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Charles W. Schwartz, chair of the civil and environmental engineering department at UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, will be the next lecturer in the ASCE Geo-Institute’s Carl L. Monismith Lecture Series, the organization has announced.

The annual lecture series was established in recognition of the important contributions made by Monismith—a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, for more than 50 years—to the field of pavement engineering. Over the course of his distinguished career, Monismith has been a revered mentor to students, many of whom have gone on to spearhead advances in pavement technology around the world.

Schwartz, an expert on pavement design and analysis and geomechanics, has chaired the CEE Department at UMD since 2014. “I am very honored to have been selected for the Monismith Lecture Series,” he said. “Carl Monismith has been one of the most influential figures in bridging geotechnical and pavement engineering, and this series reflects the importance of his legacy.”

In his own career, Schwartz has done much to advance the ways pavements are designed, built, and tested. One of his most notable contributions has been his role in the development of a mechanistic-empirical design model that applies both theory and empirical testing. “With this approach, we apply theoretical rigor, but also use empirical approaches to fill in the gaps,” he said. The ability to move beyond a strictly empirical approach has been instrumental in fostering new ways of modeling the geotechnical materials in the pavement system.

Meanwhile, Schwartz and other colleagues within the profession have sought to continue Monismith’s efforts to draw greater attention to pavement engineering within the geotechnical profession.

“For a long time, pavements had always gotten short shrift in the geotechnical community, while geotechnical engineering tended to be underappreciated within the pavements community. When you think about it, though, this doesn’t make sense,” Schwartz said.

“After all, it’s what’s underneath the asphalt and concrete on the surface that determines how pavements really perform,” he said.

Date and location information for the 2020 Carl L. Monismith Lecture will be announced later this year. For more information, contact rherschb@umd.edu



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April 30, 2020


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“For a long time, pavements had always gotten short shrift in the geotechnical community, while geotechnical engineering tended to be underappreciated within the pavements community. When you think about it, though, this doesn’t make sense."

Dr. Charles W. Schwartz, chair of the UMD department of civil and environmental engineering

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