ASCE has honored Anand Puppala, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE, with the 2020 Ralph B. Peck Award for outstanding contributions to teaching, research and practice in geotechnical engineering as well as cumulative distinguished research contributions in expansive soils and sustainability.
The Peck Award revolves around publishing case histories or developing design histories. Puppala assisted in writing up case histories for the Remote Sensing Geotechnical Special Publication (GSP) created by the EDS Committee. For example, his work with TxDOT was instrumental because it used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to monitor the condition of infrastructure. He also contributed a case history on his use of UAVs during Hurricane Harvey. He specifically inspected the condition of the infrastructure posthurricane in addition to the estimating the volume of debris stockpiles using unmanned aerial technology.
Puppala’s main technical contributions lie at the intersection of fundamental advances in shear strength, expansive soils and unsaturated soil mechanics along with practical implementation of soil improvement technologies for transportation infrastructure. Another important design contribution from case histories by Puppala is related to the surficial slope failures observed in compacted embankment fills. He has been a tireless researcher who has studied and made important contributions in a wide variety of topics over his career. This is reflected by his moving to Texas A&M University to assume a more research-focused faculty position. His emphasis on learning from case histories is consistent with the teachings of Professor Peck.
The Ralph B. Peck Award is presented for outstanding contributions to the geotechnical engineering profession through the publication of a thoughtful, carefully researched case history or histories, or the publication of recommended practices or design methodologies based on the evaluation of case histories.