Meyerhof, George Geoffrey, 1916-2003

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Meyerhof, George Geoffrey, 1916-2003

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George Geoffrey Meyerhof was a distinguished geotechnical engineer, best known for his work on the bearing capacity of foundations. He is the author of over 200 papers, a book on structural and soil mechanics, and a booklet called "Memories of a Civil Engineer in World War II."

Born in Kiel, Germany in 1916, Meyerhof was the son of the late Nobel Laureate in Physiology, Otto Meyerhof. After graduating in 1938 with a B.Sc. from London University, he worked with consulting structural engineers in England for several years. In 1946 he joined the British government's Building Research Station near London, where he carried out extensive research on soil mechanics and foundation problems. In 1950 he obtained his Ph.D in engineering from London University, which later awarded him a D.Sc.

Meyerhof emigrated to Canada in 1953 and was appointed Supervising Engineer in the Foundation of Canada Engineering Corporation in Montreal. In 1955 he joined the Nova Scotia Technical College (later TUNS) and served as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering between 1964-1970.

Meyerhof was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and many other scientific and engineering societies in Canada and abroad. In 1999 Meyerhof received the Order of Canada for distinguished service in geotechnical engineering. He was also awarded the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia's prestigious F.H. Sexton Award and the year 2000 Honorary Fellowship of the Institution of Civil Engineers (United Kingdom). He was awarded the Centennial Medal of Canada, the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal, and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to Canada. Other honours include the Duggan Medal and the Julian C. Smith Medal of the Engineering Institute of Canada, the R.F. Legget Award of the Canadian Geotechnical Society, the Engineering Award of the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia, and the Karl Terzaghi Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Meyerhof was the first President of the Canadian Geotechnical Society, a Council Member of the Engineering Institute of Canada, a Council Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great Britain, a Terzaghi Lecturer of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a Buchanan Lecturer of Texas A&M University, and a Hardy Lecturer of the Canadian Geotechnical Society. His honorary degrees include Doctor of Engineering degrees from the Technical University of Aachen, Germany and the Technical University of Nova Scotia; Doctor of Science degrees from the University of Ghent (Belgium), McMaster University (Hamilton) and Queen's University (Kingston); and the Doctor of Laws degree from Concordia University (Ottawa).

He was a founding member of the Halifax Grammar School, and a supporter of music and theatre in Halifax.


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