Paul Sabatini, PhD, PE, is a principal geotechnical engineer based in Illinois. Since joining the firm in 1994, he has built a geotechnical and geostructural engineering practice for large civil infrastructure projects found throughout the United States and the developing world.
Coal-burning power plants must safely store residuals from air pollution controls, such as flue gas desulfurization systems. This can be a challenge when space at sites with "ideal" foundation conditions is at a premium. For an Ohio plant, Paul designed a technically sound and economically feasible residual waste landfill to sit primarily on top of a closed fly ash reservoir, with a remnant mine spoil bench and against a remnant mining highwall. The innovative design for this challenging site met all permit requirements and began accepting waste in 2007.
Paul's primary focus is engineering design for underground construction in environments with challenging subsurface conditions – natural or man-made. He also is a trusted adviser for projects that require foundation design, ground improvement, and earth retaining system design, including temporary support systems. He plays a leading role in the firm's design work for capital projects in the oil and gas industry for processing units and shoreline transshipment facilities.
A certified instructor for the National Highway Institute (NHI), Paul also is the principal investigator, author or co-author of multiple geotechnical engineering circulars on behalf of the Federal Highway Authority (FHWA). His publications cover topics such as "Earth Retaining Systems," "Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering for Highways," and "Ground Anchors and Anchored Systems." He has been instrumental in many federal and state assignments that advance the state-of-the-practice in the design and construction of geotechnical features.
Paul was a co-principal investigator for a National Cooperative Highway Research Program project on the development of load and resistance factor design (LRFD) and construction recommendations for soil nail walls. He also updated curriculum materials for a NHI/FHWA training course on the use of LRFD for retaining structures used in highway construction. In addition, he was the lead revision author for the FHWA's manual on micropile design and construction.
In 2004, Paul earned the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Arthur Casagrande Award for Contributions to the Design of Earth Retaining Systems and Ground Anchors. He is a member of the society's earth retaining structures committee and also serves as an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University, where he has taught a course on LRFD for earth retaining systems.