A celebration honoring the 100th anniversary of Professor Leonards' birthday
April 29, 2021 – 2pm EDT
Online Event Sponsored by the Purdue Geotechnical Society
Participation is free, registration required at https://tinyurl.com/tpm83yj2
We invite you to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Professor Gerald A. Leonards’ birthday through an informal event to be held online on the afternoon of April 29th. This will be about a 2.5-hour session using ZOOM.
There will be short presentations by six of Jerry's former colleagues or students that will highlight his legacy and connect it to the state of practice today and the future of our profession:
Dr. Diane Baxter, CATHIE Group
Prof. Jonathan Bray, UC Berkeley
Dr. Rick Deschamps, Nicholson Construction Company
Prof. David Frost, Georgia Tech
Prof. Jim Lambrechts, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Prof. Carlos Santamarina, KAUST
There also will be opportunities for interested participants to briefly share personal stories and experiences related to Jerry with remarks of 2-3 minutes. If you intend to share a personal story and/or have scanned photos of Jerry you would like us to show, please contact Philippe Bourdeau (firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 15.
Professor Gerald A. Leonards was born on April, 29, 1921 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He obtained his BSCE at McGill University in 1943 and received both MSCE and PhD from Purdue in 1948 and 1952, respectively. He was a faculty member at Purdue from 1952 to 1991, when he was named Professor Emeritus.
Professor Leonards' research interests were very wide and he made pioneering contributions to knowledge on strength and compressibility of compacted clay soils, strength and consolidation of natural deposits, cracking of earth dams, frost action, analysis of buried conduits, pile foundations, stability of slopes and embankments on soft clays, stress-deformation and liquefaction of sand, and methodologies for investigating failures. He published extensively nationally and internationally. His 1962 book on "Foundation Engineering" quickly became a standard reference worldwide.
Throughout his career, Dr. Leonards' insight and expertise was sought on earthwork and foundation projects all over the world, a number of which involved the investigation of failures. He was appointed as the only non-European to sit on an official government commission in Italy to investigate ways to stabilize the Tower of Pisa.
Over his career Dr. Leonards received numerous awards from professional societies. In 1980 he was honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers by being asked to present the Terzaghi Lecture and also received the Terzaghi Award in 1989. In 1988 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
From the students' perspective, "GAL" was a dedicated professor and researcher, who never missed an opportunity to learn more about his chosen field and to share his views on new developments. His influence continues to be felt through the impact he had on his students and colleagues.
Adapted from text by V.P. Drnevich for Geotech Hall of Fame Web Site