The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 11:19

George Goble (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.



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