Location

Chicago, Illinois

Session Start Date

4-29-2013

Session End Date

5-4-2013

Abstract

When most geoengineers hear the name of Ralph B. Peck (1912-2008) they usually associate him with the father of soil mechanics, the legendary Karl Terzaghi (1883-1963), because of their long professional association, between 1939-63. But, Peck’s professional career in geotechnics was also influenced by other engineers and geologists, whose ingenuity he admired and tried to emulate. Some of these are names easily recognized, even 100 years later, while others are all but forgotten. This article seeks to introduce the reader to some of those luminaries that played a role in shaping Ralph Peck’s career as one of the founders of American foundation engineering and the father of the Observational Method, which he learned from others he worked with as well as some who preceded him. These accounts are based on a series of interviews with Dr. Peck carried out by the author, between 1991-2001.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Second Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Seventh Conference

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

4-29-2013

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2013 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Apr 29th, 12:00 AM May 4th, 12:00 AM

Ralph Peck’s Circuitous Path to Professor of Foundation Engineering (1930-48)

Chicago, Illinois

When most geoengineers hear the name of Ralph B. Peck (1912-2008) they usually associate him with the father of soil mechanics, the legendary Karl Terzaghi (1883-1963), because of their long professional association, between 1939-63. But, Peck’s professional career in geotechnics was also influenced by other engineers and geologists, whose ingenuity he admired and tried to emulate. Some of these are names easily recognized, even 100 years later, while others are all but forgotten. This article seeks to introduce the reader to some of those luminaries that played a role in shaping Ralph Peck’s career as one of the founders of American foundation engineering and the father of the Observational Method, which he learned from others he worked with as well as some who preceded him. These accounts are based on a series of interviews with Dr. Peck carried out by the author, between 1991-2001.