Geotechnical engineering expert to present first Prakash Lecture at S&T

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On May 5, 2017

Dr. Richard D. Woods, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, will present the inaugural lecture in the Shamsher and Sally Prakash Distinguished Lecture Series in Geotechnical Engineering.

The lecture, titled “Geotechnical Impact of High Energy Construction Operations on Nearby Infrastructure,” will be held at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, May 18, in Room 125 Butler-Carlton Hall. It is free and open to the public.

The lecture will also serve as the keynote address for the 2017 GeoMO Conference, which is held the same day on the Missouri S&T campus. Engineers who attend the lecture may register for the full day of conference activities at

“Many construction operations result in the propagation of seismic waves in the ground surrounding the site of the operation,” Woods says. “These vibrations are potentially damaging to nearby infrastructure either by direct impact of the ground wave causing distortion of the structure or by settlement caused by vibrations causing shakedown settlement of loose sands.”

The lecture will discuss ways to evaluate potential damage and present criteria for limits of tolerable vibration levels for both structural and human response.

The Shamsher and Sally Prakash Distinguished Lecture Series was established through a gift from Dr. Shamsher Prakash, professor emeritus of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, and his wife, Sally.

Shamsher Prakash joined the Missouri S&T civil engineering faculty in 1978 as an associate professor in geotechnical engineering. He retired in 2000. Prakash has made numerous contributions to the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering, and he is recognized for advancing the study of soil dynamics and earthquake engineering. He is considered a pioneer in the liquefaction of silts and clays, as well as soil-pile-structure interactions.

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