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Karl von Terzaghi-The Father of Soil Mechanics

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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:28 am    Post subject: Karl von Terzaghi-The Father of Soil Mechanics Reply with quote

Karl von Terzaghi
The Father of Soil Mechanics

He who said "Erdbaumechanik" in 1923

KvT in anutshell:

Born: October 2, 1883 in Prague
Died: October 25, 1963 in Winchester, Massachusetts
He was married to Ruth D. Terzaghi, a geologist.
He won the Norman Medal of ASCE four times (1930, 1943, 1946, and 1955).
He was given nine honorary doctorate degrees from universities in eight different countries.
He started modern soil mechanics with his theories of consolidation, lateral earth pressures, bearing capacity, and stability.

KvT's Publications

The following is a brief list of his major publications, a complete list has not yet been compiled. A list of his first 256 papers and reports can be found in From Theory to Practice in Soil Mechanics - Karl Terzaghiby Bjerrum, et al., John Wiley and Sons, 1960. An update was published by Geotechnique, March 1964. Recently a private compilation of Terzaghi's works has been uncovered---see the Terzaghi Libraries and Museums.

Terzaghi, K., 1925, Erdbaumechanik, Franz Deuticke, Vienna
This is where he presented to the world the new science, Soil Mechanics, that he developed mainly while working at ITU and Bogazici University (then known as Robert College) in Istanbul (then known by some as Constantinople). We have a picture of that campus --The birth place of Soil Mechanics-- People who see this photo say "if you worked there you were bound to invent something." The exact birth place is at the top of the hill, in that photo, just above the left tower of the castle-- the castle, by the way, was built by Fatih in 1453. It may be worthwhile to record here that KvT has done his consolidation tests --the first in history--in cigarette boxes For the benefit of the younger generations who may not know what a cigarette box is, here is the background information about cigarette boxes.
Terzaghi, K., 1934, "Large Retaining Wall Tests," EngineeringNews Record Feb.1, March 8, April 19
This is where he presents his experimental side. He invented very ingenioustools for measurement of forces and displacements. He apparently designed,constructed, and performed all his tests himself.
Terzaghi, K., 1943, Theoretical Soil Mechanics, John Wiley andSons, New York
In this monumental work he lays it all out: consolidation theory, settlementcalculations, bearing capacity theory, lateral earth pressures and retainingwalls, shear strength and slope stability. In all cases he makes it clearthat he is doing all that to be able to solve real world problems. He alwaysgives design/analysis charts to make it easier for the engineer to applythe theories he developed or reorganized and perfected for practical use.
Terzaghi, K., and Ralph B. Peck, 1948, Soil Mechanics in EngineeringPractice, John Wiley and Sons, New York
The second edition by Ralph B. Peck, 1967
The third edition by Ralph B. Peck and Gholamreza Mesri, 1996

Stories aboutTerzaghi

KvT's famous Court Appearence story.
Story contributed by Cameran Mirza, P.E.
KvT was the advisor of one of the earliest doctoral theses awarded atMIT, Boston, MA, in all engineering fields. It is also said that at thetime, it was believed that engineers were not capable of such things asa doctoral study.

The grand master's "Home Page" is not complete, as you see.We will accept any information, advice, and opinion contributed by ourreaders until 113th birthday of the Father of Soil Mechanics.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are his books, very useful material to read:

* Terzaghi, K., Theoretical Soil Mechanics, John Wiley and Sons, New York (1943) ISBN 0-471-85305-4.

* Terzaghi, K., Peck, R. B.Ralph Brazelton PeckDr. Ralph Brazelton Peck was an eminent civil engineer specializing in soil mechanics. He died on February 18, 2008 from congestive heart failure... and Mesri, G., Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice, 3rd Ed. Wiley-Interscience (1996) ISBN 0-471-08658-4.

* Terzaghi, K., "Large Retaining Wall Tests", Engineering News Record Feb.1, March 8, April 19 (1934).

*Terzaghi, K., From theory to practice in soil mechanics;: Selections from the writings of Karl Terzaghi, with bibliography and contributions on his life and achievents  John Wiley and Sons (1967).

*Terzaghi, K., Proctor, R. V. and White, T. L., "Rock Tunneling with Steel Supports," Commercial Shearing and Stamping Co. (1946).

*Terzaghi, K., American Society of Civil Engineers, "Terzaghi Lectures, 1974-1982," American Society of Civil Engineers (1986) ISBN 087262532X

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