A Darwin Link to Geotechnical Engineering?

Charles Darwin - What's his connection to geotechnical engineering?

Everyone knows the name Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution by natural selection. But did you know he has a connection to the roots of geotechnical engineering?

Charles Darwin had some talented children, among them was his son George, the second oldest. George Darwin published a paper titled “On the horizontal thrust of a mass of sand” in 1883. It may not have garnered much attention at the time, but it was later cited by Geotechnical founding fathers Karl Terzaghi and Sir Alec Skempton!

Michael Bennett, who writes the Geotechnical History Blog published by the Geo-Institute, has a fascinating short blog post on this paper and its importance to modern-day geotechnical engineering, and earth pressure theory. It’s a fun read!

If you missed some of Mr. Bennett’s earlier blog posts, they include: