The University of New Hampshire Annual Pedro de Alba Lecture

in Geotechnical Engineering


2016 Lecture



Speaker: Professor I.M. Idriss, PhD

Professor Emeritus

University of California at Davis

Consulting Geotechnical Engineer, Santa Fe, NM

Date and Time: 7 April 2016, 6:30-8 PM

Networking hour (Cash Bar and Appetizer) at 5:30

Venue: University of New Hampshire, Huddleston Hall


Case histories have always played a strong role in geotechnical engineering.  They have been an essential means for: 1) improving our understanding of various phenomena, 2) calibrating analytical procedures, 3) designing and interpreting physical model tests and, 4) developing semi-empirical procedures, all under static as well as during earthquake and post-earthquake loading conditions. 

Case histories relevant to earthquakes that have proven to be particularly valuable will be presented and the key features and lessons learned will be examined.  These case histories will include: (i) landslides in Anchorage from the 1964 great Alaska earthquake; (ii) slides in Lower San Fernando Dam and at the site of Juvenile Hall from the 1971 San Fernando earthquake; (iii) extensive lateral movements [Lateral flows] that helped formulate and assisted in the development of post liquefaction residual strength of cohesionless soils from a number of earthquakes, including the case histories in Chile that Professor de Alba had investigated. Cases discussed as part of (i) provide insights gleaned from these cases regarding the behavior of lightly to moderately over-consolidated cohesive soils, and those discussed as part of (ii) and (iii) are relevant to cohesionless soils. 

For more information and in order to register please contact Jean Benoît at

Sponsorship opportunities are available in support of this annual event.


To watch the 2016 de Alba Lecture click here ; Presentation File

Previous Lectures , you can watch the recorded lectures.


Professor de Alba's Bio:

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico on April 2, 1939, Pedro A. de Alba obtained his BSCE in 1964 from the National University of Mexico (UNAM). He then worked as a design engineer for public and private sector, before obtaining his MS in 1969 from the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained his Ph.D. working on liquefaction of sands during earthquakes under the supervision of his advisor, Dr. H. Bolton Seed. After his Ph.D. in 1974, he worked as a senior engineer for Shannon & Wilson in Burlingame, California (1974-1976) and then as a research engineer at Berkeley (1976-1977) before joining the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of New Hampshire in 1977. In his 33 years at UNH he taught over twelve different courses in geotechnical engineering at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Professor de Alba was an outstanding teacher, a scholar and, above all, a gentleman. He was a mentor and a role model to his students and colleagues. In his numerous service roles he always showed great compassion and support for students and the university. His professional interests were in experimental techniques for measuring the dynamic response of soils, especially residual strength of liquefied sand. Professionally he was involved with several major research projects including the deep array for earthquake response at Treasure Island and the National Geotechnical Experimentation Sites program. He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the American Society for Testing and Materials where he served as an editorial board member for the Geotechnical Testing Journal. He was also co-editor and founder of the earthquake engineering journal Sismodinámica. His dedication to the engineering profession was truly exemplary.