Today marks the 123rd year since the birth of the Father of Modern Soil Mechanics, the Sultan of Soils, an Engineer’s Engineer: Karl Terzaghi! So let us raise our coffee mugs (or whatever vessel contains your morning beverage of choice) this morning in honor of the man that helped define what we do as a field unto itself in civil engineering. Later this evening, after you have spent another great day as a geotechnical engineer teaching students, visiting a site to observe or test foundation construction, performing settlement analysis, telling that architect yet again why he can’t use shallow foundations for his 10-story building like he planned, working like crazy to finish that bid on a complex _____ (pile, shaft, soil nail, etc.) installation, or figuring out how to handle the outrageous axial and lateral load combinations the structural engineer gave you this week, raise a toast of beer, wine, or other beverage of your choice to Professor Terzaghi and his work. You got to spend another day in the most fun and exciting field in civil engineering (really, who wants to sit at a desk designing moment connections all day?).
To reflect on the contributions of Professor Terzaghi, click here to go to an on-line reprint (by permission) of an article by Dr. Richard Goodman, P.E. from the October, 2002 issue of Geo-Strata.
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