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History of Geo- and Space Sciences An open-access journal
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Volume 9, issue 2
Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 9, 107-123, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-9-107-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 9, 107-123, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-9-107-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Tribute 13 Aug 2018

Tribute | 13 Aug 2018

Contribution to the knowledge of early geotechnics during the twentieth century: Arthur Casagrande

Rubén Galindo-Aires, Antonio Lara-Galera, and Gonzalo Guillán-Llorente Rubén Galindo-Aires et al.
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Abstract. Arthur Casagrande (1902–1981) is one of the main people responsible for the geotechnics that we know today. Born in Haidenschaft, now Slovenia, he went to the United States in 1926 to participate in major civil engineering projects: he graduated in 1924 from the Technische Hochschule in Vienna, Austria. On this visit to the USA he met Karl Terzaghi (1883–1963), the father of soil mechanics and geotechnology, who taught him the basic concepts of this discipline to which Casagrande dedicated the rest of his life.

In his early years of work with Terzaghi, Casagrande focused on research studies, such as the development on the limits of Atterberg published in 1932, and the development of equipment for soil trials, such as the Casagrande spoon also developed in 1932. Casagrande not only dedicated himself to research in his early years, but he also carried out studies throughout his professional career, such as those carried out on liquefaction, which he began in 1937 and continued throughout his life.

Casagrande not only made important contributions in the field of geotechnology, but also lectured at Harvard University, which he joined in 1932. He also consulted and was involved in several projects for the Army Corps of Engineers of the United States. In addition, Casagrande made an important contribution to the 1st International Conference of Soil Mechanics and Foundations Engineering that took place at Harvard University in 1936.

The aim of this paper is to analyze, through the biography of Casagrande, his contribution to the field of geotechnics, based on his research, teaching, and consulting work. Moreover, Casagrande influenced other important people in the field, such as Terzaghi, Peck, and even the work with his brother Leo, and, of course, the influence of these people on Casagrande's team.

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Arthur Casagrande is one of the main people responsible for the geotechnics that we know today. Born in Slovenia, he went to the United States in 1926 to participate in major civil engineering projects. In his years of work with Karl Terzaghi, Casagrande focused on research studies, such as the development on the limits of Atterberg, and equipment for soil trials. Casagrande also was professor at Harvard University and a consultant.
Arthur Casagrande is one of the main people responsible for the geotechnics that we know today....
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