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Briaud elected technical region director in ASCE

Wednesday, June 10, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Annemarie Gasser
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Dr. 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 recently elected technical region director in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for 2015-2018. Briaud brings over many years of experience to the position, and has innovative visions for the technical branch of ASCE. He wants a more balanced structure that better represents the importance of the institutes, whose publications generate around 40 percent of the budget for ASCE. He also feels there needs to be a shift in focus from numbers to quality education in civil engineering.

 

“It is time to make an effort to concentrate on improving the engineering practice and education. There needs to be a focus on quality, not quantity; we need to raise the bar and encourage pioneers and think tanks more often,” said Briaud.

 

“The first time Dick Fosbury, a civil engineering student from Oregon State, first used his method in the high jump, many were quick to criticize. It was so different from what was considered standard, like the scissors jump or straddle technique. But that did not stop him from using his intelligence to craft a new approach by studying the position of his center of gravity. When he took the gold at the 1968 Summer Olympics, it was a huge deal. All of this to say that innovation takes courage, patience, effort and a great deal of time. We need to encourage this discovery process again,” he said.

 

A distinguished member of 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., and 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 (CGS) Geoffrey Meyerhof Foundation Engineering Award, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Hogentogler Award, the ASCE Huber Research Prize, and the ASCE Martin Kapp Award. Over the last 35 years, Dr. Briaud has conducted about 10 million dollars of research, most of which was on foundations and retaining walls. He has supervised 50 doctorate students and over 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 146,000 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 eight dynamic institutes, and leads with its many professional- and public-focused programs.


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