Member Spotlight: Braja Das

Principles of Foundation Engineering, 9th Ed.Braja DasTAA member Braja Das is the Dean Emeritus, College of Engineering & Computer Science, CSU, Sacramento and is both a textbook and academic author in the engineering writing discipline.

He has authored/co-authored 16 text and academic reference books in the area of geotechnical (civil) engineering. His most recent publication is Principles of Foundation Engineering, 9th edition (Cengage), which was released in October 2017 with a 2019 copyright. For the first through eighth editions, he was the only author. The ninth edition has a co-author (N. Sivakugan, James Cook University, Australia).

Principles of Geotechnical Engineering is now in the 9th edition (Cengage); Principles of Foundation Engineering is in the 9th edition (Cengage); Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering is in the 5th edition (Cengage); Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering is in the 2nd edition (Cengage); Advanced Soil Mechanics is in 5th edition (CRC Press); Shallow Foundations is in the 3rd edition (CRC Press); Earth Anchors is in the 2nd edition (J. Ross); and Soil Mechanics Laboratory Manual is in 9th edition (Oxford University Press).

Some of the books have been translated to several foreign languages such as Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Persian, and Macedonian. For some of the books, there are Asian editions (in English) for use in South Asian Countries. Because of the enormous popularity of his Spanish translated books, he is a frequent invited speaker in countries like Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic.

His books, Principles of Geotechnical Engineering and Principles of Foundation Engineering, are probably the best sellers of their type in the world now. In the past, he has published books with publishers such as Iowa State University Press, Thomson, McGraw Hill, Taylor & Francis, CRC Press, Prentice Hall, Cengage, J. Ross (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Springer, Oxford University Press (NY), Elsevier (NY), and Elsevier (Amsterdam). He is also the Editor of Geotechnical Engineering Handbook (J. Ross, Fort Lauderdale, FL).

What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on the 10th edition of Principles of Geotechnical Engineering (Cengage) and the 10th edition of Soil Mechanics Laboratory Manual (Oxford University Press). Both of these books will be published in October 2020. I am also working on two journal papers on the bearing capacity of shallow foundations.

Share a recent accomplishment.
I am a fellow and life member of ASCE, a life member of ASEE, and an emeritus member of the U.S. Transportation Research Board. I have received the Western Electric Fund Award (1984), AMOCO Foundation Award (University of Texas at El Paso, 1983), Ralph Teetor Educational Award (Society of Automotive Engineering, 1984), Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching (University of Texas at El Paso, 1983). I have published more than 350 technical papers (geotechnical engineering) in journals and conference proceedings. I am a past editorial board member of the Journal of Geotechnical Engineering (ASCE), Geotextiles and Geomembranes (Elsevier, UK), and International Journal of Lowland Technology (Japan); associate editor of International Journal of Offshore and Polar Engineering; and Editor of Geotechnical and Geological Engineering (Springer). Presently I am the founder and editor-in-chief of the Internal Journal of Geotechnical Engineering (Taylor & Francis, UK). In the past I have served as a technical consultant for the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank.

Based on my past academic contributions, the Soil-Structure Interaction Group of Egypt initiated an honor lecture in my name in 2017. The Braja Das Honor Lecture is given in the Geo-Middle-East Conference every year in Egypt. In November 2019 in Cairo, the Das Lecture was delivered by Dr. Pedro Pinto of Portugal.

Some 2019 Research Publications

  • Sobhan, K., Patra, C., Sethy, B., Das, B.M. (2019). Bearing capacity of eccentrically loaded surface circular foundation on sand of limited thickness, Proceedings, PanAmerican Geotechnical Engineering Conference, Cancun, Mexico, November 2019.
  • Adu-Parkoh, E., Atalar, C., Das, B.M., and Chittarang, P. (2019). Prediction of modified proctor compaction characteristics for laterite soils, Proceedings, XVII ECSMGE, Iceland, September 2019.
  • Atalar, C., Adu-Parkoh, E., Das, B.M., and Ozyanki, A. (2019). Comparison of multiple regression and artificial neural networks in estimating compaction characteristics, Proceedings, XVII ECSMGE, Iceland, September 2019.
  • Sethy, B.P., Patra, C.R., Das, B., and Sobhan, K. (2019). Prediction of ultimate bearing capacity of circular foundation on sand layer of limited thickness using artificial neural network, International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Taylor & Francis,
  • Sethy, B.P., Patra, C.R., Das, B.M., and Sobhan, K. (2019). Bearing capacity of circular foundation on sand layer of limited thickness underlain by rigid rough base subjected to eccentrically inclined load, Geotechnical Testing Journal, ASTM, Vol. 42, No. 3, 597-609.
  • Sarsour, A., Sobhan, K., Das, B.M., and Shukla, S.K. (2019). Use of C sub alpha/C sub c ratio as a criterion of cementitious stabilization of highly organic subgrade soil. Proceedings, Australia-New Zealand Conference on Geotechnical Engineering, Perth, Australia, March 2019.

What is your favorite textbook writing tip or strategy?
Theoretical Soil Mechanics by Karl Terzaghi published by Wiley in 1943. Terzaghi is the founding father of modern geotechnical engineering.

What is your best TAA experience so far?
Receiving the McGuffey Longevity Award for Principles of Geotechnical Engineering 9th edition in 2018.