It is my honor and great pleasure to introduce this year’s Terzaghi Lecturer, Professor Gregory B. Baecher. He was selected for this honor for his many contributions to the advancement of the field of geotechnical risk analysis through research, education, and practice.Many of you who work in risk analysis applied to geotechnical engineering know him as coauthor with John Christian of the seminal book Reliability and Statistics in Geotechnical Engineering. Those of you working in dam safety likely know him as coauthor with Desmond Hartford and others of the books Risk and Uncertainty in Dam Safety and Operational Safety of Dams and Reservoirs. You researchers in geotechnical risk know of him through the more than 250 professional papers he has authored.Many of you know of him as Professor Baecher. No one knows how many students he has impacted through his teaching, first, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and then, since 1995, at the University of Maryland, College Park both in class and through its web-based instructional program, not to mention the many invited lectures he has delivered all over the world.I know him on a personal level as a professional colleague and close friend. When I was considering graduate study, I made a visit to MIT. Some wise person there thought that since I was considering coming from California to Massachusetts for graduate school, they should have a Californian show me around. Greg had been at University of California (UC) Berkeley, and I was at UC Davis, so they assigned him that duty. Greg made me feel welcomed right away, and this was a significant factor in my decision to go to MIT. Early in our professional careers, I was managing projects for T. William Lambe and Associates. We had a terrific opportunity to apply risk assessment concepts being developed at that time at MIT and elsewhere to assess the seismic risks to a major oil refinery near Tokyo, Japan. Greg played a key role in helping us determine the probability of oil storage tanks failing during an earthquake and causing a major oil spill into Tokyo Bay. That work led to the development of a graph of acceptable probability of failure versus consequences of failure that has become widely used in many applications. I am sure Greg will talk more about this pioneering project in his lecture.Greg has been a prolific advisor to governments on a wide range of issues involving risk management. These include serving as a member of the Interagency Performance Evaluation Taskforce (IPET) team’s effort to evaluate risks of levee failures following the devastating Hurricane Katrina floods. This led to work with the USACE on risk-based guidance for levee design and risk reduction. He and others worked with the Federal Highway Administration to develop load and resistance factor design guidance documents for bridge foundations. He also advised the government of Panama on managing risks at the Panama Canal and with BC Hydro and Ontario Power Generation on risk management for their large portfolios of power dams.He has authored 17 National Research Council reports, including several that have had significant impacts on design and policy. Examples are National Research Council (2000, 2002, 2014).Greg has been a leader in explaining risk and how an explicit evaluation of risk can be used to improve our geotechnical profession. For his work, he has received several major awards including Distinguished Member of the ASCE, election to the US National Academy of Engineering, and now the Terzaghi Lecturer.References National Research Council. 2000. Risk analysis and uncertainty in flood damage reduction studies. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. National Research Council. 2002. Making the nation safer: The role of science and technology in countering terrorism. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. National Research Council. 2014. Reducing coastal risk on the east and gulf coasts. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

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