Jeff has worked for 42 years in the field of applied seismology studying the effects of man-made vibration on structures and their effects upon occupants. Specializing in the measurement of blasting, pile driving, compaction and other man-made vibration sources and their effects, he provides expertise for clients nationally and internationally. Measurement, analysis and reporting the interpretation of events provides the basis for damage claim investigations and investigation of complaints and community concerns. Community evaluation related to noise is also part of Jeff’s experience. He has completed noise evaluations for mining and development in community noise evaluations as well as noise level transmission in buildings. Vehicle noise, train and aircraft noise are also part of past studies for residential, commercial and HUD qualified developments.
Responsible for Florida and North Carolina operations office consulting, Jeff provides direction of staff for monitoring ongoing blasting, pile driving and vibratory compaction projects and recommendation of safeguards for projects. Expert testimony regarding blasting ordinances, use of explosives, acoustics and damage potential in relation to explosive side effects has been conducted throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. Past and current work involves the development of technical standards during development and legislation of blasting regulations for Broward, Dade, Collier, Citrus, Lee and Hernando counties within Florida. Jeff also provided significant input in the language and standards for Chapter 552.30 Florida Statutes for Construction Materials Mining Activity as well as Chapter 69-A2, FAC, governing the implementation of the rules associated with Florida regulations. Jeff’s work also inclides completion of damage claim investigations and presentation of expert testimony at mediation/arbitration hearings, as well as preparation of community noise studies on operational equipment, building-generated noise, etc. in relation to community and human annoyance issues.
BS Environmental Science (Special Field: Land Use Planning), Slippery Rock State College, 1977
- Airport Noise Modeling Seminar, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1986
- Bruel & Kjaer Instruments, Inc. Vibration, 1988
- Bruel & Kjaer Instruments, Inc. Acoustics, 1988
- Blasting Explosives Safety and Use – Explosives Technologies International of Florida, Inc., 1990
- Hewlett Packard, Dynamic Signal Analysis, 1991
- Hewlett Packard, Acoustics Measurement, 1992
- Effective Drilling and Blasting Seminar, National Stone Association, 1992
- Practical Blasting Fundamentals, Level I, International Society of Explosives Engineers Certificate Program, 1994
- International Society of Explosive Engineers, Blasters Training Seminar, 2015 – 2018, 2020
User of Explosives, State of Florida, 224929-xxxx
- National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Manufacturers and Services Division Chairman, March 2009- February 2010
- National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Firm Representative, 1999 – Present
- Manufacturers and Services Division Board of Directors, 1999 – 2010
- Mining & Reclamation Committee, 1991 – Present
- Manufacturers and Services Division, Executive Committee, Board of Directors, 2009
- Manufacturers and Services Division First Vice Chair, 2008
- Manufacturers and Services Division Second Vice Chair, 2007
- International Society of Explosives Engineers, 1981 – Present
- International Society of Explosives Engineers, Seismograph Committee, 1998 – Present
- Florida Limerock and Aggregates Institute, Corporate Representative
- Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.
- Engineering Contractors Association of South Florida, Inc., 1980 – 1988
- Blasting & Explosives Committee Co-Chairman, 1983 – 1986
- Blasting & Explosives Committee Chairman, ECA, 1987 – 1988
Jeff is currently Vice President and Area Manager of GeoSonics, Inc. He is responsible for the daily operation of the Florida Office of the firm and provides consulting and direction assistance with the Raleigh, North Carolina office.
As a Firm Principal Jeff routinely provides consulting on vibration measurements and the evaluation of the measurements in relationship to additional structures. Providing consulting services in blast monitoring for mining operations routinely involves the measurement, evaluation and the reporting of results to clients and local communities and the State Fire Marshal’s office as regulatory agency for Florida mining operations. Part of normal operations is the selection of seismograph locations for compliance and additional locations to provide additional technical data. Vibration prediction of blast events is part of the daily evaluation performed for specific clients using past data to provide scientifically based projections of ground vibration. Florida’s unique geologic features require evaluation in blast planning and response to adjacent neighbors.
Jeff also provides professional testimony at public meetings and zoning / regulatory hearings for operations using blasting. With 40 plus years of vibration evaluation Jeff provides solid, factual testimony on the process of blasting, explosives components and the side effects of vibration and air overpressure. Connecting the process and the resulting effects upon structures into understandable factual evidence and testimony while addressing public concerns provides the basis for reasonable decisions or the framework in the event litigation is required. Jeff also has completed evaluation of the effects of blasting on water wells in two published studies. As part of the U.S. Bureau of Mines Minerals Research Contract Report team studying water wells and blasting in Appalachia some of the principal research into vibration and well effects was completed. A Florida study evaluated ground vibration changes with depth and associated with municipal deep injection wells.
- “Monitoring and Advanced Evaluation Techniques for Aggregate Mining in Urban Settings”, Jeffrey A. Straw, Douglas Rudenko, AGG1 Academy, 2012 NSSGA Annual Convention
- Master Lecturer – Seminario “Vibraciones y acústica en voladuras a cielo abierto” (Seminar “Vibrations and acoustics in demolitions opencast”), Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, Viernes, 27 de Enero del 2012 (On Friday, January 27, 2012)
- “Managing Risk Through Public Perception, Development of Vibration Standards”, Jeffrey A. Straw, Douglas Rudenko, Joyce Watson, AGG1 2010, Forum and Expo, February 17, 2010
- Government Regulatory Panel Discussion, International Society of Explosives Engineers, Member representative for the National Stone Sand and Gravel Association, Aggregate industry legislative, regulatory priorities for 2010, February 7, 2010
- Explosives and Monitoring for Construction Materials Mining Activities, Seminar for State Fire Marshal, State of Florida representatives, Blasting Side Effects, Seminar planner and instructor, September 2, 2009
- The Basis for Safe-Level Vibration Limits for Residential Structures and Application to Multiple Structure Types, GeoSonics, Inc. & Vibra-Tech Engineers, Inc., 6th Blasting Vibration Technology Conference, Key Largo, Florida, January 15, 2007
- Automation of Blast Monitoring Devices and Advanced Service Instrumentation for Mining and Quarrying, National Stone Association, Automation Conference, October 17, Miami, Florida, 2000
- State of Florida Proposed Explosives Code Revisions, Florida Limerock & Aggregate Institute, October 5, 2000
- Instructor, National Stone Association Effective Drilling and Blasting Seminar, Vibration and Public Relations Section, 1993 – 1997, 2000
- International Society of Explosives Engineers, Blast Vibration Effects Upon a Deep Injection Well and the Reduction of Ground Vibration over Depth, February 1994
- Instructor, Explosives Education Services – Blasting Safety and Application Training, Vibration and Noise Control Section, 1995 – 1997
- Co-Author/Draftsman/Technician, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Research Contract Report, “Survey of Blasting Effects on Ground Water Supplies in Appalachia”, May 1978 to February 1980