Academy of Distinguished Alumni

craig benson

Craig H. Benson

Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1989
M.S., University of Texas at Austin, 1987
B.S., Lehigh University, 1985

Craig H. Benson is the Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Virginia (UVA) and a renowned geoenvironmental engineer with a distinguished record of research. Recognized worldwide for his expertise in waste containment systems, he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His work is the interface of the built and natural environments and is focused on environmental containment of solid, hazardous, radioactive, and mining wastes;  beneficial  use  of  industrial  byproducts;  and sustainable infrastructure.

Benson has been conducting experimental and analytical research in geoenvironmental engineering for over 30 years. His research has included laboratory studies, large-scale field experiments, and computer modeling, and has led to fundamental advances in design, construction, and performance assessment of barrier systems used for waste containment facilities. Findings from his research on lining systems have been incorporated into federal and state codes as well as guidance documents issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state regulatory authorities.

Prior to his appointment at UVA, Benson was Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Geological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). At  UW-Madison,  he  held  several  leadership  roles  with  an  environmental  engineering  emphasis, including Director of Sustainability Research and Education for the university, Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chair of the Department of Geological Engineering, and Director of the Recycled Materials Resource Center.

Throughout his career, Benson has received several awards for his work, including the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation and the Distinguished Young Faculty Award from the U.S. Department of Energy. He has also received the Huber Research Prize, the Alfred Nobel Prize, and the James T. Croes Medal as well as the Middlebrooks, Collingwood, and Casagrande Awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers.  

Benson is a member of the ASCE Geo-Institute (GI) and is former Editor-in-Chief of the ASCE/GI Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. He currently serves on the ASCE/GI Board of Governors and the Executive Committee of ASTM Committee D18 on Soil and Rock and is also a founding member of ASTM Subcommittee D18.14 on Geotechnics of Sustainable Construction.

Inducted October 9, 2009