Professor Alejandro Martinez Honored with the ASCE Casagrande Award

Professor Alejandro Martinez is one of two recipients of the 2022 Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award, with the other recipient being Professor Brett Maurer of University of Washington, Seattle.

From the ASCE website: Professor Martinez was chosen for pioneering research using multiscale interdisciplinary techniques that have advanced the emerging field of bio-inspired geotechnics, characterization of unconventional materials, and customization of soil-structure interfaces for civil infrastructure and site characterization tools. Innovations that Professor Martinez has significantly contributed to include:

  • snakeskin-inspired anisotropic surfaces to optimize the performance of soil-structure interfaces present on piles, geomembranes, and pipelines
  • worm- and caecilian-inspired self-penetrating in situ probes to optimize characterization of the subsurface
  • tree root–inspired anchorage and foundation systems that require a fraction of the materials and energy relative to current industry solutions.

Using the UC Davis NHERI centrifuge facility, he performed fly-ash runout tests, working to connect fly-ash moisture content with material characterization (cone penetration, shear wave velocity) and the stability and flow failure of impoundments. Professor Martinez has also contributed to innovative characterization and customization of how structural loads are transferred across soil-structure interfaces, from a pile foundation to the surrounding soil, for example, in order to improve civil infrastructure performance.

The Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award is presented by the ASCE to recognize outstanding accomplishments in geotechnical engineering, evidenced by completed works, reports, or papers. Congratulations, Professor Martinez!

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