News

Commodity Freight Improvement method and apparatus — November 2018

Our recent application to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Zurich for rights to international patentability of our method and hardware was well received. The WIPO application is based on the priority of USPTO publication number US-2018-0327200-A1. This patent covers a more efficient way of transporting dry bulk materials such as wheat, pulverized coal, rice, corn kernels and the like. The title of the invention is "Method and apparatus to reduce volume occupied by dry particulate commodities during transportation or storage". The text of original provisional application submission can be found at this link. May 2017

Mark V Phoenix™ Machine

We have now filed an application with the USPTO for patent rights to an apparatus which we believe will add important functional capability to our current Mark IV hardware. Its purpose is to keep the filter/drain element free from smearing by cohesive materials, and also, to allow the poker to enter some weaker ground types without the need for the application of a vertical push from an external mechanism mounted on the deployment vehicle. The title of the invention is "Apparatus and Method to Enhance the Utility of Hydrodynamic Compaction Machine". The full application may be seen by clicking this link. June 16th 2017

Construction of our Mark IV machine

We have commissioned Canada Metal (Pacific) Limited to build the fourth generation of our Phoenix™ Machine. Bench testing will start in August with field trials to follow shortly afterwards.

Pore Pressure Monitoring of a Novel Foundation Design — August 2016

This is technical essay presenting a detailed analysis of quite complex piezometric monitoring. August 28th 2016 This data, recorded over a period of 10 years, is explained by means of the multiphase hydrodynamic proceedure (h-theory) dealt with elsewhere in this website. Here it can be seen how the idea that pore water pressure is a consequence of relative motion between the solid and liquid phases of the soil is confirmed by good field measurements. The second draft was reviewed by David W. Carrier III. This current draft has been reviewed by Prof James K. Mitchell. Both agree the basic principle on which h-theory/practice rests is correct.

3-phase Physics in Geotechnical Engineering — January 2016

The inter-particle stresses and apparent-cohesion engendered within a soil-structure as a soil goes through the "drying-wetting cycle" are significant. This realization is commonplace in Soil Physics but does not seem to be so in Soil Mechanics, despite it having important implication on how an earthfill will behave as its moisture content oscillates between dry and saturated. In fact, the fears aroused upon the appearance of sinkholes at two highly significant engineering structures (Tarbela and Bennett dams) might have been assuaged had it been appreciated the transitory nature of hydraulic conductivity (permeability) and shear strength in a 3-phase compacted earthfills. This article written by Hodge, see January 31st 2016, explains why these things happen and how to calculate such parameters.

Stability Analysis — need to acknowledge Seepage Forces

Earlier we said that this website would post an open question dealing with the following concern:     It seems that the way we currently go about analysing the stability of slopes unintentionally ignores an important aspect of the energy associated with seepage flow, and carried by the pore water. For this reason Hodge has gone back to Square-One and rewritten the basic stability equation by replacing the pore pressure term with its hydrodynamic equivalent, Seepage Force. Now this matter has been written up as a technical essay which is accessible at this link: January 12th 2016. A "live" Excel spreadsheet written specifically for the new equation is provided in the following link Live SA so that the reader can use their own parametric values if they choose to decide this issue for themselves.

Oil Sands FFT Solution

Through the auspices of COSIA we were put in contact with CNRL who asked us to submit a proposal to solve their FFT problem. We submitted our proposal on November 9th 2015 and on February 2nd 2016 we were told by CNRL "that under the current economic conditions there was no chance of moving forward." As a consequence of this impasse, we must now try to move forward by gaining access to a tailings pond of another active mining company in the Athabasca tarsands region so that we can prove out our physical solution and at the same time optimize/customize our hardware to best treat this environmental issue. To explain what is involved it is most convenient to refer to PEL's response to CNRL's RFP: April 25th 2016.

Paul Hodge

Phoenix™ is very pleased to announce that the owner's son, Paul, has agreed to take on the role of CEO, thus making this a family business. Paul was a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force for more than 22 years. Retiring at the rank of Major, his last posting was as the Officer in Charge of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria. In this capacity, he was responsible for the efficient operation of the Rescue Centre and the timely Canadian SAR response for all air and sea distress cases in British Columbia, the Yukon, and a portion the Pacific Ocean. He currently works for WestJet Airlines as a pilot on the Boeing 737.

ASCE agrees to assess Hydrodynamic Hypothesis

Hodge earnestly believes that Geotechnical Theory is seriously flawed and is in urgent need of revision. This is because the current academically held portrayal of how pore water pressure is related to saturated soil competence is a position which is unsustainable when examined under the hydrodynamic principles governing 2-phase physics. He made his position known to the Association of Professional Engineering and Geoscientists of BC, and the American Society of Civil Engineers — these being the custodians of good engineering practice. See July 23rd 2014 . Recently ASCE has acknowledged their obligation in this matter and has assigned the task of independent learned assessment/counsel to Purdue University.

What's Next

Hodge, Sr., has now entered his 78th year and feels the need to prioritise his ambitions. As far as engineering writing is concerned he will settle for tidying up each of the topics listed in "Interesting Jobs" in the style of Articles. These Articles, or perhaps Essays is a better word, will be published on this website and will not be offered to the peer-review journals. Time: She's a-wastin'!