our assessment of the seismic hazards at the site, we identified a ground failure from the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake (magnitude 9.2), which necessitated moving one of the bridge abutments. Additionally, the abutment pile foundation design had to consider limitations on the size of equipment that could be brought to the remote site.
R&M completed a geotechnical investigation for design and construction of a steel and concrete dock to replace an existing timber structure located in a highly seismic region with a history of devastating earthquakes. Unique geotechnical challenges included evaluating potential for and magnitude of lateral ground failure (spreading or slope displacements) towards the channel during an earthquake, qualifying the magnitude of kinematic loads from that failing soil sliding past the piles, and developing non-linear parameters to model how the piles, socketed into bedrock, would deflect when subjected to lateral kinematic soil, as well as structural inertial loads.
R&M completed four geotechnical investigations to support development of Mertarvik, a new community being developed on the north side of Nelson Island for relocation of Newtok. R&M’s investigations were associated with an airport location study (four sites), borrow material and rock quarry sources (two sites), a barge landing and waterfront facility, and a pile-supported community evacuation center. The extreme remote locations, limited access and support field operations, sensitive tundra vegetation, and design of pile foundations in variable warm permafrost conditions presented unique challenges to completing these geotechnical investigations.