Webinar instructions will be emailed before the date of the webinar.

Please log into the webinar 15 – 30 minutes before start time.

Thursday, January 11, 2024
8:30 am – 4:15 pm CST


Presented by James “Jay” A. McKelvey, III

Types of Retaining Walls, Soil Mechanics Review, Earth Pressures on Walls

  • Types of retaining walls
    • Cut walls
    • Fill walls
  • Soil mechanics review
    • Soil classification
    • Physical properties
    • Shear strength
    • Deformation properties
    • Permeability
    • Lateral earth pressures
  • Earth pressures on walls
    • Soil and hydrostatic pressures
    • Surcharge loads
    • Influence of slopes
    • Seepage
    • Seismic

Modes of Failure, Retaining Wall Theory and Design, Geosynthetic Design

  • Modes of failure
    • External failure modes
    • Internal failure modes
    • Serviceability failure
  • Retaining wall theory and design
    • Overturning
    • Eccentricity
    • Sliding
    • Bearing capacity
    • Deformation
  • Geosynthetic design
    • MSE walls and slopes
    • Geosynthetic materials
    • Allowable strength
    • Anchorage capacity
    • Geosynthetics in walls and slopes deformation
  • Retaining wall and slope software

Slope Stability and Slope Stabilization

  • Slope stability
    • Theory
    • Circular failures
    • Wedge failures
  • Slope stabilization
    • Types of failures
    • Drainage relief
    • Geosynthetic reinforcement
    • Soil nails and rock anchors

Case Histories

  • Stabilization of failed slope
  • MSE failures
  • MSE stabilization with soil nails
  • MSE stabilization with buttress wall
  • Slope stabilization with piles
  • Shotcrete walls with tiebacks
  • Slope stabilization with shotcrete and soil nails
  • Geosynthetic reinforced slope


Webinar Instructions

All attendees must log-on through their own email – attendees may not watch together if they wish to earn continuing education credit. HalfMoon Education Inc. must be able to prove attendance if either the attendee or HalfMoon Education Inc. is audited.

Certificates of completion can be downloaded in PDF form upon passing a short quiz. A link to the quiz will be sent to each qualifying attendee immediately after the webinar. The certificate can be downloaded from the Results page of the quiz upon scoring 80% or higher.

Webinars are presented via GoToWebinar, an easy-to-use application that can be run on most systems and tablets. Instructions and login information will be provided in an email sent close to the date of the webinar. It is highly recommended that you download, install and test the application before the webinar begins by clicking on the link in the email.

GoToWebinar App requirements:
Windows 7 – 10 or Mac OSX Mavericks (10.9) – macOS Catalina (10.15)

Web Browser:
The two most recent version of the following browsers:
Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge
Internet Explorer v11 (or later) with Flash enabled

Internet connection: Minimum of 1Mbps       Hardware: 2GB RAM or more

For more information, visit the Support section at


Professional Engineers:
6.0 PDHs

6.0 HSW CE Hours

Landscape Architects:
6.0 HSW CE Hours

International Code Council:
.6 CEUs (Sitework)

Floodplain Managers:


Continuing Education Credit Information

This webinar is open to the public and is designed to qualify for 6.0 PDHs for professional engineers, 6.0 HSW continuing education hours for licensed architects, and 6.0 HSW continuing education hours for landscape architects in all states that allow this learning method. Please refer to specific state rules to determine eligibility.

HalfMoon Education is an approved continuing education sponsor for engineers in Florida (Provider No. 0004647), Indiana (License No. CE21700059), Maryland, New Jersey (Approval No. 24GP00000700) and North Carolina (S-0130). HalfMoon Education is deemed an approved continuing education sponsor for New York engineers and architects via its registration with the American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System (Regulations of the Commissioner §68.14(i)(2) and §69.6(i)(2)). Other states do not preapprove continuing education providers or courses.

The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System has approved this course for 6.0 HSW LUs (Sponsor No. J885). Only full participation is reportable to the AIA/CES.

The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System has approved this course for 6.0 HSW PDHs. Only full participation is reportable to the LA CES.

The International Code Council has approved this event for .6 CEUs in the specialty area of Sitework (Preferred Provider No. 1232).

This webinar has been approved by the Association of State Floodplain Managers for 6.0 CECs for floodplain managers.

Attendance will be monitored, and attendance certificates will be available after the webinar for those who attend the entire course and score a minimum 80% on the quiz that follows the course (multiple attempts allowed).

On-Demand Credits

The preceding credit information only applies to the live presentation. This course in an on-demand format may not be eligible for the same credits as the live presentation; please consult your licensing board(s) to ensure that a structured, asynchronous learning format is appropriate. The following pre-approvals may be available for the on-demand format upon request:

6.0 HSW LUs (AIA) 
6.0 HSW PDHs (LA CES) 


James “Jay” A. McKelvey, III, P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE

Director-Geotechnical Design Division at Earth Engineering Inc. in East Norriton, Pennsylvania.

Mr. McKelvey is the director of the Geotechnical Design Division at Earth Engineering Inc. in East Norriton, Pennsylvania. He is a registered professional engineer (P.E.) in California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Mr. McKelvey is also a Diplomate (D.GE) of the Academy of Geo-Professionals and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (F.ASCE). Mr. McKelvey has extensive experience in geotechnical engineering including site assessment and field investigations; deep and shallow foundation design for buildings, bridges, and other structures; retaining wall design; embankment stability; mechanically stabilized soil structures; and subsurface hydrology. He also has significant experience in mitigating heavy construction claims and in litigation support pertaining to impacted heavy construction projects. Mr. McKelvey has also handled construction support and construction quality assurance projects. His environmental engineering experience includes technical contributions to the remediation of many Superfund sites and over 50 landfill design projects. Mr. McKelvey has published over 30 technical papers in journals, conference proceedings and trade magazines. He is the past chair for the Delaware Valley Geo-Institute (DVGI) and is a voting member in ASTM committees Soil and Rock (D18), and Geosynthetics (D35). He is an editorial board member of the Geotechnical Testing Journal. Mr. McKelvey also serves on two Geo-Institute committees; Earth Structures and Embankments and Dams, the latter of which he is a member of the subcommittee on landslide risk assessment.

AIA Info

AIA Provider Statement:

HalfMoon Education Inc. is a registered provider of AIA-approved continuing education under Provider Number J885. All registered AIA/CES Providers must comply with the AIA Standards for Continuing Education Programs. Any questions or concerns about this provider of learning program may be sent to AIA/CES ( or (800) AIA 3837, Option 3).

This learning program is registered with AIA/CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.

AIA continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA/CES. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit. AIA continuing education Learning Units earned upon completion of this course will be reported to AIA/CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request.

Course Title: Retaining Wall Design and Slope Stabilization Techniques

Delivery Method: Live Online

Course Description: This course on retaining wall design and slope stabilization techniques covers the types of retaining walls, a review of soil mechanics, modes of failure, retaining wall theory and design, geosynthetic design, slope stability and stabilization, and case histories of stabilized slopes.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective 1:
Learners will be able to identify the types of retaining walls and describe the various forms of earth pressures on walls.

Learning Objective 2:
Learners will be able to describe three modes of failure and explain retaining wall and geosynthetic design.

Learning Objective 3:
Learners will be able to identify and describe slope stabilization techniques, including drainage, geosynthetic reinforcement, soil nails and rock anchors.

Learning Objective 4:
Learners will be able to discuss and reference case histories of slope stabilization, MSE failures and stabilization with soil nails, buttressed walls, piles and tiebacks, and geosynthetics.

LUs: 6.0                                                                                              LU Type: LU|HSWs.

Prerequisites: Experience with earthwork and site analysis

Advance Preparation: None

Program Level: Intermediate

Course Expiration Date: 09/24/2024

Complaint Resolution Policy:

Complaints regarding this course can be emailed to or by calling (715) 835-5900. A HalfMoon Education representative will respond within 72 hours to resolve the complaint, which will include, but not limited to, access to another CE activity at no or reduced cost or a full or partial refund. Each instance will be resolved on a case-by-case situation.