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Geotechnical Lecture Series – “OPEN CELL System: From Concept to Industry Standard,”

Featuring William “Bill” Gunderson, P.E., P.ENG., M. ASCE, principal, P|N|D Engineers, Inc., Seattle, Washington. 

ABSTRACT: The OPEN CELL System, OC, was developed by PND Engineers in the 1980s. As with many of the early PND design developments, the OC began as a construction engineering solution for a project with challenging site conditions in a remote location. The OC was first used as bridge abutments on Alaska’s North Slope, where spring thaw of vast
frozen tundra drainages turned small streams into raging ice-laden rivers. The development of the oil fields on the North Slope required the construction of roads across permafrost laden tundra. Replacement of flood-damaged river crossings, each spring, became a costly and time-consuming item for the oil companies. PND was tasked by an Alaska contractor, to design a temporary river crossing, using materials that they had in their Anchorage storage yard. In the yard, they had 60-foot lengths of PS31 flat sheet pile, left over from an Army Corps of Engineers’ project. The site required a single span bridge to keep any structures out of the river
channel where swift moving ice flows would reach thicknesses of up to four feet. The narrowing of the river channel, by using a single span bridge, also created short-term scour of up to 40 feet at the base of the abutments. The PND solution was a single horseshoe-shaped sheetpile retaining wall for each abutment. The sheetpile where driven with a vibratory hammer not using templates or leads. The success of this first application leads us, in other projects, to connect the single horseshoe-shaped “cells” into multiple cells. We have over 250 projects globally that use this technology. The presentation will provide an overview of the technology and applications of its use.

BIOGRAPHY: William “Bill” Gunderson, a fourth-generation commercial fisherman and licensed professional engineer in the USA and Canada, is a former Vice President of, and presently serves as a Principal, at PND Engineers. Bill received his BS in engineering at Oregon State University in 1980 and has developed 40 years of experience planning, designing, and managing projects across the world. His specialty includes marine facilities,
application of the OPEN CELL system, and cold regions engineering.

Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Owen Hall, 102
1501 SW Campus Way, Corvallis, OR 97331

Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic



Community, Faculty and Staff, Student

Civil and Construction Engineering
Contact Name

Armin Stuedlein

Contact Email

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