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T.H. Wu Distinguished Lecture

February 09, 2018
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
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The Ohio State University

Columbus, OH 43210
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Geo-Alchemy (Turning Sand into Sandstone) and other Biogeotechnologies

Biogeotechnical engineering is based upon the premise that through 3.8 billion years of trial and error (i.e., evolution) nature has developed efficient and sustainable solutions to many of the problems that vex geotechnical engineers. The biogeotechnology that has gained the most attention over the past 15 years is bio-mediated calcium carbonate precipitation, wherein microbes are used to induce precipitation of calcium carbonate (calcite) in granular soils, turning cohesionless sand into a sandstone-like material. Successes in laboratory testing and limited field trials suggest that this technique can non-disruptively mitigate the potential for earthquake-induced liquefaction under and around existing facilities. Other applications of carbonate precipitation technology include fugitive dust control, tunneling in running and flowing sands, and enhancement of foundation bearing capacity. Other biogeotechnologies currently being explored by geotechnical engineers include development of root-inspired earth reinforcement and foundation systems, in situ creation of barriers to contaminant transport, enhanced soil penetration systems, and motile subsurface investigation probes and excavation systems.

Edward Kavazanjian, Jr., Ph.D., D.GE, NAE
Edward Kavazanjian, Jr., Ph.D., D.GE, NAE, is a Regents Professor and the Ira A. Fulton Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU). He joined the faculty at ASU in August 2004 after 20 years as a practicing geotechnical engineer. Dr. Kavazanjian has a Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkely. He is recognized for his work on the properties of municipal solid waste, the design and construction of waste containment systems, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and the emerging field of biogeotechnical engineering. He is recipient of the 2009 Ralph B. Peck, 2010 Thomas A. Middlebrooks, and 2011 Karl Terzaghi awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers for his contributions to landfill engineering. In February2013 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In August 2015, he became director of the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-Inspired Geotechnics, a National Science Foundation-funded Gen-3 Engineering Research Center headquartered at Arizona State.

The lecture is sponsored by The Ohio State University, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, and co-sponsored by the Central Ohio Geo-Institute Chapter.

Professor T.H. Wu is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University.  The T.H. Wu Fund, endowed on June 24, 2011, promotes excellence in civil engineering by way of lectures by eminent practitioners and academics in the profession.

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