ASCE has honored D. Vaughan Griffiths, Ph.D., D.GE, P.E., F.ASCE, with the 2017 H. Bolton Seed Medal for his innovative software developments, publications, textbooks, and professional short courses on finite elements and probabilistic methods. His highly cited work on finite element stability analysis has transformed the way engineers perform slope-stability analysis in practice.
Griffiths is both a strong contributor to the geotechnical profession and a pioneer in numerical modeling. He has been instrumental in the advancement of the finite element analysis of geotechnical applications. Especially known is his work in the use of FEA for slope-stability analyses using the strength reduction method, and the extension of probabilistic analyses in geotechnical engineering. This is evidenced in part by his many journal publications and textbooks on the subject, which are widely used both nationally and internationally. The 1999 slope-stability paper he wrote has been recognized by G´eotechnique as one of its top four most-cited papers.
His combined efforts toward developments in numerical modeling, teaching, and professional service are noteworthy. His workshops have made him a de facto “ambassador” for the profession. He has delivered an extraordinary number of short courses to the worldwide geotechnical community. This includes deliveries of courses on the topics of the finite element method and risk assessment in geotechnical engineering.
Griffiths is currently chair of the ASCE GeoInstitute Risk Assessment and Management Committee, a core member of the equivalent ISSMGE TC304 Committee, and has co-chaired two major GeoInstitute conferences. He is a current editor of Computers and Geotechnics and a recent past editor of ASCE’s Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, and is on the editorial/advisory board of two other journals.
The H. Bolton Seed Medal recognizes outstanding contributions to teaching, research, and/or practice in geotechnical engineering.