Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Iraj Noorany

Iraj Noorany Ph.D., P.E., G.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Iraj Noorany received his M.S. (1960) and Ph.D. (1964) degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate school focus was geotechnical engineering. He also received a B.S. degree (1957) in Civil Engineering from the University of Tehran. For more than 50 years, Professor Noorany has been an exemplary contributor to the geotechnical engineering profession as a teacher, researcher, and practitioner. After completing his Ph.D. at Berkeley, he joined the faculty at San Diego State University (SDSU), where he served for nearly 40 years in teaching, research and as Department Chair. In addition, Professor Noorany has been affiliated with U.C. San Diego as a Visiting Professor.

Professor Noorany's research focus has been in marine geotechnics and unsaturated soil behavior. He initiated some of the earliest marine geotechnical research in the country. He authored seminal publications on the properties and classification of marine sediments, methods of offshore sampling and design of seabed collectors for manganese nodule mining. On the second topic, he has been a leading researcher on the behavior of deep compacted soil fills and the wetting-induced hydro-compression and lateral deformation of those fills. His work in this area represents the current state-of-the-art and state-of-practice. He has authored or co-authored approximately 50 technical papers in archival journals and peer-reviewed conference proceedings. He served on the Board of the International Journal of Marine Geotechnology, and as an Editor of the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering.

Dr. Noorany has nearly 40 years of consulting experience in California, beginning as an affiliate and Associate of Woodward-Clyde Consultants and later as an individual consultant.

Amongst his many awards, Professor Noorany received the 1966 ASCE Middlebrooks Award, the 2010 and 2015 ASTM R.S. Ladd D18 Standards Development Award, and many teaching awards. In 2009 he was the UC Berkeley Geo-Engineering Distinguished Lecturer. He was elected a Fellow of ASCE in 2012.

Professor Noorany has maintained an exceptionally close relationship with the Geosystems program at Berkeley throughout his entire career, as a guest lecturer, short-course instructor, and in providing support for graduate fellowships.