The 2015 Karl Terzaghi award was presented by Donald A. Bruce, Ph.D., D.GE, C.Eng., L.G., L.E.G., President, Geosystems, L.P. at the Geo-Institute’s 2015 Geo-Congress Conference. The Geo-Institute has generously made his lecture available to all of us on their YouTube Channel, so be sure and subscribe. From his abstract:
In historic literature, there is the "Great Man" theory, whereby history is reflected in the biographies of preeminent characters. In the more theoretical and academic branches of specialty geotechnical engineering, the theory holds true, with, of course, Professor Terzaghi one of the heroic great men â€“ a researcher, problem solver, and inspiration sans pareil. In contrast, in the branch of specialty geotechnical construction, technological advances occur principally through "Great Leaps" as opposed to steady and progressive evolution.
Six criteria must be satisfied in support of awarding "Great Leap" status, beginning with a project-specific challenge of unprecedented scope or complexity, and ending with a legacy document detailing and codifying the leap. These steps are illustrated by reference to developments in drilling and grouting; cutoffs for dams; deep mixing; and micropiles, all techniques in which the author has been intimately involved throughout his professional career as a researcher, contractor, educator, and consultant.
[Source: Geo-Institute YouTube Channel (be sure to subscribe!). Image: YouTube]