News & Features

Kenneth Stokoe Named ASCE Distinguished Member

 Kenneth Stokoe wearing safety vest, standing next to tractor

Aug.9, 2016

Professor Kenneth Stokoe, the Jennie C. and Milton T. Graves chair in engineering, was recently named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Distinguished Membership is the highest honor ASCE can bestow. It is reserved for civil engineers who have attained eminence in some branch of engineering or in related arts and sciences, including the fields of engineering education and construction. Stokoe is recognized for world-renowned contributions to the understanding of soil dynamics in geotechnical engineering.

Several of Stokoe's developments are commonly used by engineers worldwide, including resonant column apparatus to assess soil properties; cross-hole seismic methods for measurement of in situ wave velocities in soil and rock; and a spectral-analysis-of-surface-waves method for geotechnical and earthquake engineering applications.

Stokoe was an early advocate of the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) program at the National Science Foundation, and his team at the University of Texas at Austin developed a world-class, large-scale, mobile field capability for nonintrusive and nondestructive characterization of the ground. He was also the first to measure modulus degradation of soil in situ using the large NEES Center shakers.

As an educator, he has mentored many graduate and doctorate students and has played a key role in elevating the geotechnical engineering program at the University of Texas at Austin. His former students have gone on to successful careers in academia, business and goverment, a great source of pride for Stokoe. "I simply enjoy what I do," said Stokoe.

“This recognition is a reflection of the tremendous advancements that Ken has made in civil engineering, and particularly in geotechnical engineering," said Department Chair Richard Corsi.  “His efforts contribute to our great stature as an academic community.”

Stokoe’s research achievements have earned him several awards, including the Karl Terzaghi Lecture and the H. Bolton Seed Medal from ASCE, the Harold Mooney Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysics, Frank Friechkenect Award from the Engineering and Environmental Geophysics Society, and the C.A. Hogentogler Award from the American Society for Testing and Materials.

The 2016 class of Distinguished Members will receive their honors at the ASCE 2016 Convention, Sept. 28 through Oct. 1, in Portland, OR.