Press release -
Suzanne Lacasse, NGI, to deliver the 2015 Rankine Lecture
International recognition to NGI
On Wednesday 18th March 2015, Dr Suzanne Lacasse of NGI will give this year’s Rankine Lecture at Imperial College London. It is the first time a woman has been awarded this recognition, often referred to as the Nobel prize of geotechnics. The Rankine Lecture, followed by the Rankine Dinner, is organized annually by the UK Institution of Civil Engineers and the British Geotechnical Association.
Canadian born Suzanne Lacasse first came to NGI from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978, as a Research Council of Norway (then NTNF) post-doctoral fellow. She became permanent employee at NGI two years later. She was Managing Director of NGI from 1991 to 2011, and now acts as Technical Director at NGI.
"Hazard, risk and reliability in geotechnical practice" is the title of her Rankine lecture. More and more, society requires to know the risk to which people, property and the environment are exposed. The objective of Suzanne Lacasse's Rankine Lecture is to convey that one can implement, with benefit, concepts of hazard, risk and reliability to assist in design, decision-making and engineering recommendations. The lecture illustrates the implementation of hazard, risk and reliability concepts in geotechnical engineering through "real life" case studies.
The Rankine Lecture is widely viewed as the most prestigious of the invited lectures in geotechnics. It commemorates William John Macquorn Rankine (1820-1872), a Scottish civil engineer, physicist and mathematician, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Glasgow. He was one of the first engineers in the UK to make a significant contribution to soil mechanics, and he is best known for his work in thermodynamics and soil mechanics. The Rankine method of earth pressure analysis is named after him, so is the Rankine temperature scale.
The Rankine lecture was given for the first time in 1961 by Arthur Casagrande of Harvard University. In 1967, NGI’s first Managing Director, Dr Laurits Bjerrum, was awarded the honour of giving the Rankine Lecture. His "Engineering geology of Norwegian normally consolidated clays as related to settlements of buildings", was published in Geotechnique and is an often cited reference in geotechnical practice.
The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) is a leading international centre for research and consulting within the geosciences. NGI develops optimum solutions for society, and offers expertise on the behaviour of soil, rock and snow and their interaction with the natural and built environment.
NGI works within the markets Offshore energy; Building, construction and transportation; Natural hazards, and Environmental Engineering.
NGI is a private foundation with office and laboratory in Oslo, branch office in Trondheim, and daughter companies in Houston, Texas, USA, and Perth, Western Australia. NGI was established in 1953.