Lots of publications put out “top” or “best of” lists to wrap up the year, and National Driller is no different. It’s useful to us to see what people click on and useful to readers to see what their peers are reading in the industry. Since our The Foundations Report eNewsletter serves the foundations and geotechnical readers in our audience, I thought I’d put together a special roundup of stories for those areas.

So, I present to you the most popular foundations and geotechnical stories we published this year. It’s a bit early, since the year isn’t technically over, but these trends have held for almost a month now. I expect no surprises in the next week or so. Whether you missed them, want to reread them or simply want to see what your coworkers are reading, here our 2015’s top 5 stories.

5. Rugged Computers Put the ‘Tech’ in Geotechnical

We print a lot of “jobsite” stories, and this is a good one. It spotlights a highway project in southwestern Indiana. Geotechnical engineers there turned to a rugged software and device solution from Geokon to clue them in to the soil and rock stability data crucial to a solid build.

4. Meeting Geotechnical Drilling Challenges in the Pacific Northwest

People outside of the foundations and geotech industries don’t usually spend time thinking about how difficult building in some areas can be. This story from the jobsite illustrates that well. This intersection-widening project required cutting into a 9-meter-high, near vertical wall of glacial till. The houses atop the slope needed, of course, to remain undisturbed. Did I mention the crews also had to keep traffic flowing while work proceeded. Click through to see how they did it.

3. Transitioning from Geotechnical Consulting to Contracting

We sent associate editor Valerie King to the Geotechnical Business Association’s 2015 spring conference in Miami, and she came back with this interview with Kord Wissmann. He’s the president of North Carolina’s Geopier Foundation Company, and he spoke about the gaps between consulting and contracting. If you have a few extra minutes, we also took this video and this video at the event.

2. Deep Foundations Innovator Talks Load Testing

Frank Rausche has worked in foundations since a lot of industry pros have been in diapers. He’s officially retired, though still active in an advisory role for Pile Dynamics Inc. The Deep Foundations Institute’s 2015 Osterberg lecturer spoke to us about load testing and other topics in advance of this spring’s International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo (IFCEE) in San Antonio.

1. Geosystems President Shares Thoughts on Industry, Terzaghi Lecture

I will always remember this interview with Dr. Donald A. Bruce of Geosystems, which I did in the lead up to the 2015 IFCEE convention in San Antonio. Partly, that’s because Bruce is one of the most thoughtful industry professionals I’ve ever spoken with (and he literally wrote the book on dam remediation — well, edited it anyway). Partly, it’s because he was beyond gracious in allowing me to interview him twice after my audio recorder misfired during the first go.