The Coming of Age of Soil Mechanics: 1920-1970 - 1993 Buchanan Lecture by Ralph B. Peck
Note: The lecture begins at approximately minute 33
The Spencer J. Buchanan Lecture Series on the GeoChannel is presented by the Geo-Institute of ASCE. For more information about the Geo-Institute:
The first Spencer J. Buchanan Lecture of the Geotechnical Engineering Area, Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, was given by Dr. Ralph B. Peck on 22 October 1993.
"The Coming of Age of Soil Mechanics: 1920-1970"
About Ralph B. Peck:
Dr. Ralph B. Peck received the degrees of Civil Engineer and Doctor of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1934 and 1937 with the intention of becoming a structural engineer. Soon thereafter, he attended the Soil Mechanics classes of Professor Arthur Casagrande at Harvard. When Dr. Karl Terzaghi became a consultant to the City of Chicago in 1939, for the design and construction of the Initial System of Chicago Subways, Peck became his representative on the job. He was in charge of soil testing and field observations until the work was closed down during World War II. He joined the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1942 and retired in June 1974, as Professor of Foundation Engineering, Emeritus.
Dr. Peck's main interest has been the observation of the behavior of earth and rock during construction and under stress. He has co-authored two books and is the author of over 200 technical papers.
He has been a consultant on foundations for buildings, ore docks and other heavily loaded structures, on tunnels and open cuts for the Bay Area Rapid Transit System in San Francisco, the Washington Metropolitan Area Rapid Transit Authority in Washington, D.C., the New York Second Avenue Subway and the Baltimore Rapid Transit System, and on dams including Mica Dam, Bennett Dam, and the Churchill Falls and James Bay Hydroelectric projects.
Dr. Peck was president of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering from 1969 to 1973; he has been the recipient of many awards including in 1975 the National Medal of Science from President Ford. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
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