TRP Chair Spotlight: Bill Kramer

Bill Kramer has been with the Illinois Department of Transportation since he graduated from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in 1987. His first position was with District 6, but he soon transferred to the Bureau of Bridges and Structures and is now the Unit Chief of the Foundations and Geotechnical Group, responsible for overseeing all research, training, design, planning, specifications, manuals, and construction inspection of foundations, walls, and other geotechnical assets related to highway structures in the state of Illinois. 

He currently serves as chair of the Technical Review Panel (TRP) for ICT/IDOT project R27-145, “Modified Standard Penetration Test–Based Drilled Shaft Design Method for Weak Rocks (Phase 2 Study).” The main objectives of the project are to improve the proposed design methods for axial capacity of drilled shafts embedded in weak rock, develop appropriate reliability-based resistance factors, and refine the Modified Standard Penetration Test method developed in the Phase 1 study to eliminate or reduce the need for rock coring and laboratory triaxial compression testing for IDOT drilled shaft design.

Kramer says that although Phase 2 of the drilled shaft project is still under way, the new testing procedure has already been used on several bridge foundations. In addition, new design methods, design spreadsheets, and testing forms developed in the project will be available on the IDOT website later this year.

He has also chaired IDOT TRPs on the following projects:


As a result of the piling research projects Kramer has overseen, changes in design and construction policy have been made that improved pile length estimates. These changes reduce waste and cost overruns, as well enable contractors to use smaller, less expensive pile hammers and designers to use smaller pile sizes and lengths, saving between $1 and $2 million dollars per year. His work on bridge pier scour in cohesive soils research (R27-019 and R27-105) resulted in changes to the bridge manual, which reduced the depth of scouring soils on abutments and piers supporting highway bridges spanning a body of water—thereby reducing state construction expenses.

For the past seven years, Kramer has also served on the Structures, Geotechnical, and Hydraulics Research Technical Advisory Group, which has reviewed hundreds of research proposals and made funding recommendations on more than forty.