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Prof. Kenji Ishihara



kenji_ishihara_lowresKenji Ishihara was born in Chiba, Japan in 1934. He started his studies in Civil Engineering at the University of Tokyo, obtaining BS-degree in 1957, MS-degree in 1959, and Ph D. in 1963. During a one-year period from 1966 to 1967, he was a Visiting Research Associate at the University of Illinois in Urbana U.S.A. under the guidance of late Professor R. B. Peck. He has been affiliated with the University of Tokyo since then, taking the post of professorship in geotechnical engineering since 1977. On his retirement from the University of Tokyo in 1995 he took up the post of Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the Tokyo University of Science and then at Chuo University in 2001.

He served for ISSMFE as secretary of the Japanese National Committee for a period of 7 years between 1970 and 1976 during which time he attended the Executive Committee meeting of ISSMFE in Sydney, 1971 as a voting member representing the Japanese National Society. Since then, he often represented Japan in several Executive Committee Meetings of ISSMFE and those of the Asian region.  He acted as Vice-President of the Asian region of ISSMFE during the period of 1989-1993.

His major research interest covers problems in the soil dynamics associated with earthquakes, such as liquefaction of sandy deposits, and seismic stability of slopes and earth structures. In conjunction with these cyclic behaviors of sand, he has written about 250 papers on the above subjects.

He has served on various occasions as consultant or adviser to UNESCO projects (Balkan region, India) and UNDP project (Chile, India, Iran).  He has participated in the geotechnical investigations of earthquakes worldwide such as those in Romania (1977), Yugoslavia (1979), Chile (1985), Mexico (1985), Ecuador (1986), Soviet Armenia (1988), Soviet Tajik (1989), Philippines (1991) and Iran (1991). He is the author of the book “Fundamentals of Soil Dynamics” (1974) and textbook “Soil Mechanics” (1988) both in Japanese. He has published from Oxford Press an English book entitled “Soil Behaviour in Earthquake Geotechnics”

He has received honour by being assigned on many occasions to deliver lectures worldwide including the theme lecture in 11th ICSMFE in San Francisco and the 33rd Rankine Lecture of the British Geotechnical Society in 1993. He acted as chairman of the Technical Committee TC4 on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering in ISSMFE for the two tenures of office from 1985 to 1993. His incessant endeavor in TC4 has led to the periodical holding of the International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering of which the first in a series was held in Tokyo in 1995 and the second in Lisbon in 1999.  He has also received honour by being awarded the H. B. Seed Gold Medal in 1998 from the American Society of Civil Engineers.  For his significant contribution, the titles of Honorary Doctorate was given to him from the Technical University of Bucharest, Romania in 1995 and from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey in 1999. In 2000, he was honoured by being bestowed with the most prestigious Japan Academy Prize. In 2010, he was elected as Foreign Associate of the United States Academy of Engineering.

In commemoration of his long-time contribution to the profession, an International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering was held in Istanbul led by Professors A. Ansal and M. Sakr and two volumes of selected papers were published containing major publications by Professor Ishihara.