Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Patrick C. Lucia

Patrick C. Lucia Ph.D., M.S., B.S., P.E., G.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Pat Lucia received his Ph.D. degree (1980), M.S. degree (1975), and B.S. degree (1974) in Civil Engineering, all from the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate school focus was in the area of geotechnical engineering. Dr. Lucia had an exceptional career as a consulting geotechnical and environmental engineer. He was a Principal at Geosyntec Consultants from 1993 to 2012 managing the firm's Oakland office, and served as Board Chairman for the company for more than a decade. Prior to that, he was a Principal at Woodward-Clyde Consultants, leading their hazardous waste management practice. He held several additional positions earlier in his career and served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1966 to 1969. After retiring from Geosyntec in 2012, he served on the CEE faculty as an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Davis where he taught advanced soil mechanics and a course on professional practice. He also served as the advisor to the UC Davis Geotechnical Graduate Student Society. Dr. Lucia passed away in 2018.

Dr. Lucia was one of the most accomplished and respected consulting geotechnical engineers in California. He was recognized for his practice expertise and experience in several areas including: (i) stability of natural hillside slopes and constructed embankments, dams, and levees; and (ii)  environmental remediation and clean-up of contaminated sites. He was a longtime leader in identifying the risk management challenges faced by geotechnical engineers who provide recommendations and designs for underground construction. In this regard, while at UC Davis he completed the most comprehensive geotechnical risk management study ever undertaken, evaluating more than 1500 claims against geotechnical engineers. The study identified the greatest areas of risk to geotechnical engineers and recommended changes in the Standard of Care in geotechnical practice to mitigate those risks.

Dr. Lucia was an invited Keynote Lecturer at the ASCE GeoCongress (2012), at the ASCE Ohio River Valley Section Annual Symposium (2011), at the NATO Advanced Studies Institute on Groundwater Pollution Control (1995), and at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Monie A. Ferst Symposium (1994). He was also invited as a short course instructor by both the National Groundwater Association and University of Wisconsin, Madison. From 1989 to 1996 he served on the engineering board reviewing the studies of the failure of the Bay Bridge and the proposed repairs to the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Dr. Lucia had a long history of support for Berkeley CEE. From 1984 to 1986, he served as a Visiting Lecturer to the geoengineering program teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. He was a frequent guest speaker to the geoengineering group, and in the “Art and Science of Civil Engineering” undergraduate course. He also established the Geosyntec graduate student fellowship in geotechnical engineering.