Kenneth H. Stokoe, professor in geotechnical engineering, was selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as the Karl Terzaghi Lecturer for 2011. The lecture recognizes an individual for their exemplary contributions to the field of soils and geomaterials and is one of the highest honors within the geotechnical engineering community.
Established in 1960, the Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering Division of ASCE (now known as the GeoInstitute), created this lecture series to honor Karl Terzaghi, the father of the profession, by annually recognizing the contributions of a peer in the field of geotechnology.
“I was completely surprised when they notified me,” says Stokoe. “I simply enjoy what I do and there were so many worthy candidates who I would have nominated ahead of me.”
Stokoe gave the Terzaghi Lecture, “Seismic Measurements and Geotechnical Engineering” as part of Geo-Frontiers, the largest gathering of geotechnical professionals in North America, on March 15, 2011. Over 1,000 people attended his lecture.
“I immensely enjoyed the opportunity and was shocked when I realized how many people where there,” he said. Many former students, including his first Ph.D. student at UT Austin, attended his lecture. These graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia, business and government, a great source of pride for Stokoe.
He was also quite pleased that his wife, two daughters, sons-in-law, and four grandchildren were able to attend. His administrative assistant for 30 years, Teresa Tice-Boggs, also accompanied the family to the lecture. “The high point of the evening for my grandchildren was taking a stretch SUV limo from the lecture to the dinner,” says Stokoe. “There are many cell phone pictures of them enjoying the limo’s lights and music.”
Stokoe gave a repeat performance in Austin in early April as the 2011 Lymon C. Reese Distinguished Lecturer. Colleagues Drs. Jose Roesset and William Marcuson gave a surprise introduction and provided a humorous summary of Stokoe’s career.
Stokoe holds the Jennie C. and Milton T. Graves Chair in Engineering and has been on the faculty at UT since 1973. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where he worked closely with Profs. Bill Richart, Jr. and Dick Woods. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1997 and has been working in the areas of in situ seismic measurements, laboratory measurements of dynamic material properties, and dynamic soil-structure interaction for the past 40 years.