headshot of Ariaratnam]

Samuel T. Ariaratnam, Ph.D., P.E., P.Eng, NAC, Dist.M.ASCE, professor and Beavers-Ames chair in Heavy Construction at the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, Arizona State University, has been honored with inclusion by ASCE in its 2022 class of distinguished members for his outstanding leadership and contributions in academia, research, practice, and education in construction methods used for trenchless and underground construction.

Ariaratnam is recognized as the leading researcher within what is known as the “underground infrastructure management and rehabilitation research community,” where the particular focus is on trenchless engineering applications of horizontal directional drilling, pipe replacement, and underground asset management. He is one of the field’s most creative minds, having developed a trajectory of novel use-inspired research that bridged the academia-industry gap with long-lasting impacts on both sectors.

When he co-authored the seminal Horizontal Directional Drilling Good Practices Guidelines in 2001, it was to international acclaim. The book and its subsequent editions have served as the reference book for most court cases involving HDD practices gone awry. Ariaratnam’s early work on underground construction practices as they relate to resilience and sustainability were published before those two terms were national buzzwords. He has been prolific in publishing on a wide area of underground engineering and construction and is recognized worldwide for his eminence on the topic. 

He has been a leader in diverse aspects of civil engineering, such as helping in the formation of the Cross-Bore Committee to address the issues of gas explosions due to HDD and sewer line intersections. Through his research and educational initiatives, he has received recognition from the California Department of Transportation, City of Los Angeles, and the North American Society for Trenchless Technology. ASCE has awarded him the John O. Bickel Award, Arthur M. Wellington Prize, Pipeline Division Award of Excellence, and the Stephen D. Bechtel Pipeline Engineering Award. He was also elected to the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2018 and to the National Academy of Construction in 2019.

Ariaratnam has authored over 350 technical papers and reports, co-authored eight textbooks, is a co-holder of five patents, and has given over 270 invited presentations worldwide. He served by appointment on two study committees of the U.S. National Academies. In March 2022, Ariaratnam was appointed by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to serve on the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC).  He is a professional engineer in Arizona and Ontario, Canada.

ASCE will honor the 2022 class of distinguished members during the ASCE 2022 Convention, Oct. 24, in Anaheim, California.