Briaud embarks on ASCE Cross-USA lecture tour

CrossUSABriaudDr. Jean-Louis Briaud, distinguished professor and holder of the Spencer J. Buchanan Chair in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, was selected to be the 2015-2016 Cross-USA lecturer for the Geo-Institute (GI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Selection criteria include prestige in the geoprofessional community, professional achievements and lecture abilities.

Normally, a lecturer presents at five different U.S. locations at least, however Briaud received a higher than average number of requests. To honor these, he has decided to visit 20 locations.  

“In 2008, when I was GI president, along with the board of governors, we created this lecture series based on a model I saw in Canada. I thought it was a really great way to serve those in our field,” said Briaud. “When I was told I had 20 requests, I immediately felt it was worthwhile to visit all locations. This type of service benefits the GI and Texas A&M. It creates value on these students’ degrees and their education.”

Briaud’s topics range from geotechnical risk factors to foundation design and bridge scour. His lecture locations include the University of California at Berkeley, Fugro Consultants, Inc. in Houston, Florida Institute of Technology, Virginia Tech, the University of Alaska, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Mines in Russia.

A distinguished member and technical regional director in ASCE, and a registered professional engineer, Briaud received his bachelor’s degree from the Ecole Speciale des Travaux Publics in France in 1972, and his doctorate from the University of Ottawa in Canada in 1979. His expertise is in foundation engineering and more generally geotechnical engineering. He is currently president of the Federation of International Geoengineering Societies. He has served as president of the Association of Geotechnical Engineering Professors in the U.S., the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.

Among other awards, he has received the ASCE Ralph B.  Peck Award, the Canadian Geotechnical Society Geoffrey Meyerhof Foundation Engineering Award, the American Society for Testing and Materials Hogentogler Award, the ASCE Huber Research Prize and the ASCE Martin Kapp Award. Over the last 35 years, Briaud has conducted about 10 million of research, most of which was on foundations and retaining walls. He has supervised 50 doctoral students and more than 90 master’s students. He is author of the books “Geotechnical Engineering: Unsaturated and Saturated Soils” and “The Pressuremeter,” and has published about 300 articles and reports in geotechnical engineering.

ASCE represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 174 countries. Founded in 1852, ASCE is the nation’s oldest engineering society. Through the expertise of its active membership, ASCE is a leading provider of technical and professional conferences and continuing education, the world’s largest publisher of civil engineering content, and an authoritative source for codes and standards that protect the public. The society advances civil engineering technical specialties through nine dynamic institutes, and leads with its many professional- and public-focused programs.