Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Employee Spotlight
Some team members of Office of Geotech Design, South.  Many others hit the rocks early.  Seated (left) is  Shiva Karimi, Acting Chief, Branch D. Also seated is Office Chief, John Ehsan.

by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 01/2007

Now occupied: The 11th floor. Engineers of a different sort have entered the building. They'll rock-climb until they hit rock bottom.

The District 7 office welcomes the Office of Geotechnical Design-South (OGDS), who recently moved into the 11th floor from a field office in Norwalk.  And there are some really nice people in OGDS, if they can be found.  They leave the building early because they are frequently out in the field… that’s where their work is.

As part of the Department of Engineering, the OGDS, under the direction of John Ehsan, Office Chief, provides expert soils and foundations recommendations for structures and roadways throughout portions of the southern region of California. The service area for OGDS is comprised of Districts 7 and 12, Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino Counties.  The two managers are Ted Liu, (aka Chi-Tseng Liu), Senior Transportation Engineer, Branch C, and Shiva Karimi, Acting Chief, Branch D.  Under Liu and Karimi, each Branch C and D has four engineers, two geologists and two office technicians. 

Geotechnical Services (GS) provides the districts, Structures and Headquarters with expertise in geotechnical engineering, geology, and specialized testing. Design services include geotechnical, geological and seismic investigations and analyses as needed for California's bridges, roadways and supporting structures. Other responsibilities include expert review of foundation reports and geotechnical design reports prepared by private consultants. Commonly called “Geotech,” part of their service is to coordinate the delivery of drill rigs throughout the state to conduct the borings required for geotechnical site characterizations. Also provided are specialized geotechnical services, including foundation testing, field instrumentation, geologic characterizations, and laboratory testing of soil and rock samples.

Whether working in the District Office building or out in the field performing their technical, scientific and seismic work to keep the motoring public safe, it's a comfort to have the OGDS staff on rock solid ground up on the 11th floor! 

Look closely in center of photo for a Caltrans geologist (orange shirt) examining rock net to control rockfall at Pt. Mugo, Oxnard, Ventura County Geotech work involves laying out hydraulic lines for pile load testing. Amid pile load test at Santa Clara River Bridge on I-5 in Los Angeles County Soil Test Lab