Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Steven L. Kramer

Steven L. Kramer Ph.D., P.E., D.GE., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Steve Kramer received his B.S. (1977), M.Eng. (1979), and Ph.D. (1985) degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate school focus was in geotechnical earthquake engineering. Upon graduation, he joined the faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Washington (UW), rising from Assistant Professor to the rank of Full Professor. During his 36 years at UW, Professor Kramer became one of the university’s most accomplished and respected professors. Beyond UW, he was appointed as a Senior Research Scientist at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (2003) and as a faculty member at the Centre for Post Graduate Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (ROSE School) at the University of Pavia in Italy.

Professor Kramer is a pre-eminent researcher, teacher, and consultant in the area of geotechnical earthquake engineering, with a focus on soil liquefaction, seismic slope stability, and seismic site response. He is the author of Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (Prentice Hall), the first book written on that subject. In consulting, he has contributed his technical expertise to more than 40 critical infrastructure projects, including the Alaska Way Viaduct (AWV) Replacement Project in Seattle; system-wide seismic risk assessment of water supplies in Seattle and Portland; the Millennium Tower mediation; and investigation of the Feijao tailings dam failure in Brazil.

Professor Kramer has been principal or co-principal investigator on nearly 60 sponsored research projects. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 refereed journal and technical conference papers. He has given more than 120 invited lectures worldwide. In recognition of his accomplishments, he received the prestigious ASCE Norman Medal twice (2009 and 2017) for best paper published in a society journal. He also received the 2018 ASCE H. Bolton Seed Award and the 2016 Nigel Priestly Prize from the European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering, being the first geotechnical engineer to receive the latter award. He was awarded the ASCE Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award (1991), ASCE Huber Engineering Research Prize (1996), and Puget Sound Academic Engineer of the Year Award (2012). He also delivered the Nabor Carillo Lecture (2018), the highest honor from Mexico in geotechnical engineering. In 2020, Professor Kramer was elected both as a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineering and as a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Professor Kramer has been a long-time friend of Berkeley CEE, as a frequent guest lecturer, as a collaborator with Berkeley Geosystems faculty, and through service on the Executive Committee of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center.