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.