NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features Arthur Casagrande, an Austrian-born American civil engineer, who is best known for his contributions to both geotechnical engineering and engineering geology.
Casagrande was born on August 28, 1902 in modern day Slovenia. He attended Technische Hochschule in Vienna, and graduated in 1924 with a degree in civil engineering. Post-graduation, he continued to work there as an assistant in the hydraulics library. However, after the death of his father and the end of World War 1, Casagrande picked up and moved to the United States in the hope to be able to create a better life for his family. Casagrande then became a private assistant at MIT, which is where he met Karl Terzaghi, and developed the shear box, hydrometer test and the liquid limit apparatus.
In 1963 Casagrande organized the first ever international conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering. This consequently lead to the creation of the international society for soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering.