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Panama Canal Trip

The Panama Canal Trip – Organized by the Geo-Institute Graduate Student Organization (GI-GSO) at Purdue University (October 3, 2012 – October 7, 2012)

 

 

The Geo-Institute Graduate Student Organization (GI-GSO) at Purdue University had an extraordinary field trip to the Panama Canal. The group included nine geotechnical graduate students, members of GI-GSO, and two faculty advisors Prof. Bobet and Prof. Drnevich. The group had a most wonderful trip, the highlight of which was: the interaction with Dr. Luis Alfaro, Vice-President of Engineering of the Canal and Purdue Alumnus, as well as with his exceptional staff; a trip along the canal; and a very nice tour of Panama City.

 

After having a tour in the offices of the Panama Canal Authority – geotechnical engineering division (ACP), technical presentations were given by more than fourteen geotechnical engineers and geologists. These presentations covered the canal expansion program, cofferdam design criteria, Borinquen dams, Panama Canal geology, landslide control program, dam safety program, control erosion program, water resources management, seismic vulnerability program, and vibration control program. As part of the visit, GI-GSO members also had the chance to visit the soils laboratory.

 

The trip along the canal was a unique experience for all the members! The day started with a one-hour bus tour to the Atlantic Observation Center (COA) at the Atlantic Side of the Canal. At the Observation Center, the group was able to see a panoramic view of the on-going construction of the New Third Set of Locks, where an ACP staff gave an overview of relevant aspects of the project construction. After staying at the Observation Center, the group visited the existing Gatun Spillway from the west side of the Canal. Then, the group took an ACP passenger boat at Gatun Landing and traveled the Canal route to the Pacific Side, going through the Gaillard Cut, the narrowest segment of the Canal, 13.6 kilometers long, to arrive to Las Cruces Landing.

 

In addition to the Canal visit, the group had a very nice tour of Panama City and got to see some of the historical aspects of the city and learn about the wonderful Panamanian culture which is highly influenced by many different countries such as Spain, France, America and Colombia. The tour included a visit to the financial district; part of the ruins of Old Panama which were destroyed by the corsair Sir Henry Morgan in 1671; the old town called “Casco Viejo”; San Jose church; the Simon Bolivar Plaza; and the French Plaza. The tour ended with a very delicious lunch at the island at the end of the causeway.

 

Great Appreciation to our sponsors who helped making the trip possible through their generous funding: Global Engineering Program (GEP), Purdue Geotechnical Society (PGS), School of Civil Engineering at Purdue, International Program at Purdue, Geo-Institute Graduate Student Leadership council.

 

 

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For further information please contact Alain El Howayek at ahowayek@purdue.edu

 

 

 

Geo-Institute Graduate Student Organization at Purdue University - copyright © 2011 - webmaster - last modified: October 17, 2012