ASCE has honored Andrew J. Whittle, Sc.D., P.E., P.Eng., NAE, M.ASCE, with the 2024 Karl Terzaghi Lecture for groundbreaking contributions in the formulation of constitutive models for representing the complex mechanical properties of soils and their application in predicting the performance of foundations and underground construction projects.
Whittle has been actively involved both in research and consulting with constitutive modeling and numerical implementation of advanced models to understand the behavior and performance of geotechnical structures and excavations in comparison with field measurements. He has made groundbreaking contributions in the analysis and modeling of excavations which are referenced as a roadmap for best practices in modeling excavations. His work with his students has highlighted the importance of small-strain nonlinearity on the estimation of excavation-induced ground deformations.
Whittle and his collaborators developed and employed numerical analysis techniques to compute general purpose upper and lower bound solutions that define collapse loads for geotechnical systems. These powerful techniques provide more reliable solutions for computing base stability of excavations, tunnel face, slope stability, and bearing capacity while representing the actual site subsurface stratigraphy. His research has also been widely used in the design of foundation systems for deep-water oil production facilities and in major urban excavation and tunneling projects. Whittle has been able to introduce fundamental cutting-edge innovations and put them into geotechnical engineering practice. His career reflects the spirit of Karl Terzaghi’s approach to geotechnical engineering, strong on fundamentals and innovations yet highly relevant to engineering practice.
He has published more than 250 papers in refereed journals and conferences and received several important awards for his work from ASCE. He was the 2007 CGS Cross-Canada Lecturer and the 2018 ASCE GI Cross USA Lecturer. In 2010 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
The Karl Terzaghi Lecture is awarded, upon the recommendation of the Board of Governors of the Geo-Institute, to a distinguished engineer who will deliver the Terzaghi Lecture at an appropriate meeting of the Society.