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Standing out among geotechnical engineers and educators

February 26, 2009

Edward Kavazanjian, associate professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering, has won the 2009 Ralph B. Peck Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The annual award honors outstanding contributions to the geotechnical engineering profession through the publication of documented case histories.

The Peck Award recognizes Kavazanjian’s contributions through his work specifically on waste containment systems, including design of landfills to withstand seismic activity and post-closure development of these facilities.

It one of several honors Kavazanjian has garnered recently.

In February, Kavazanjian was recognized during a Greater Phoenix Area Engineers Week ceremony as 2008 Outstanding Engineering Educator of the Year by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).

The honor is awarded for outstanding contributions to engineering education – particularly in mentoring students and young engineers – and exceptional contributions through his work to the public at large. Professional integrity, ethics, and statewide reputation are among criteria on which recipients are selected.

In January, Kavazanjian was appointed chair of the Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering (COGGE) of the National Academies of Engineering and Science National Research Council.

COGGE is a standing committee of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources and is the focal point within the board for scientific, technical, and public-policy issues pertaining to the engineering applications of earth sciences.

In October of 2008, he was elected vice president of the ASCE Geo-Institute, which represents more than 11,000 ASCE members who identify themselves as geotechnical engineers. He is to become president in the fall of this year.

In that position, he sits on the ASCE Technical Region Board of Governors, which governs the seven institutes that comprise the technical arm of ASCE and provides input to the ASCE Board of Direction on overall policy matters for the society.

Kavazanjian, who came to ASU after 20 years in engineering practice, has co-authored geotechnical guidance documents for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on geotechnical earthquake engineering for highways and for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on seismic design of municipal solid waste landfills.

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