Two of the Deep Foundations Institute’s (DFI) 18 technical committees are welcoming new committee chairs with the new year.

Morgan NeSmithof Berkel & Company Contractorsis the incoming chair of the Augered Cast-in-Place Pile Committee, following Mike Moran of Cajun Deep Foundations. NeSmith is a long-standing member of the committee and the chief geotechnical engineer for Berkel & Company Contractors. He has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech, plus more than 15 years of experience in geotechnical contracting and consulting. His experience includes seven years on numerous site characterization and construction projects for remote and offshore facilities in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Since 2004, he has specialized in the design and installation of cast-in-place piles and ground improvement systems, including data acquisition-based design and quality assurance for auger pressure grouted (APG) and displacement (APG-D) piles. He has authored or co-authored a number of papers on the design and performance of APG and APG-D piles.

Tanner Blackburn of Hayward Baker is the new chair of the Ground Improvement Committee, following Marty Taube of Menard. Blackburn is chief engineer in the central engineering group of Hayward Baker. He has been the designer of record and project manager for several ground improvement projects, including vibro-replacement, aggregate piers, compaction grouting, jet grouting, rigid inclusions and deep soil mixing projects. Blackburn earned a B.A. in physics from Middlebury College in Vermont and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from Northwestern University in Illinois. He is also an active member of the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (GI-ASCE), serving on technical committees at the national level.

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