Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Gregory B. Baecher

Gregory B. Baecher Ph.D., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Gregory B. Baecher received his B.S. (1968) degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.  He received an M.Sc. (1970) and Ph.D. (1972) in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Since 1995, he has been the G.L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), also serving as Chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) from 1995-2003.  From 1976-1988, he moved up the ranks from Assistant Professor to Professor in Civil Engineering at MIT.  Between his time at MIT and UMD, Professor Baecher co-founded and served as CEO of ConSolve, Inc., an information technology company focused on environmental visualization.    

Professor Baecher pioneered the development of geotechnical risk and reliability methods for civil infrastructure affected by natural hazards, along with approaches to manage and mitigate those risks. He has developed a national and international reputation as an authority in applying these methods in the areas of geotechnical and water resources engineering.  In recent years, much of his work has focused on dam safety and the response of levees to flooding, including actuarial issues related to flood insurance and insurance for other types of natural hazards.  After Hurricane Katrina, he was named to the Interagency Performance Evaluation Taskforce (IPET) that performed the post-Katrina assessment for New Orleans.  During his career, he has served on a number of U.S. National Research Council (NRC) committees and boards, including the Water Science and Technology Board, the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, and the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment.  He is co-author of several books, including Reliability and Statistics in Geotechnical Engineering and Risk and Uncertainty in Dam Safety

In 2012, Professor Baecher received the Panamanian National Award for Science and Technology Innovation for his work on the Panama Canal.  In 2007, he received the USACE Commander’s Award for Public Service for his work on the post-Katrina IPET.  He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 and received the Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award in 1996 and State-of-the-Art Award in 1991, both from the American Society of Civil Engineers.