J. Michael Duncan, Virginia Tech University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is the 2010 recipient of the G. Brooks Earnest Award and Lecture from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Cleveland Section. 

This award is presented annually to an outstanding individual of national and international prominence, and preferably to a member of the civil engineering field.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Duncan joined the Virginia Tech community in 1984. His is world-renowned for his contributions to the discipline of geotechnical engineering. His work includes embankment dam engineering, soil shear strength and slope stability, seepage through soils, and finite element analysis for soil structures.

Duncan has served as a consultant on a number of major geotechnical projects such as the Panama Canal, and the levee and flood control structure failures in New Orleans associated with Hurricane Katrina.

Duncan, an honorary member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, received its 2009 OPAL Lifetime Achievement Award for Education. He is also a past recipient of the Karl Terzaghi Award for lifetime achievements in geotechnical engineering and the Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award for the best technical paper in his field. He earned both of these national awards in 2003.

Duncan received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia Tech and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Another member of the geotechnical program area of the department, James K. Mitchell, also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Science, won this award in 1994.