In Memoriam Announcements Sat, 24 Feb 2018 12:37:24 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Prof. Sven Hansbo (1924-2018) Prof. Sven Hansbo (1924-2018)

It is with great sadness that we have to inform that Professor Sven Hansbo, Stockholm, died peacefully on January 8, 2018, shortly after having celebrated his 93rd birthday.

Sven Hansbo was a monumental figure in Swedish geotechnical engineering. He was an unusually gifted man, appreciated for his warmth and professional competence by many colleagues and friends. He was a brilliant researcher and scientist, innovative and bold in his approach to the solution of problems, always with a positive attitude, especially encouraging younger colleagues. Sven also had a deep interest in, and talent for, art and especially literature. He appreciated social life and delivered on many occasions - by heart - famous Swedish poetry.

Sven Hansbo was born in the small village of Nyed in Värmland, was brought up under simple circumstances in a family of peasants and became the first in his family to take a college degree. After graduation from Chalmers University of Technology, Sven wanted to pursue a scientific career in mathematics, which became one of his major interests in life. However, by coincidence, he was offered a research position at the newly formed Swedish Geotechnical Institute, where he conducted his ground-breaking research on vertical drains, for which he was awarded a doctoral degree.

 Sven Hansbo became the first professor in geotechnical engineering in Sweden and established with great enthusiasm the geotechnical department at Chalmers. As a professor and scientific leader of the department, he was enthusiastic but at the same time thoughtful, innovative and full of new ideas. He was always available for discussions with graduate students and researchers, who benefitted from his wisdom, critical comments and advice.

 In the early 1960ies, Sven joined a leading Swedish consulting firm and expanded its geotechnical division to become the leading private geotechnical consultancy. During many years, he shared his time between consulting, research and teaching. He was involved in many large and complex foundation projects, where he had the opportunity to introduce new ideas. Long beyond his retirement age, he was active as a consultant, mentor and lecturer in Scandinavia and abroad. One of his specialties was deep foundation solutions on very soft, compressible clay. He became internationally recognized for his work on prefabricated drains, lime cement columns, dynamic compaction and, in particular, his invention of "creep piles" well before others realized the potential of load sharing between foundations and floating piles.

In spite of his scientific background, Sven Hansbo remained a genuine engineer with the ambition to challenge established technical solutions, always striving for better and more cost-effective solutions. Within his area of expertise, ground treatment and piled foundations, he became recognized as a world leader and became part of an international network of leading experts, with whom he generously shared his ideas.

 Of particular interest to Sven was the development of international and European standards, especially in the area of ground improvement (vertical drainage, deep mixing and soil nailing). But in his opinion, standards were not to be a limitation of innovative thinking, recognizing the risk of limiting new ideas or innovative solutions.

 Besides geotechnical engineering, Sven Hansbo was deeply engaged in developing geotechnical engineering in particular, and the construction industry in general. He was chairman of the Swedish Geotechnical Society during 8 years and vice chairman of the Swedish Construction Association during 5 years. He was also chairman of the organizing committee of the highly successful, 19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, held in Stockholm in 1981. In recognition of his many contributions to geotechnical engineering, Sven Hansbo was made honorary member of SGF and awarded the SGF honorary prize. In connection with Sven's ninetieth birthday, SGF established the "Sven Hansbo" prize acknowledging his outstanding contributions to Swedish geotechnical engineering. In 1973, Sven Hansbo was also awarded by the Stockholm construction association an honorary prize for the innovative application of load compensation in connection with floating pile foundations.

Professor Hansbo received several international awards, such as the Golden Award of Merits of the Academic Senate of the Warsaw Agricultural University 1986, the Polytechnica Gdanska Medal for promoting the scientific cooperation between Chalmers University of Technology and Polytechnica Gdanska 1995, and the prestigious Kevin Nash Gold Medal from the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) 2009.

While being a widely recognized and respected authority in his field by colleagues and clients from all over the world, he was at the same time unpretentious and could speak in the language of the everyday man: "talking to farmers on farmers' way", a clear link to his upbringing on a farm under humble circumstances. At festive occasions, for example at the Swedish Foundation Day or the memorable celebration of his 90th birthday, he recited by heart many verses of the famous Swedish poet Fröding.

Many of his former students, colleagues, members of SGF and long-standing friends in Sweden and abroad feel the great loss of an extraordinarily gifted yet humble man, always friendly, positive and with a twinkle in his eyes. The passing of Prof. Sven Hansbo leaves a large void in the geotechnical community in Sweden and abroad.

On behalf of the Swedish Geotechnical Society

Gunilla Franzén, President, SGF

K. Rainer Massarsch

Göran Sällfors


Watch the following film showing parts of an interview that Rainer Massarsch and Stefan Aronsson made with Sven Hansbo in connection to the DFI conference in Stockholm, 2014.


]]> ( In Memoriam Announcements Wed, 07 Feb 2018 00:00:18 +0000
Professor Ralph Peck Video Lectures Professor Ralph Peck Video Lectures

We are excited and proud to include in our database some more video lectures of Professor Ralph Peck!

You can see the videos in his legacy website following the link:

The three new video lectures added are:

  • The 9th Ralph B. Peck Lecture, by Jean-Louis Briaud (
  • Title: Seepage and Piping (Tape 1), Case Histories and Causes of Failure. Expert Video Series, the National Dam Safety Program. Dr. Ralph B. Peck (
  • Title: Seepage and Piping (Tape 2), Control and Surveillance. Expert Video Series, the National Dam Safety Program. Dr. Ralph B. Peck (

We hope that this resource will be a source of inspiration for the future generations of geotechnical engineers.


]]> ( In Memoriam Announcements Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:05:56 +0000
George Coble (1929-2017) George Coble (1929-2017)

G. Goble, Ph.D., P.E., passed away in Longmont, CO shortly before his 88th birthday. He is survived by his wife Christine Goble, his daughter Tanja, son Gregory and a grandchild.

George Goble was born in 1929 in Boise, Idaho. His family had a farm where he learned to do honest, hard work. He studied civil/structural engineering at the University of Washington and for one year on a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Stuttgart. He became Professor and Chairman of the departments of civil engineering first at Case Western Reserve University and later at the University of Colorado Boulder. Throughout his professional life he worked as a consultant. Through his work at Pile Dynamics, Goble Rausche Likins and Associates (GRL), and Bridge Diagnostics, George recognized early on the potential of testing technology applied to infrastructure. Many different pieces of the puzzle had to be put together: the theory, the sensor selection and packaging, the computer and software development.

 There are some giants in the world of engineering, some more recognized than others. For those of us in the Deep Foundation and Bridge Engineering World, George G. Goble, Ph.D., P.E., was a giant. He had the intellect, knowledge and most important, the drive to change the world. His keen sense of where technology is leading us and how it can be used for a more effective and efficient use of resources helped all in this industry to improve and renew. This background formed his thinking as to what a good person should and should not do to better him or herself and this world.  More difficult yet: it was necessary to convince people that the technology would work and help engineers and contractors to make a better product for the owner. The general electronics industry was not interested and so it was up to George Goble to get people and resources together. It was his gift to instill the same enthusiasm that he had for these innovations in those people that worked with him and that he met and talked to. That was instrumental in the founding of the companies and the promotion of the technology. It required a lot of different and hard work and Professor Goble didn’t mind to climb the greasy pile driving leads to attach gages and do the field work in polar cold and desert heat. And out of those field experiences came many humorous stories which everyone listening enjoyed. True to his upbringing, George would never stop working, and he was a vocal fixture in several TRB Committees until just a few years ago.



]]> ( In Memoriam Announcements Wed, 27 Sep 2017 11:19:00 +0000
T. W. “Bill” Lambe (1920-2017) T. W. “Bill” Lambe (1920-2017)

T. William "Bill" Lambe, 96, of Sarasota died peacefully Monday, March 6, 2017. He was born on November 28, 1920 in Raleigh, NC; son of Claude Milton and Mary Habel Lambe. He was preceded in death by his brother Claude Lambe, and his wife of 59 years, Catharine "Kit" Cadbury Lambe.

 Professor Lambe graduated from North Carolina State University in 1942 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and following graduation held several engineering jobs before beginning graduate study at MIT in 1943 where he received a Masters degree in Civil Engineering in 1944 and a Doctor of Science degree in 1948. In July 1945 he started working at MIT as an instructor reaching the rank of full Professor on July 1959. In June 1969 he was chosen as the first Edmund K. Turner Professor of Civil Engineering which he held until his retirement from teaching in June 1981. His contributions as an academic were fundamental and far reaching. His textbooks "Soil Testing for Engineers", published in 1951, and "Soil Mechanics", co-authored with Robert Whitman and published in 1969, were path-breaking. Of the many important contributions, also including soil chemistry, soil stabilization and freezing, the stress path method and the formalizing of geotechnical prediction stand out. The predictive approaches are very typical of Professor Lambe's research, having a close relation to engineering practice. Many of us will remember the workshops in which colleagues from all over the world were asked to make performance predictions, which were then compared to the results of major field experiments that were conducted after the predictions were "in". Another remarkable example of Professor Lambe's ability to have research and practical engineering benefit from each other was the instrumentation of foundation work on multiple MIT buildings constructed during the building boom of the 1960's and for Boston area subway construction. MIT geotechnical students were educated to become engineers through practice oriented research and direct or indirect involvement in Professor Lambe's consulting projects. As a consultant, Professor Lambe worked for clients from Japan, the Netherlands, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Venezuela,Jamaica, Qatar, Puerto Rico, as well as clients in many parts of the U.S. The projects included landslides; earth dams for storage of oil, mining waster, and water; building foundations; foundations for an off-shore storm surge barrier; hydraulic reclamation projects; and many other project types. He remained active as a consultant until his early 90's.

Dr. Lambe was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), an Honorary Member of the Southeast Asian Society of Geotechnical Engineering and an Honorary Member of the Venezuelan Society of Soil mechanics and Foundation Engineering. His more than 100 publications earned him many awards including the ASCE's highest award, the Norman Medal, in 1964, the ASCE Terzaghi Award in 1975, and the N.C. State University Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award in 1982. In addition to being a prolific and effective writer, Dr. Lambe was an excellent lecturer presenting the ASCE Terzaghi Lecture in 1970, the ICE Rankine Lecture in 1973, as well as many other honorary lectures.

He is survived by five children-Philip and wife Catherine, Virginia and husband Robert Guaraldi, Richard and wife Michele, Robert and wife Judith, and Susan and husband Scott Clary; who live in North Carolina, New Hampshire, Washington, Massachusetts, and Virginia. His growing family now includes 14 grandchildren and their 6 spouses, and 7 great grandchildren. Professor Lambe led an active life participating in tennis, golf, badminton, skiing, riding and jumping horses, cattle ranching, boating, and fishing. A man of numbers, he lived in 21 residences located in 7 different states. Starting shortly after retirement from MIT he participated in 14 reunions of his growing family in 6 different US states and 2 Canadian Provinces. He also participated in the Longview Society that met monthly to discuss a wide range of national, international, and societal subjects.

A memorial service was held on, March 26, 2017 at All Angels Episcopal Church, in Longboat Key, Florida.

This is an obituary that was circulated through a number of geotechnical mailing lists and is reproduced herein for historical purposes.


]]> (Kostis) In Memoriam Announcements Tue, 02 May 2017 09:35:38 +0000
Michele Maugeri (1944 - 2014) Michele Maugeri (1944 - 2014)

On 1 November 2014, after a strong battle against illness, Professor Michele Maugeri passed away. Prof. Maugeri was a long-time Italian member of the ISSMGE Technical Committee on 'Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering and Associated Problems' (TC203).

Born in Acireale (Sicily) in 1944, he got the degree in Civil Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, winning the award for the best thesis ("Technical aspects of a bridge across the Messina Strait") and the second prize in an international competition for the fixed link road and railway between Sicily and the mainland, banned by the Ministry of Public Works. The brilliant academic career developed at the University of Catania, where he was teaching since 1972, becoming Associate Professor in 1979 and then Full Professor of Geotechnical Engineering in 1990. His career was full of countless tasks of primary importance: he was a member of the Board of Public Works, member of the National Commission UNI "Construction Structural Engineering", member of the Task Group no. 6 on "Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Microzonation" of the European Association for Earthquake Engineering, chairman of the "ERTC 12 - Evaluation of Geotechnical Aspects of EC8", member of scientific and organizing committees of numerous national and international conferences. 

He also actively contributed to the life of his native Sicily, as a director of Banca Popolare Santa Venera at Acireale, and of Credit Valtellina today. He was Guest Editor of several special issues of national and international journals (including the recent issue n.3 of the Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering in 2014) and authored more than 300 scientific publications. Since 1990, Prof. Maugeri delivered keynote and special lectures in international conferences and workshops of different disciplines, helping extend the TC203 mission beyond the core industry. Recently, Prof. Maugeri was the Chairman of the very successful 2nd International Conference on "Performance-Based Design in Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering" of TC203, held in Taormina, 2012.

He was a scientific "ambassador" of geotechnical earthquake engineering at events organized by other learned societies. He often focused on engineering issues relevant to Italy in the fields of seismic geotechnics, mitigation of natural hazards and geosynthetics. Through his contributions, the Italian geotechnical community has maintained a strong and beneficial dialogue with the world.

He died at his home in Sicily, just one day after he retired from University of Catania. 

Source: ISSMGE's TC 203 website

]]> ( In Memoriam Announcements Tue, 24 Feb 2015 10:08:44 +0000
Charles (Chuck) Cushing Ladd (1932-2014) Professor Emeritus Charles

Charles (Chuck) Cushing Ladd III age 81 passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, August 4th, 2014 surrounded by his loving family. He was a devoted husband of 55 years to the late Carol Ballou Ladd and leaves his fiancée Elaine Burkley of Sudbury, MA. He is survived by his children, Melissa Northrup of Boxborough, MA, Charles C. Ladd IV and his wife Marcia of Mountain Top, PA, Ruth McGraw and her husband James of Essex, MA, Matthew Ladd and his wife Annette of Little Compton, RI, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He also leaves a brother, Richard Ladd and his wife Linda of Albuquerque, NM.
Chuck was the patriarch of a large and tightly knit family. He enjoyed bringing his family on winter cruises and treating his extended family to yearly summer vacations. While he had many professional accomplishments, he was also famous for hosting Christmas parties where he would serve his signature 'punch' concoction. He loved his students and colleagues, often inviting them to attend family functions, celebrations and holidays. Chuck was a diehard Patriots fan and would frequently host his family for football Sundays. An avid tennis player when he was younger, Chuck picked up golf in his later years with an engineering approach to the game.

He received a Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) in mathematics and physics from Bowdoin College in 1955, and in the same year a Bachelor of Science in building engineering and construction from M.I.T. He continued on at M.I.T. to earn a Master of Science in civil engineering in 1957 and Doctor of Science in soil engineering in 1961. Chuck joined the M.I.T. faculty in 1961 and served until he retired in 2001 as the Edmund K. Turner Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He was internationally known for his outstanding contributions to the teaching, research and practice of geotechnical engineering.
Professor Ladd was renowned as a gifted teacher (with a style emulated by many former students who became faculty members) and innovative researcher on advanced technical topics. He was internationally sought after as a consultant working on large, complex and difficult civil projects. Among his numerous professional achievements, Professor Ladd was elected in 1983 to the US National Academy of Engineering and was the recipient of many research awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); including the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, the Croes Medal, the Norman Medal and the Terzaghi Lecture Award. In 1995, he was elected as a distinguished member of ASCE and received the Hogentogler Award from the American Society for Testing and Materials. In 2012, Professor Ladd was awarded the ASCE Outstanding Project and Leaders lifetime achievement award for his contributions to engineering education. Professor Ladd leaves a lasting legacy and tribute to his life's work with his commitment to his students at M.I.T. and significant contributions to geotechnical engineering.

]]> ( In Memoriam Announcements Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:18:14 +0000
Rachid Hankour (1960-2013) Dr. Rachid Hankour

Dr. Rachid Hankour, of Harvard, Massachussets, Vice President and Director of Lab Systems at Geocomp Corporation, and Professor of the Practice at Tufts University School of Engineering, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, surrounded by his loving family, following a brief battle with cancer. Please see below for the email sent on December 20, 2013, by Dr. Allen Marr, honoring the life of his friend and colleague, reproduced here with Dr. Marr's permission. Under attachements below this article you can also find the email in pdf form.


]]> ( In Memoriam Announcements Fri, 03 Jan 2014 08:29:50 +0000
Nilmar Janbu (1921-2013)


As distributed by NGI on 1/8/2013, available here.

The text and image in this article is reproduction from what has been posted on the NGI webpage and is copied here upon permission.

Professor Nilmar Janbu passed away on January 4th

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 Janbu was active with geotechnical work up to just a few years ago. He was a dear colleague to many in the geotechnical and engineering community in Norway and abroad and a fabulous educator in geotechnical engineering. His enthusiasm motivated hundreds of civil engineering students at NTH/NTNU to choose geotechnical engineering as their major.

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. Nilmar established and became the leader of NGI's department and laboratories in Trondheim. In 1961, when NTH (NTNU's former acronym) opened a new
Department for Geotechnical Engineering in Trondheim, Nilmar was appointed as
its first Professor.

Nilmar Janbu became internationally recognized for his work within geotechnical engineering. He had a thorough understanding of the mechanical behaviour of soils, and over the years he developed many new concepts and made valuable contributions to the practical solution of geotechnical engineering problems, including settlements, slope stability and deformations. In addition to his teaching, he worked also as a consultant and problem-solver for both private organisations and governmental bodies.

Nilmar has given guest lectures throughout the world, such as in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, China, Russia and the USA. In 1985, he gave the prestigious "Rankine Lecture" at Imperial College in London. He wrote more than 130 scientific publications, including for example:

  •     Stability analysis of slopes with dimensionless parameters, PhD thesis, Harvard Soil Mechanics Series 46, Cambridge, USA 1954
  •     Guidance to practical solutions in foundations engineering (¿Veiledning ved Løsning av Fundamenteringsoppgaver¿), with L. Bjerrum og B. Kjærnsli, NGI Publication No 16, 1956
  •     Basics in geotechnics ("Grunnlag i geoteknikk"), Tapir, Trondheim 1970
  •     Slope stability computations, in The Embankment Dam Engineering, R. Hirschfeld (ed.). New York 1973, pp. 47-86
  •     Soil models in offshore engineering. 25th Rankine Lecture, Geotechnique 35, No. 3, London 1985, pp. 241-285
  •     Sediment deformations. A classical approach to stress-strain-time behaviour of granular media as developed at NTH over a 50 year period, Trondheim 1998.


A memorial service for Nilmar Janbu will be held in Trondheim on Friday January 11th, at 15:00 (3:00 PM).
Address for memorial service: Svanholm Seremonirom, Brøsetvegen 145, N-7048 Trondheim.


]]> ( In Memoriam Announcements Thu, 10 Jan 2013 13:00:40 +0000
Dr. Jorj O. Osterberg (1915-2008)

 We are sad to announce the passing of Dr. Jorj Osterberg, a long-time Honorary ADSC Technical Affiliate Member. Dr. Jorj Osterberg passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 1st 2008.

Dr. Osterberg is one of the true pioneers of geotechnical engineering. He has long been recognized for innovations in soil sampling and testing. He is best known as the inventor of the "O-Cell". This load test devise has radically changed the way deep foundation load tests are designed, performed andinterpreted.


The final pre-project design use has resulted in more efficient drilled shafts and in vast savings for project owners throughout the world.


Dr. Osterberg was one of the first engineer-presenters at the ADSC Drilled Shaft Design and Construction Seminars. He was the co-keynote speaker at the ADSC's 1987 and 2000 Civil Engineering Faculty Workshops.

Following a long and distinguished career as a teacher and consultant, Dr. Osterberg was Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at Northwestern University. Other honors and associations include: Honorary Member - American Society of Civil Engineers; Member - National Academy of Engineering; 1985 Terzaghi Lecturer (ASCE); 1988 Distinguished Service Award - Deep Foundations Institute; and the Royal Swedish Medal. The "O-Cell" won Dr. Osterberg the NOVA Award in 1994, sometimes called the "Nobel Prize" for construction.

Dr. Osterberg was 93 years old at the time of his passing. A detailed account of his amazing professional career will appear in Foundation Drilling Magazine.

Note: Above e-mail was sent to Geotech-Jiscmail mailing list by ADSC (The International Association of Foundation Drilling).

]]> ( In Memoriam Announcements Wed, 31 Oct 2012 22:00:00 +0000
Harry Bolton Seed (1922 - 1989)

Click upon the picture above for the biographical Memoir of Harry B. Seed - father of Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, writen by James K. Mitchell. Available by the National Academy of Sciences website.

]]> ( In Memoriam Announcements Fri, 19 Oct 2012 21:00:00 +0000