It was serendipitous that Jean-Louis Briaud, Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Program manager at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, found himself presenting the prestigious Louis Menard Lecture in Paris, France, September 2. The annual lecture is part of the International Conference of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.
Forty years ago, as a young civil engineering lecturer at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, Briaud came up with a concept for measuring the strength and deformability of soil. He took his drawings to the library and quickly discovered that a device called the pressuremeter — allowing engineers to design stable foundations based on those soil conditions — had already been invented. The inventor was none other than Louis Menard, who (also as a student) had come came up with the idea 17 years before Briaud. (Read More)