ASCE has honored the writing team of Anne Lemnitzer, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE; Samuel Yniesta, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE; Riccardo Cappa, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE; and Scott Brandenberg, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, with the 2022 Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award for the paper “Settlement Rate Increase in Organic Soils Following Cyclic Loading,” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, February 2021.

Lemnitzer et al. take a refreshing and critical look at engineering approaches for estimating time-dependent settlement mechanisms in cohesive and organic soils, with particular application to levee embankments before and following earthquake loading. They provide a rational interpretation of how secondary compression occurs simultaneously with primary consolidation resulting in end-of-primary normal consolidation curves that depend on the consolidation time and thus layer thickness, rather than on arbitrary time intervals. The authors performed a series of centrifuge model tests of levees on soft organic soils subjected to earthquake loading, and used the postshaking pore pressure dissipation and settlement time histories to gain insights on the fundamental mechanisms of the time-dependent settlements. The authors further illustrated use of the open-access iConsol.js software package, which is a valuable resource for practice.  Above all, the authors provide a practical contribution, founded in sound theory and experimental work, for estimating time-dependent settlements in cohesive and organic soils.

The Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award is made to the author or authors of a paper published by the Society judged worthy of special commendation for its merit as a contribution to geotechnical engineering. Papers written by young engineers are given preference.