Joseph Sopko, Ph.D., P.E.

Director of Ground Freezing, Moretrench

Joseph Sopko, Ph.D.
Joseph Sopko, Ph.D.
  • Develops business opportunities with respect to geotechnical construction, including dewatering, grouting, earth support, minipiles, and ground freezing.
  • Manages Midwest operations including reviewing all design and laboratory testing programs related to remediation and underground construction projects.
  • Routinely provides on-site project management and quality control programs.
  • Specializes in ground freezing for soil remediation and excavation purposes with key projects in the Midwest, East Coast, and Canada.

Professional Experience:

MORETRENCHRockaway, NJDirector of Ground Freezing2010-Present
LAYNE CHRISTENSENPort Washington, WIDirector of Engineering1992-2010
DAMES AND MOOREChicago, IllinoisSenior Engineer1990-1992
GKN HAYWARD BAKEROdenton, MarylandGeotechnical Engineer 1988-1990
GEOCENTRIC-GEOFREEZELorton, Virginia Vice President1985-1988

Selected Ground Freezing Projects:

  • Russia Wharf Tunnel: Boston, MA
    Designed and supervised installation of a ground freezing system under historic buildings in downtown Boston to preserve the ground stabilization during tunnel construction.
  • Verglas Crown Pillar Excavation: Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada
    Designed and supervised the largest structural excavation using ground freezing as a method of ground stabilization. The completed excavation had a diameter of 220 feet and extended 125 feet deep into the crown pillar of an existing zinc and nickel mine.
  • Aquarius Gold Mine: Timmins, Ontario, Canada
    For groundwater control, designed and supervised the construction of a frozen earth wall around the 3.5 km perimeter of an open pit mine. On-site freeze plants were designed to provide ground stabilization for eight years during excavation.
  • Harbor Siphons: Milwaukee, WI
    Two 15-foot diameter rock tunnels were constructed for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to correct deficiencies in the system. Grouting was performed before ground freezing was used during the excavation of two drop shafts and one riser shaft. Designed and supervised the rock grouting plan and ground stabilization system.


Air Force Engineering Mission in Antarctica
Transportation News, Volume 23
April 2002

Investigative and Remedial Methods for Breach in a Frozen Shaft
Proceedings of the International Symposium on Ground Freezing and Frost Action in Soils
Brussels, 2000
The Development of Shaft Construction Methods
Conference on 120 Years of Tunneling in New York City

ASCE 1994

Frozen Earth Cofferdam Design
Procedures of the Sixth International Symposium on Ground Freezing
Beijing, 1991
Ground Freezing to Provide Support for Tunneling Using Vertical Refrigeration Pipes
Proceedings, Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference
Seattle, Washington, 1991

Ground Freezing to Control Ground Water and Support Deep Storm Sewer Structural Excavations
Proceedings, Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conferece
Los Angeles, 1989
New Design Method for Frozen Earth Structures with Reinforcement
Unpublished, Ph.D., Thesis, Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan 1990

Patents held:


Degree UniversityDate
Doctor of PhilosophyCivil EngineeringMichigan State University1990
Master of ScienceCivil EngineeringMichigan State University1983
Bachelor of ScienceCivil EngineeringMichigan State University1980

Military Experience:

  • Lt. Col., Missouri Air National Guard
    Civil Engineering Officer
  • Called to active duty and served in Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan
  • Called to active duty, Operation Desert Shield

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Committee Member, ASCE Committee on Frost Action Soils