A Master Lecturer
Dr Peck was my teacher at the University of Illinois beginning in September 1953.He made Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering "come alive." He was the master of geotechnical lecturers, as he aimed to teach at least one new idea to his students in every lecture. He was self-effacing and readily gave out accolades when introducing his contemporaries in the profession, (i.e., Karl Terzaghi, Arthur Casagrande, Laurits Bjerrum, A.W. Skempton, Stan Wilson, and others), to his graduate student classes (which I was privileged to be a part of). I shall never forget his advice during my Ph.D. committee oral thesis defense, "Ray, you must not let statistics override your engineering judgment." Finally, during my last trip with him through the Mt. Baker Ridge tunnel in Seattle (for which he was a consultant), he somewhat wistfully said, "Wouldn't it be nice if they did not install the false lining so the public could enjoy the real structure." We shall miss him.
Ray Miller, Ph.D. UIUC, 1965 Giving a lecture during the 3rd National Conference of the Geo-Institute at the University of Illinois in June 1999.
This letter is an excerpt from the Geo-Strata Feature on Professor Peck, Geo-Strata September/October 2008.