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In Memoriam
Dr. Fred H. Kulhawy: 1943 - 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 13:18

Dr. Fred H. Kulhawy, 1943-2015Fred Howard Kulhawy was born in Topeka, Kansas on September 8, 1943 to Fred and Gloria (Hahn) Kulhawy. He spent his childhood and early adulthood in New Jersey, where he received his B.S.C.E. in 1964 from Newark College of Engineering (NCE), which is now a part of New Jersey Institute of Technology. He completed his M.S.C.E. from NCE in June 1966, married Gloria Ianna in September 1966, and they relocated to Berkeley, CA for educational pursuits. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in September 1969, and began his Professorial career at Syracuse University, where he advanced to the rank of Associate Professor. In 1976 he joined the Cornell Faculty, becoming Professor in 1981. During his 40-year academic career, Fred taught a wide range of courses in the field of geotechnical engineering. At Cornell he also supervised the annual Master of Engineering geotechnical design project seventeen times. His courses emphasized basics and developing thought processes, but they always were oriented toward design and professional practice.

He has been a prolific researcher, with sponsors ranging from various government agencies to public and private companies. He has supervised 54 M.S. and Ph.D. theses. He has authored/co-authored more than 370 publications. The research done by him and his students has influenced geotechnical practice. His contributions have been recognized with over 20 major professional society awards. Among them are the following: Distinguished Member of ASCE, the highest accolade of ASCE for acknowledged eminence in engineering; the Norman Medal, the oldest and most prestigious technical award of ASCE; and the Karl Terzaghi Award, the ASCE Geo-Institute career accolade for eminence in geotechnical engineering.

After his retirement he kept active in his Consulting Practice, as well as travelling to indulge one of his passions, opera. He is survived by his wife, Gloria; a brother Kenneth of Tempe, AZ; brother and sister in-law, Frank and Nancy Ianna, nieces Kristy and Lindsay, nephew Rob Ianna, of NJ; and numerous cousins. There are no services. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Hospicare, 172 East King Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, or a charity of your choice. Bangs Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Obituary reproduced from MeaningfulFunerals.net. Image from ASCE.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 May 2015 13:19
 
Edward Alexander (Ed) Nowatzki: 1936-2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 08 May 2015 08:54

Ed_NowatzkiIt is with great sadness that I report the passing of a mentor and former colleague, Dr. Ed Nowatzki, PE, PhD, D.GE, F. ASCE.  His obituary can be found here.  I first met Ed when I took his foundation engineering class at the University of Arizona.  Ed was a fantastic professor, and his consulting experience really informed his lecturing making his course the best and most practical geotechnical class I had in school.  I was privileged to work with Ed for several years after school when I was a staff engineer at URS and then again while working for NCS Consultants from 2004 to 2010.  He reviewed many of my reports and calculations, and didn’t let me slide by on anything but was never harsh or overly critical.

He had an uncompromising moral compass, and was a resource for all of us at NCS when it came to issues of engineering ethics.  But the things I will remember most about him is his passion for life-long learning.  He continued consulting part time at NCS up until his health began to fail.  I remember one time that Naresh Samtani was preparing to give one of his Friday lectures to the NCS staff, and in walked Ed.  I asked him why he was there, joking that he could be teaching the lecture himself.  He told me, “you never stop learning.”  That is something I will carry with me for the rest of my career, and the rest of my life.

I can’t begin to describe Ed’s personal and professional legacy.  He has touched the lives of hundreds of practicing engineers through his teaching at the University of Arizona and at Cal Poly State University.  But I would like to share two things that I believe any geotechnical engineer can appreciate.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 May 2015 08:55
 
Harl Aldrich, Haley & Aldrich Co-founder, Dies at 91 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 15 December 2014 23:12

Harl Aldrich, founder of Geotechnical firm Haley & Aldrich, passed away on November 24, 2014 at the age of 91

Haley & Aldrich Founder and Chairman Emeritus Harl P. Aldrich, Jr. died on November 24, 2014 in Concord, MA at the age of 91. Dr. Aldrich was a leader in geotechnical and civil engineering, and his legacy is seen not just in his home city of Boston, but also across the country where his pioneering spirit has endured in the firm he co-founded. [Editor] Text modified from a Haley & Aldrich Press Release. [/Editor] [Source: View the rest of the press release from Haley & Aldrich via The GBA Newsletter. Image: Haley & Aldrich]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 06:15
 
Professor Chuck Ladd passed away on August 4th PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 10 August 2014 00:37
Charles C. Ladd

MIT Emeritus Professor Charles C. (Chuck) Ladd passed away on August 4 according to a post on the ASCE Geotechnical Engineering Group. Professor Ladd was a legend in the geotechnical engineering community, and among his many awards were the prestigious Croes Medal, the Norman Medal, and the Terzaghi Lecture Award. He was also a member of the National Academy of Engineering. You can find Professor Ladd's obituary at the Boston Globe. [Source: LinkedIn - ASCE Geotechnical Engineering Group. Image: ASCE News Article on his 2012 OPAL Lifetime Achievement Award]

 
Professor Nilmar Janbu passed away on January 4th PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:24
Professor Nilmar Janbu, prominent geotechnical engineer, 1922-2013

From the NGI:

Professor Emeritus Nilmar Janbu, the acclaimed scholar in geotechnical engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), passed away peacefully in Trondheim on January 4th 2013. He was 91.

Nilmar received his M.Sc. degree at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, USA, in 1949, where he worked with Professors Karl Terzaghi and Arthur Cassagrande. In 1954, he successfully defended his doctoral work, also at Harvard. Nilmar Janbu joined NGI in 1952, working closely with Laurits Bjerrum and Bjørn Kjærnsli.

Professor Janbu was an internationally recognized figure in geotechnical engineering, and our entire profession mourns his passing. My condolences to those closest to him. [Source: Norwegian Geotechnical Institute via Geoengineer.org. Image: Norwegian Geotechnial Institute]

 
Crux acquired by Quanta Services PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 29 April 2012 16:51
Crux installing micropiles for San Diego Gas & Electric

Specialty geotechnical drilling contractor, Crux Subsurface, Inc. of Spokane, Washington was acquired Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR), an S&P 500 company and a leader in infrastructure services for the electric power, pipeline and telecommunications industries according to an announcement made in Early April. Crux is well known for their difficult access drilling for geotechnical and environmental projects, but has increasingly gotten into the micropile market, particularly in support of the energy sector. [Source: Crux via National Driller. Image: Crux]

 
In Memoriam: Professor Robert V. Whitman (1928-2012) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 26 March 2012 05:04

Robert V. Whitman, Sc.D., P.E., F.ASCE, passed away on Friday, February 25, 2012

Robert V. Whitman, Sc.D., P.E., F.ASCE, passed away on Friday, February 25, 2012. The following memoriam for Professor Whitman is taken from the Geo-Institute:

Professor Whitman studied civil engineering at Swarthmore College and took his master's and doctorate degrees at M.I.T in 1948. He spent two years as an officer in the Civil Engineering Corps at the Naval Shipyard at Pearl Harbor. After his naval service, he returned to M.I.T. and taught there until his retirement in 1993. Afterwards, he continued to remain active as professor emeritus.

Professor Whitman's area of specialization was geotechnical earthquake engineering. He is credited by some with being the originator of the concept for what is now known as the Newmark method for calculating permanent seismic deformations of earth structures and retaining walls. His papers with Frank Richart form the basis for modern foundation vibration analysis and design. He was the recipient of many awards recognizing his contributions to geotechnical engineering, including the Terzaghi Lecture (1981), the Terzaghi Award (1987), and the Seed Medal (2006) from ASCE and the Housner Medal from EERI.

[Source: Geo-Institute. Image: Geo-Institute]

 

Last Updated on Monday, 26 March 2012 00:06
 
Happy Karl Terzaghi Day 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 02 October 2011 23:35

Karl Terzaghi, father of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering I've still got a few minutes left in my time zone anyway.  But October 2 is Karl Terzaghi's birthday.  And my colleague Robert Thompson at Dan Brown and Associates has written a nice blog post on the man to commemorate the occasion this year.  You can also find a summary of some of the previous year's posts by myself and Robert. So Happy KTBD!

Current and previous KTBD Posts

Last Updated on Sunday, 02 October 2011 23:35
 
Happy KTBD 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 03 October 2010 23:56

Karl Terzaghi, father of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering That’s my lame attempt at trying to coin a new geotechnical engineering catch phrase for “Karl Terzaghi’s Birthday.”  Plus it tweeted better on Friday! Saturday, October 2 was the actual day.

Every year my colleague Robert Thompson at Dan Brown and Associates (DBA) writes a little something in honor of Karl Terzaghi’s birthday.  All geotechs worth their salt will know that Terzaghi is billed as being the father of soil mechanics, but what I am always impressed with when I read quotes from him is his very pragmatic and common sense approach to geotechnical engineering, sometimes even lamenting how people have taken the theoretical aspects of the profession too far.  That’s the theme from Robert’s quote this year, and it certainly fits the overall theme of his website very well!

Current and previous KTBD Posts

Last Updated on Sunday, 03 October 2010 23:56
 
Bridge and Tunnel Engineer, Thomas R. Kuesel 1926-2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 25 February 2010 00:08

Thomas R. Kuesel, 1926-2010 Newport Bridge, Newport, R.I., much of the BART subway system and Boston’s Big Dig were among the numerous significant projects worked on by the late Thomas R. Kuesel. He was a well known civil engineer and tunneling expert, co-editor of the “Tunnel Engineering Handbook,” a standard reference for design and construction used worldwide. One of his most noteworthy tunneling projects was the NORAD Combat Operations Center beneath Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs, built during the height of the Cold War and designed to withstand a nuclear blast. Read on for a full obituary chronicling his distinguished career.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 00:10
 
Happy Birthday Terzaghi! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 02 October 2009 00:04

Karl von Terzaghi Karl von Terzaghi, the father of Soil Mechanics would have been 126 years old today! Two years ago, a colleague sent me an email wishing me a Happy Karl Terzaghi’s Birthday. So I decided for geotechs like me, this is a day worth celebrating! (Photo from Science and Society)

Geoengineer.org has a great Terzaghi quote page. One of my favorites:

I produced my theories and made my experiments for the purpose of establishing an aid in forming a correct opinion and I realized with dismay that they are still considered by the majority as a substitute for common sense and experience.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 October 2009 00:04
 
Drilled Shaft Industry Legend Dr. Lymon C. Reese, 1917-2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 17 September 2009 13:50

Dr. Lymon C. Reese 1917 - 2009 A legend in the Drilled Shaft Industry, Dr. Lymon C. Reese has passed away at age 92. Dr. Reese is perhaps best know in the industry as the co-author, along with the late Dr. Michael O'Neill (one of his former students), of the 1999 FHWA Manual entitled "Drilled Shafts: Construction Procedures and Design Methods". This publication was a culmination of many years of work for the Texas Department of Transportation, and many seminal papers on the topic of deep foundations. In a fitting testimony to his legacy, the forthcoming revision to that FHWA manual is being led by Dr. Dan Brown, another one of his distinguished former students. (Photo from ADSC)

Among his many accolades:

  • Held the titles of Associate Professor, Professor, Chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering, Associate Dean for Research for the College of Engineering and Nasser Al-Rashid Chair Emeritus in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas during his tenure between 1955 and 1988
  • Elected member of National Academy of Engineering in 1975
  • Joe J. King Professional Achievement Award from the College of Engineering, The University of Texas, in February, 1977
  • 1983 ASCE Terzaghi Award Winner
  • 1986 ASCE Terzaghi Lecturer

The ADSC and Geo-Institute both have information on Dr. Reese's passing. His obituary with information on the service can be found here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 September 2009 13:52
 
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