Colorado Mesa University’s School of Business recently selected GeoStabilization International’s founders, Bob Barrett and Al Ruckman, to receive the school’s 2016 “Excellence in Entrepreneurship” Award for their commercial introduction of the Soil Nail LauncherTM in North America. Curiosity is often the primary factor driving great entrepreneurs. It is certainly the trait that led Bob and Al to have a profound effect on the geotechnical industry, their community, and the careers of countless employees of GeoStabilization International. Bob and Al took a gamble when purchasing the patents/rights for a declassified British military cannon; which with some re-engineering is now known as the Soil Nail LauncherTM . The pair’s inquisitiveness yielded a one-of-a-kind technological tool that allows for fast, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly shallow landslide repair. This innovation helped to launch GeoStabilization International as a leader in the industry. Bob and Al, who spent much of their careers with the Colorado Department of Transportation, fostered a culture of curiosity and innovation that has attracted the industry’s foremost geologists, engineers, construction staff, and other professionals who share their ingenuity and integrity. “Our curiosity and willingness to take a gamble has led to an amazing company filled with innovators and changed the way the industry tackles complex geohazard repair,” says Bob.
The project site was located approximately 6km east of Hinton, Alberta on the north side of Highway 16. The project consisted of constructing two retaining walls to mitigate a surficial geohazard from impacting the safe day to day operation of an existing rail line. The rail line was operational and is integral to the material transport process.