ASCE Recognizes Gray with the Ralph B. Peck Award

September 26, 2014

Donald H. Gray, M.ASCE, is the recipient of the Ralph B. Peck Award for developing new methodologies, design recommendations, and procedures for environmentally friendly biostabilization techniques, through the careful and comprehensive documenting of numerous case histories as published in scientific publications and books. Professor emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, Gray has made major and long-standing contributions in the broader field of geoenvironmental engineering, soil behavior, and soil reinforcement, and for decades he has carried out research on soil reinforcement and the influence of woody vegetation on the stability of slopes. However, the field for which he is recognized as an authority worldwide is the field of bioengineering, biostabilization, and geomorphic modification. Throughout his career, he has made unique contributions as a researcher, educator, and consultant in promoting engineering techniques for the stabilization of earth masses that are not just environmentally friendly, but are fully integrated with the environment they are engineered in. These techniques include biostabilization and land forming. With the increasing recognition of the importance of sustainability, these techniques are not only becoming accepted, but are often preferred compared with the more traditional engineering approaches. Gray has arguably made the greatest number of contributions in these fields through the development of design methodologies based on analytical evaluations for the successful implementation of these techniques in engineering practice, so that their performance in the field can be assessed, and through the development of recommended practices based on the performance of these projects. Gray, who has taught courses and workshops at the University of Michigan on the engineering properties of soils, soil/site improvement, slope stability, and engineering geology, has also served as a consultant to the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and most recently the California Levee Vegetation Research Program. Gray, who is the principal author of 2 leading reference books on slope biostabilization, Biotechnical and Soil Bioengineering Slope Stabilization: A Practical Guide for Erosion Control and Biotechnical Slope Protection and Erosion Control, was also a principal investigator in a 3-year project, funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, on “Environmentally Sensitive Channel and Streambank Protection Measures.”

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