It is with great regret that I have to inform you that Professor Pedro A. de Alba passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday February 20, 2011. Born in Chihuahua, Mexico on April 2, 1939, he obtained his BSCE in 1964 from the National University of Mexico (UNAM). Following his undergraduate degree he spent two years working with Dr. Leonardo Zeevaert, a well-known consulting engineer, on foundation problems in Mexico City.
He later obtained his MS and Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley under Dr. H. Bolton Seed working on liquefaction of sands during earthquakes. After his Ph.D. he worked as a senior engineer for Shannon & Wilson in Burlingame, California before joining the University of New Hampshire in 1977. In his 33 years at UNH he taught over ten different courses in geotechnical engineering at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Professor de Alba was an outstanding teacher, a scholar and, above all, a gentleman. He was a mentor and a role model to his students and colleagues. In his numerous service roles he always showed great compassion and support for students and the university. He served as Chair of the Faculty Senate, a position that requires great diplomacy. Although afflicted by ALS, Professor de Alba remained active in graduate education pursuing existing and new research endeavors. His professional interests remained in experimental techniques for measuring the dynamic response of soils. Professor de Alba leaves behind a daughter, Cassandra de Alba and his wife of 36 years and best friend Alice Radin. After hearing of his diagnosis, they told each other the following Spanish proverb “Lo bailado nadie te lo quita" which means “The dance you have danced no one can take away from you”. A memorial service is planned for early spring. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made towards a scholarship that will be established in his name for a student with an interest in geotechnical engineering and a passion for the arts. His courage and his dedication to his profession were truly exemplary.
Donations should be addressed to:
The Pedro A. de Alba Scholarship
University of New Hampshire
Department of Civil Engineering
33 Academic Way
Durham, New Hampshire 03824
We have created a website where you can share your thoughts, see photographs of Pedro and find information regarding the scholarship: http://www.dealbamemorial.com/
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.
The above email was sent by Prof. Jean Benoît, Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Hampshire
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