The Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) Educational Trust has announced Benjamin Turner as the recipient of its 2014 Student Paper Competition.

Turner is a Ph.D. candidate in geotechnical earthquake engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. His paper, “Evaluation of Influence on Lateral Spreading Displacement Demand for Adjacent Bridges,” focuses on adjacent bridges that cross the Colorado River in Mexico. During a 2010 earthquake they were subjected to laterally spreading ground.

This information obtained will help in accounting for the restraining force provided by foundations when the laterally-spreading ground does not have a finite, measureable out-of-plane width.

Turner used two dimensional finite element analyses to quantify how each bridge influenced the lateral spreading demand for the opposite bridge. He found that the relatively stiff foundations of the first bridge provided a shielding effect to the second bridge. The shielding greatly reduced the demand compared to the magnitude of the free-field lateral spreading observed at the site.

Turner’s researches the performance of foundations and earth retaining structures under seismic loading at UCLA. He is a licensed civil engineer in California and a part-time project engineer for Dan Brown and Associates PC.

The awards were presented at the DFI 39th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations in October 2014 in Atlanta, Ga. The competition papers will be published in a future issue of the DFI Journal.

The DFI is an international association of contractors, engineers, academics and suppliers in the deep foundations industry with more than 3,300 members worldwide. For more information about the Deep Foundations Institute, visit