Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Edward Kavazanjian

Edward Kavazanjian Jr. Ph.D., P.E., G.E., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Ed Kavazanjian received his Ph.D. (1978) in Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He also received a B.S. degree (1973) and a M.S. degree (1975) in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After completing his Ph.D., he spent seven years on the faculty at Stanford University, followed by 19 years in engineering practice with Parsons Brinckerhoff, The Earth Technology Company, and Geosyntec Consultants. Since 2004, he has been on the faculty at Arizona State University where he is a Regents Professor and the Ira A. Fulton Professor of Geotechnical Engineering.

Prof. Kavazanjian is recognized for his work on the mechanical properties of waste materials, analysis and design of waste containment systems, and geotechnical earthquake engineering. In 2013, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions in these areas. In 2015, he became Director of and Principal Investigator for the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center focusing on the emerging field of biogeotechnical engineering. As a practitioner, he contributed to some of the most challenging geoenvironmental and geotechnical engineering projects in the country, including Superfund remediation and landfill design projects, major transportation and tunneling projects, and numerous specialty studies. He is the author or co-author of over 100 archival journal publications and conference papers and of several national technical guidance documents. He has a long and rich record of service to the profession. Of note, he chaired the recent National Research Council (NRC) Committee on State of the Art and Practice in Earthquake Induced Liquefaction Assessment and was a member of the NRC Committee on the Assessment of the Performance of Engineered Barriers for Waste Containment. He also served on the NRC Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering, chairing the Committee from 2012 to 2015, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Geo-Institute Board of Governors from 2005-2011, serving as President from 2009-2010.  He also served as President of the U.S. Universities Council for Geotechnical Engineering Education and Research from 2015-2017.

Prof. Kavazanjian has been recognized by the profession for his career accomplishments. From the American Society of Civil Engineers, he has been awarded the Karl Terzaghi Award (2011), Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award (2010), and Ralph B. Peck Award (2009).

Prof. Kavazanjian has been a long-time friend and supporter of Berkeley CEE. On several occasions, he has partnered with CEE faculty on sponsored research projects, has served on the dissertation committee of CEE Ph.D. students, and has been a frequent lecturer on campus. In 2012, he was invited to be a Geotechnical Distinguished Lecturer at the SFGI-U.C. Berkeley 30th Annual Geoengineering Distinguished Lecture Series and Banquet.