Four Engineers to Receive ASCE’s Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award

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August 11, 2014

Ece Eseller-Bayat, M.ASCE; Mishac K. Yegian, P.E., F.ASCE; Akram Alshawabkeh, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE; and Seda Gokyer, S.M.ASCE, are the recipients of the Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award for their papers “Liquefaction Response of Partially Saturated Sands.  I: Experimental Result and II: Empirical Model,” published in the June 2013 issue of ASCE’s Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. These papers present a set of carefully conducted experimental data to evaluate the liquefaction response of partially saturated sands. Laboratory tests were performed using a wide range of the degree of saturation, relative density, and cyclic shear strain amplitude. The experimental data indicate that partially saturated sands with for a degree of saturation less than 96.3% do not liquefy but can develop excess pore pressures depending on the degree of saturation, relative density, and amplitude and number of shear strain cycles. The experimental data were also used to develop an empirical model for the prediction of excess pore pressure ratio in partially saturated sands experiencing seismic excitation. These papers provide a set of new and very useful experimental data on liquefaction potential of partially saturated soils. It is expected the geotechnical earthquake engineering community significantly benefits from the findings of these papers.

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