ASCE has honored James Hambleton, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE, with the 2019 Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award for his innovative research in engineering and computational plasticity extending the domain of geotechnical engineering, and for outstanding teaching and service that strengthens the profession and inspires the next generation of civil engineers.
Hambleton brings a clear long-term vision for research in soil-machine interaction. He is breathing new life into an old (but important) topic by reasserting the importance of soil mechanics in designs for the next generation of efficient robotic machinery for earth moving and excavation. His research couples state-of-the-art tools in computational geomechanics with controlled laboratory measurements using a six-axis robotic excavator. Based on his excellent publication record (especially the recent SKM paper), the geotechnical community can look forward to major impacts from Hambleton’s research.
He is an outstanding scholar and a superior communicator, remarkably robust in leadership, service, and teaching. All who work with him, past and present, attest to “his infectious exuberance for engineering, his willingness to engage students both inside and outside the classroom, and his phenomenal abilities with written and oral communication” (Prof. Roberto Ballarini, Thomas and Laura Hsu Professor and department chair at the University of Houston and formerly head of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota).
Hambleton has a rich intellect and voracious appetite for science and engineering, and these are blended in balance with a friendly and captivating personality. His potential is exceptional for high productivity in scholarship and discovery.
The Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award is presented in recognition of outstanding accomplishments as evidenced by completed works, reports, or papers in the field of geotechnical engineering. The award was established to provide professional development opportunities for outstanding young practitioners, researchers, and teachers of geotechnical engineering.