November 2015


Tom Gurtowski graduated in 1971 from Clarkson University (Potsdam, New York) and earned an MSCE from Syracuse University in 1974.  He joined Shannon & Wilson, Inc. the same year and was promoted to Vice President in 1998.  Tom is a registered professional engineer in Oregon and Washington currently working as a consultant on selected projects.

Mr. Gurtowski has worked on many notable projects in the Seattle Area.  These include the Washington State Convention & Trade Center, which spans over I-5 through downtown Seattle founded on 20-foot belled shafts bearing in glaciomarine drift, and the downtown Seattle Bus tunnel with five cut-and-cover stations to 65 feet deep, most adjacent to historic structures on 3rd Avenue and Pine Street.  Tom was Principal-in-Charge for Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field & Exhibition/Parking Garages, Key Arena Expansion, Husky Stadium North Stands, Comcast Arena in Everett, ShoWare Center in Kent, U.S. Courthouse, and Convention Center Expansion-Hotel and Office Tower.  He managed the expansion of the West Point Treatment Plant, which was reviewed in the March/April issue of GeoStrata.  Tom recently worked on an Office Building in the heart of historic Pioneer Square – birthplace of Seattle.  This site crosses through 1851 shoreline that was filled with wood chips and debris after the fire of 1889.  The structure is supported on 4-foot drilled shafts 80 feet long bearing in hard silt/clay.

Tom has authored several technical articles about deep foundation design in Northwest soils.  Side friction and end bearing parameters were developed versus density/consistency from pile load tests and are presently used by practicing geotechnical engineers in the region.

Mr. Gurtowski has been active with the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI).  He is the former chair of the Codes & Standard Committee.  Under his leadership, a Geo Coalition Code committee was organized that will be submitting several proposals to Chapter 18 of the 2015 IBC.  Members of the Geo Coalition include representatives of:  PDCAASFE/GBAASCE/GeoInstituteADSC, and DFI technical committees.