Arthur Casagrande

Arthur Casagrande ( born August 28, 1902 in heath shaft, then Austria, † September 6, 1981 in Boston, United States) was an Austrian-American soil mechanics, geotechnical and civil engineer.


In Austria, he earned a degree in civil engineering at the Technical University in Vienna and received his PhD in Schaffernak Friedrich ( 1881-1951 ). In 1926 he emigrated to the USA and worked in the Bureau of Public Roads, and as an assistant to Karl von Terzaghi at MIT. There he was his "right hand" and contributed to some of the fundamental developments in soil mechanics at. In 1932 he went to Harvard, where he became in 1946 professor of soil mechanics. 1933/34, he was also at the Degebo in Berlin, where his brother Leo worked. In 1936 he organized the first conference at Harvard for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering (Soil mechanics and foundation engineering), which is considered the world's leading conference still held today. At Harvard, he remained about four decades until his retirement in 1973 and had numerous pupils.

With his wife Erna he had two daughters.

His brother Leo Casagrande also taught at Harvard Soil Mechanics and Foundation and founded by Arthur Casagrande an engineering firm.


At Casa Grande go some fundamental knowledge of soil mechanics back such as the soil classification, findings on the seepage of earth and rockfill dams and to shear forces. The "A " line in the plasticity chart for the classification of cohesive soils, which is included in DIN 18196 said to be named after his first name ( Arthur). Also, the yield point is named device for determining the consistency of a base for it, wherein it further developed a method of Albert Atterberg. From Casa Grande also comes with the hydrometer hydrometer in geotechnical engineering.

During the Second World War, his extensive work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began. He trained 400 officers from the soil mechanics aspects of the application of airfields. He later advised the Corps in many dam projects, as the Panama Canal and on the Upper Missouri. In his extensive consulting work he was also involved in the investigation of the failure of the Teton Dam and the construction of the Itaipu Dam in Brazil and the Tarbela Dam on the Indus. He advised on the establishment of the Liberty Mutual and John Hancock skyscrapers in Boston, the construction of the Logan International Airport on soft clay ground in the Boston harbor, the railway embankment on the Great Salt Lake, and the formation of the particle accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory.


1961 to 1965 he was president of ISSMFE (International Society of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering ). He was Rankine Lecturer, Lecturer second Terzaghi (1964, Role of the calculated is risk in earthwork and foundation engineering) and first recipient of the Terzaghi Award of the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers). He was an honorary doctorate in Vienna, Liege, Mexico City and recipient of the Distinguished Civilian Service Award of the U.S. Army. In 1966 he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.