Who is G3?
It wasn’t just a deep love of earth sciences that Steve Strickler and Larry Fanning shared when beginning their professional relationship at Neblett & Associates in early 2003. Their passion for uncovering the truth would eventually set the foundation for establishing SoilWorks in 2009. Before working with Steve, Larry had served on multiple California State Boards for geology and regularly contributed his experience to high profile projects, including determining the cause of a freeway collapse following the Northridge earthquake. Steve’s experience founding Neblett & Associates, coupled with 26 years of geotechnical engineering experience throughout the vast landscapes of California, helped form their passion for earth sciences into one of the most trusted Geotech, GeoForensic, Groundwater Resource Management, Environmental Geology, Hydrogeology and Geological Chemistry firms in the nation.
What Does G3 Stand For?
When Larry and Steve established their firm in 2009, their goal was to create a company that utilized all information available before making any assumptions or determining solutions. This unique G3Method has set them apart from other geo firms in the region. Whether they are providing due diligence for an earthworks project, researching groundwater for a multimillion dollar land purchase, or supplying expert witness during litigation, G3SoilWorks approaches each project with an open mind and a desire to see the “big picture” before getting into the “deep and dirty” of a project. The results save money, time, and resources for their clients. Because of this approach, G3’s full service geotechnical, environmental, and engineering geological consulting firm regularly works with some of the most high profile companies on the West Coast and across the globe.
Where Does G3 Service?
G3SoilWorks offices are located in Costa Mesa, Indio and Ventura, but due to their commitment to truly understanding structural geology, their team has been asked to provide expert opinion on projects all over the world: from Africa, to New Zealand, to locations in Mexico. G3’s experience extends to outlying desert, mountain, coastal, and urban infill terrains across the US and globe.
Over the years it became clear that the name SoilWorks did not communicate their full breadth of services, and in 2014 Larry and Steve updated their name to G3SoilWorks to incorporate a more accurate and deeper meaning. To the G3 Team, there is both great power, and great symbolism with the number three. First and foremost, the three original components, and foundation of their expertise, comes in three Geotech, Geoforensics, and Groundwater. There are three phases of water water, ice, vapor. There are three types of bedrock sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous. There are three basic types of soils sand, silt, clay. There are three basic phases of clay and water expanding, maintaining, shrinking. Essentially, with the rebranding of SoilWorks, G3 is ensuring their clients understand that with every project, every solution, every opportunity, their fearless G3Method spans the past, present and future, encompasses all the sciences, and finds the truth. G3 founder, Steve Strickler explains, “The G3Method is the only way we’ve found to be effective. And it works every time.”
What is The G3Method?
The G3Method is a balance of the Scientific Method and personal philosophies that drive the way G3SoilWorks uncovers the truth and approaches solutions for projects. In the last 5 years, this philosophy has been indoctrinated into each project G3 touches, with impressive results.
Philosophies Behind the G3Method
While Taoism and Bruce Lee aren’t commonly paired with The Scientific Method, this unconventional blend is G3’s proverbial “secret sauce” for success. Sitting in a room with Larry and Steve, you will often hear them refer to The Blind Men and the Elephant or The Cup of Tea when explaining why G3 is able to solve complicated problems for their clients. In the story of The Blind Men and the Elephant, Buddha asks four blind men to describe what an elephant “looks like.” Each man describes the elephant based on what little information they had, with one man touching the tail and explaining that the elephant looked like a rope. The story symbolizes the danger in coming to a conclusion with very little information.
In The Cup of Tea a professor comes to learn from a guru. The guru pours tea into the professor’s cup until it overflows. When the professor protests, the guru explains that like the cup, the professor is too full to receive more, symbolizing the importance of removing opinions and speculations in order to be open for new knowledge. The stories are simple, but they allude to one universal core truth; that being open to learning information and approaching a problem without a preconceived solution allows a person to seek the truth.
The Taoist philosophy of Bruce Lee, “no way as way, having no limitation as limitation,” encourages followers to be in the moment in order to remain open to options and prevent yourself from limiting possibilities. Though it may seem conflicting to join philosophy with science, these methods of thinking complement the Scientific Method of observation, measurement, experimentation, and the creating and testing of hypotheses. Understanding how these elements contribute to G3’s Method helps clients and peers to understand the 3 “G”s of G3.
The 3 “G”s of G3
• Gather. As shown in the stories of The Blind Men and the Elephant or The Cup of Tea, as well as the Scientific Method, open-mindedly gathering as much existing information as possible is the most effective (and often only) way to find solutions to difficult problems. In a past GeoForensic project, G3 was hired to find a solution to a problem that had not been answered by 9 other firms. G3 solved the issue by putting aside current “evidence” and hypotheses and beginning with fresh, unbiased research.
• Gauge. The next step G3 follows is gauging and arranging information found. After analyzing the data, G3 develops a working hypothesis for engineering principles, risk, and mitigation.
• Go. Finally, following the Scientific Method, G3 tests our hypothesis, makes adjustments, and repeats our hypothesis’ until the evidence is proven.
G3 team members are encouraged to continue learning all different aspects of the industry, beyond our specialty. What sets G3 apart from other firms is our desire to share what we’ve learned with other firms, geologists, engineers, and technicians. Our aim is to continue improving the way the industry approaches problems and finds solutions.
“Our Mission is to use the G3Method to unearth the truth.”
Wise words from Karl Terzaghi, the father of soil mechanics:
“A consultant is a person who is supposed to know more about a subject under consideration than his client. Once an engineer has acquired a reputation for superior knowledge and discovers that there is a demand for his services, his future career depends on what he expects to get out of life. If he longs for financial success and social prestige, he will find that his aims can hardly be satisfied without creating an organization. Once the organization exists he becomes a slave to it. His income increases, but so do his worries. Sometimes he has sleepless nights because he does not know how to handle all the orders rained into his lap, and at other times, because his overhead charges exceed his income. In any event, the Tax Collector sees to it that his income does not assume staggering proportions. He may still believe he is a consultant, but in reality he has turned into a business man and executive, equipped with all the prerequisites for stomach ulcers. On the other hand, if he derives his principal satisfaction from practicing the art of engineering, he will desist from establishing an organization and concentrate all his efforts on broadening his knowledge in the field of his choice. In order to be successful in this pursuit he must be not only willing but eager to spend at least half of his time on unprofitable occupations such as research or the digest of his observational data. Therefore, his money making capacity remains unlimited, but in exchange he has fewer worries and retains his freedom of action. This is the type of occupation which has turned out to agree with my disposition.”
G3SoilWorks contains some of the most experienced geologic engineers in Southern California. Our principals are veterans, with over 100 years in geotechnical, environmental, and engineering geologic consulting experience throughout the southwest and western United States, primarily in California. Before Sid Neblett’s decision to retire, many of our team served as the core engineering group at Neblett & Associates prior to opening our consulting firm three years ago. Browse our bio pages to learn more about our team’s extensive experience.