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PND Soil Lab Achieves Accreditation

Through the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials


PND Engineers, Inc. (PND) has achieved accreditation of its Anchorage Soil-Material Laboratory from the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) Accreditation Program (AAP), joining a leading group of materials-testing laboratories qualified to bid on projects that require this endorsement.

The designation indicates that specific testing procedures, equipment and quality management system (QMS) standards comply with strict guidelines prescribed by AAP. PND’s QMS is also compliant with standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

According to PND President John Pickering, P.E., adhering to accreditation standards enhances PND’s geotechnical programs; by providing accredited services in-house, client costs are reduced. Accreditation also allows the firm to open its lab doors to agencies such as the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Federal Aviation Administration, and local, state, and regional authorities.

Clients seek out AASHTO accreditation because it demonstrates that the laboratory is capable of consistently producing quality data. Many clients require that soils work be completed in an AASHTO-accredited lab to ensure quality. 

PND’s on-site soils testing facility provides soil characterization and engineering properties in support of all PND foundation and geotechnical designs. The lab performs a wide array of primary or index testing, frozen soil testing, and secondary testing. Secondary tests performed include monostatic and cyclic triaxial testing, liquefaction potential, resilient modulus, large scale (6-in x 12-in samples) testing, and consolidation testing. The modern, automated Triaxal (UU, CU, CD with Anisotropic capability) and Consolidation with Stress Path system represents an improvement over traditional soil testing apparatuses/technology. The Triaxial and Consolidation with Stress Path system performs fully mechanized operations assuring that results are accurate and consistent, and performed efficiently. PND has implemented this new technology to streamline the geotechnical processing aspect of our projects.

Included in PND’s Soil-Material Lab is a 230-square-foot digitally controlled-temperature cold room with the ability to reach ambient temperatures down to minus (-) 40°F/°C. The cold room is used to store permafrost field samples at their in-situ temperatures, allowing for the most accurate characterization of those materials. The cold room also allows PND to perform tests and research on permafrost soils and environments, keeping PND at the leading edge of arctic design and engineering.

The Soil-Material Lab supports PND’s geotechnical and foundation designs, therefore the importance of high-quality work is understood by those involved in sample handling and testing processes. Lab testing is supervised by a trained geologist with NICET (National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies) certification. The lab is fully supported by experienced geotechnical engineers with advanced degrees and professional licenses.

To maintain accreditation, the laboratory must participate in round-robin proficiency testing, quality assessments, and continue to comply with the APP-published Procedures Manual for the Accreditation of Construction Materials Testing Laboratories.

For more information on services available through PND’s Soil-Material Lab, contact Torsten Mayrberger, PhD, P.E., at 907.561.1011.


PND Engineers, Inc., founded in Anchorage more than 35 years ago, is a full-service engineering firm that provides civil, structural, arctic, marine, geotechnical, and coastal engineering; hydrology; surveying; environmental permitting; project management; and construction inspection services for a wide range of projects. In addition to its Anchorage headquarters, PND has offices in Juneau and Palmer, Alaska; Seattle, Wash.; Houston, Texas; and Vancouver, B.C., Canada.


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