2014 Terzaghi Lecture: Energy Geotechnology:
Enabling New Insights into Soil Behaviour

Professor J. Carlos Santamarina


Energy is critical to life, and the coming decades will see worldwide population growth and associated economic development that will result in a pronounced increase in energy demand. Historically, geotechnical engineering has been crucial to projects that have sustained societal transformations. Once again, geotechnical engineering has a central role to play in the evolving energy challenge, from resource recovery and infrastructure development, to energy storage and waste management. Examples during this lecture and details in the accompanying manuscript show that the emerging field of energy geotechnology drives us to reconsider the basic tenets of geotechnical engineering (such as soil formation, index properties, and classification), to extend our understanding of geomaterials (at high pressure and temperature, long time scales, and large number of repetitions), to recognize new phenomena (most often couplings between hydraulic, thermal, chemical, biological and mechanical processes, and various forms of localization), and to advance technological innovations for characterization (in situ, sampling, and laboratory) and monitoring.

J Carlos SantamarinaAbout Professor J. Carlos Santamarina

J. Carlos Santamarina is a Professor at the Earth Science & Engineering Physical Science and Engineering division of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (SA), after spending a number of years at the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA). Dr. Santamarina graduated from Universidad Nacional de Cordoba (Ingeniero Civil), and completed graduate studies at the University of Maryland (MSc) and Purdue University (PhD).

He taught at NYU-Polytechnic University and at the University of Waterloo (Canada). Two books and more than 200 publications authored by Dr. Santamarina summarize salient concepts and research results. His former doctoral students are faculty members, researchers or practicing engineers at leading universities and organizations worldwide. Dr. Santamarina is a frequent keynote speaker at international events; a member of both Argentinean National Academies (Sciences and Engineering); and a member of the standing Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering at the USA National Academies. He is a recipient of a number of prestigious awards including the ASTM Hogentogler Award and the 2014 Terzaghi Lecture.

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