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V1 Media, the publisher of Informed Infrastructure Magazine, is an approved AIA continuing-education provider. AIA-approved courses are a valid form of Learning Units (LU) and Professional Development Hours (PDH) for the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industries via self-learning courses in all states.

Sponsored by: ramjack1

Helical Design: Code Compliance and Effects of Seismic Activity

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Helical Design: Code Compliance and Effects of Seismic Activity

Duration:60 minutes


Helical piles and anchors have been used in construction applications for more than 175 years. The first recorded use of helical piles was in 1836 by Alexander Mitchell in England. The helical pile industry has seen substantial growth in the last 20 years as most practicing engineers have recognized the strength, versatility, and many applications of the system. The popularity of helical piles has grown so much, the International Code Council (ICC) established acceptance criteria AC358 for helical piles in 2007. ICC inducted helical piles into the International Building Code in 2009. However, helical piles were barely mentioned in undergraduate and graduate civil engineering studies. The presentation will cover the design, applications, and building code requirements of helical piles.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain the science and engineering of helical piles.
  2. Cover key sections of the building code that affect the design and capacity of helical piles.
  3. Discuss effective applications of helical piles and their flexibility.
  4. Discuss current full scale seismic testing being performed on helical piles in the US.


Darin Willis, P.E.

Director of Engineering Ram Jack Systems Distribution Darin Willis, P.E, is the Director of Engineering for Ram Jack Systems Distribution, LLC. Darin has thirty-two (32) years of experience in designing, developing, installing, and testing hydraulically driven steel and helical piles. He has designed foundation underpinning systems for residential, commercial, and industrial projects throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Central America. Darin received his engineering degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and is a licensed engineer in the state of Texas, member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the Deep Foundation Institute (DFI). As a member of the Deep Foundation Institute, he is also on the Technical Committee for Helical Piles and Tiebacks.

Amy Cerato, Ph.D., P.E.

Rapp Foundation Presidential Professor School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences University of OklahomaDr. Amy Cerato is a Rapp Foundation Presidential Professor and a recipient of the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Dr. Cerato is a geotechnical engineer whose research includes predicting expansive soil behavior using microscale properties, soil stabilization and deep foundation design in problematic soils.
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