Richard D. Woods
With his pioneering research in soil dynamics, earthquake engineering
and dynamic soil-structure interaction, geotechnical engineer Richard
D. Woods has greatly influenced the way machine and building foundation
systems are designed and constructed today.
Additionally, his work in the area of the Spectral Analysis of
Surface Waves has provided a revolutionary way to non-destructively
characterize the properties and distribution of in-situ geomaterials
for site investigations.
A member of the College of Engineering faculty since 1967, Woods
co-authored the textbook “Vibrations of Soils and Foundations”
(Prentice-Hall 1970), which is widely used by design professionals
and educators and has been translated into Japanese, Chinese and
Romanian. Fortune 500 companies and governments have retained him
to work on critical projects in the United States and overseas.
In the early 1990s, he established a geotechnical earthquake engineering
program and laboratory in Yerevan, Armenia, following the breakup
of the former Soviet Union.
In addition to serving as chair and associate chair of the Department
of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Woods has made outstanding
contributions to Michigan’s Military Officers Education Committee,
Undergraduate Scholarship Committee, University Classified Research
Review Panel and Senate Assembly.
Woods received the College of Engineering’s Teaching Excellence
Award and has taught two unique courses offered by the college,
“Soil and Site Investigation” and “Soil Dynamics,”
as well as having taught numerous other courses.
He was co-founder of the Geo-Institute of the American Society of
Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the driving force behind the United States
Universities Council on Geotechnical Engineering Research, as well
as the Environmental and Engineering Geophysics Society. Woods is
a Fellow of the ASCE and recently was chosen vice president for
North America of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and
Woods received the ASCE’s prestigious Collingwood Prize and
Karl Terzaghi Lecture Award. He was named Michigan’s Civil
Engineer of the Year in 1985 and 1995 and recently received the
Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from the College of Engineering
at Notre Dame and the U-M College of Engineering’s Civil and
Environmental Engineering Award for Outstanding Accomplishment.