The Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) has named Youssef Bougataya, who recently earned his master’s in civil engineering from Oregon State University, as the winner of the DFI Educational Trust 2016 Student Paper Competition. The winning paper is titled “Region Specific Calibration of Resistance Factors for Use with Static and Wave Equation Analyses of Driven Piles.”

In the paper, resistance factors for use with load and resistance factor design (LRFD) and the wave equation analysis of piles (WEAP) and a static analysis method are calibrated for use with piles driven in the Puget Sound Lowlands. A database of driven piles was used as the basis for the interpreted reference capacity. When compared to the AASHTO (2014) recommended resistance factors that are based on a national database, the region-specific resistance factors based on WEAP at end-of-drive increased by 50 percent, and are associated with a bias of 0.99 and a coefficient of variation (COV) of 26 percent, indicating relatively good accuracy.

The paper discusses the calibration framework implemented, which can be used as the basis for other regions, and demonstrates the benefit of using a high-quality, region-specific database on the resulting calibrated resistance factors and useable pile capacity.

Bougataya is a staff geotechnical engineer at PBS Engineering and Environmental in Portland, Ore. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Ecole Mohammadia d’Ingenieurs in Rabat, Morocco. He was the recipient of the 2015 DFI Educational Trust At-Large Scholarship supporting future leaders in the deep foundations industry.

The first runner-up for the Student Paper Competition is Shuihan Li, a current master’s student at Ryerson University in Toronto. His paper is titled “Experimental Investigation of Cement Mixing to Improve Champlain Sea Clay.”

Bougataya will attend the DFI Annual Conference in New York City, Oct. 12-15, to present his winning paper. He and Li will receive the competition award plaques at the conference banquet. They will also have their papers published in the DFI Journal, and receive a library of up to 20 DFI publications plus a gratis two-year individual membership in DFI.

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