Kenneth Stokoe Receives Highest Honor for Civil Engineers

Professor Kenneth Stokoe, who holds the Jennie C. and Milton T. Graves Chair in Engineering, was recently named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Distinguished membership is the highest honor ASCE can bestow and is considered the highest honor for civil engineers. It is reserved for civil engineers who have attained eminence in some branch of engineering or in related arts and sciences, including the fields of engineering education and construction. Stokoe, a professor in the Cockrell School's Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, is recognized for world-renowned contributions to the understanding of soil dynamics in geotechnical engineering.

stokoe in the field

Several of Stokoe's developments are commonly used by engineers worldwide, including resonant column apparatus to assess soil properties; cross-hole seismic methods for measurement of in situ wave velocities in soil and rock; and a spectral-analysis-of-surface-waves method for geotechnical and earthquake engineering applications.

“This recognition is a reflection of the tremendous advancements that Ken has made in civil engineering and particularly in geotechnical engineering," said Richard Corsi, chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. “His efforts contribute to our great stature as an academic community.”

Stokoe was an early advocate of the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) program at the National Science Foundation, and his team at The University of Texas at Austin developed a world-class, large-scale, mobile-field capability for nonintrusive and nondestructive characterization of the ground. He is also the first researcher to measure modulus degradation of soil in situ using the large NEES center shakers.

As an educator, Stokoe has mentored many graduate and doctoral students and has played a key role in elevating the geotechnical engineering program in the Cockrell School. His former students have gone on to successful careers in academia, business and government, a great source of pride for Stokoe. "I simply enjoy what I do," he said.

Stokoe’s research achievements have earned him several awards, including the Karl Terzaghi Lecture and the H. Bolton Seed Medal from ASCE, the Harold Mooney Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysics, Frank Friechkenect Award from the Engineering and Environmental Geophysics Society, and the C.A. Hogentogler Award from the American Society for Testing and Materials.

The 2016 class of ASCE Distinguished Members will be recognized at the ASCE 2016 Convention, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, in Portland, Oregon.