Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Richard E. Goodman

Richard E. Goodman Ph.D., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Richard E. Goodman received his Ph.D. (1964) degree in Engineering Science (Geological Engineering) from the University of California, Berkeley where he studied as a Ford Foundation Fellow from 1960 to 1963.  He received his B.S. (1955) degree in Geology and M.S. (1958) in Civil Engineering and Economic Geology, both from Cornell University.  He served on the faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering at U.C. Berkeley from 1964 to 1994, first as Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, then as full Professor of Geological Engineering.  From 1994 to present, he has held the position of Emeritus Professor of Engineering.

Through his research and consulting, Professor Goodman made seminal contributions in the areas of engineering geology and rock mechanics.  He developed an apparatus and method for in-situ measurement of rock properties, also known as the “Goodman Jack”. In his pioneering work in identification of failure modes and kinematics of jointed (blocky) rock masses, he developed the base friction apparatus and, later, working with Dr. Gen Hua Shi, the block theory.  He is a prolific author with an impressive list of fundamental and advanced texts, including Methods of Geological Engineering in Discontinuous Rocks (1976); Introduction to Rock Mechanics (1980 and 1989); Block Theory and its Application to Rock Engineering, co-authored with Gen-Hua Shi (1984); and Engineering Geology – Rock in Engineering Construction (1993). He also authored the widely-acclaimed historical book Karl Terzaghi – The Engineer as an Artist (1999).  In addition, he has authored or co-authored more than 200 technical papers for journal and conference publications. He is an internationally known consultant having worked on numerous major rock engineering projects around the world.

Professor Goodman has won numerous awards, including the E.B. Burwell Award from the Geological Society of America (1977); the Basic Research Award from the U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics (1984); and the H. Bolton Seed Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 1991 and he was named the Rankine Lecturer by the British Geotechnical Society in 1995. The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute named him as their Terzaghi Fellow for 1995/1996.  Professor Goodman has given numerous honorary lectures, including the 1995 Rankine Lecture, the 2000 George F. Sowers Memorial Lecture at Georgia Tech, and the 2000 Civil Engineering History and Heritage Award from ASCE.