Distinguished Alumni Awards

Thomas Kuan-hsien Liu

Thomas Kuan-hsien Liu
To Thomas Kuan-hsien Liu, geotechnical engineer and teacher, for his development of innovative solutions to geotechnical engineering problems, his direction of many large-scale engineering projects, and his extraordinary service to the geotechnical engineering profession.

Chairman of the Board, Haley & Aldrich, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • BS, Civil Engineering, 1955 (High Honors)
  • MS, Civil Engineering, 1956
  • PhD, Civil Engineering, 1961

A leading geotechnical engineer in the United States, Thomas Kuan-hsien Liu has made significant contributions to the advancement of the art and science of foundation engineering. He began his career at UIUC, where he was an assistant professor and the associate professor of civil engineering. When he left Illinois in 1969 to work at Haley & Aldrich, he was remembered as a professor well liked by his students. Starting as a senior associate and vice president of the firm, Liu quickly moved through the ranks and has been chairman of the board since 1988. He has participated in and directed more than 500 projects at Haley & Aldrich. He served as principal geotechnical engineer for subsurface investigations, engineering studies, construction monitoring, and behavior measurements for foundations and earthwork structures and has been principal-in-charge of many buildings, tunnels, highways, and bridges. As a result of his many years of teaching and research, Liu often serves as a catalyst in developing innovative solutions to geotechnical engineering problems.

Since becoming a practicing engineer, he has presented many lectures on soil mechanics and foundation engineering at universities and professional meetings and has published a variety of topics on a variety of topics in geotechnical engineering. In 1975, his co-authored paper on finite differenced analyses for sand drain problems was awarded the Norman medal, which is the highest honor of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was a Fulbright research scholar and a postdoctoral fellow for the Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Activities in professional societies include president of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers section of ASCE in 1974-75 and the Boston Fellow Group of the American Consulting Engineers Council in 1980-81. He has also served on many local and national committees of these professional societies. Liu has successfully integrated teaching, research, and professional practice, and his is known for his superb technical achievements.

Current as of 1993.