Craig Benson

Wisconsin Distinguished Professor and Chair

Room: 2205
Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Ph: (608) 262-7242
chbenson@wisc.edu


Profile Summary

My expertise falls broadly in the discipline referred to as geoenvironmental engineering. This discipline is at the interface of the built and natural environments, and deals with issues in the subsurface or interactions between conditions at the earth’s surface and the subsurface. In most cases, the important objectives are protecting soil and ground water or engineering systems that reduce emissions or save energy. Achieving these objectives requires knowledge of the mechanisms controlling energy and mass transfer in the subsurface and development of creative approaches to control the rate at which energy and/or mass is transferred. These principles are applied to controlling contaminant migration in the unsaturated zone and ground water, managing the movement of heat and water in near-surface soils, and assessing energy usage and emissions associated with geological engineering structures at the interface of the earth’s surface.

My research in geoenvironmental engineering fits in three broad classes: sustainability assessment of geological and civil engineering systems, reuse and recycling of industrial byproducts for sustainable construction applications, and design and assessment of environmental containment systems for municipal, hazardous, and radioactive wastes. In each of these areas, we emphasize a full range of study from basic theory to practice and address energy and mass transfer issues. Our research includes fundamental laboratory studies, development of computer models, and practical field demonstration of new technologies. In many cases, our research findings are validated at full-scale in operating facilities or infrastructure in collaboration with industry and/or government agencies.

Education

  • BS, Lehigh University (Civil Engineering)
  • MSE, University of Texas at Austin (Civil Engineering/Geotechnical Engineering)
  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin (Civil Engineering/Geoenvironmental Engineering)

Research Interests

  •  geoenvironmental engineering
  •  sustainable infrastructure
  •  engineering for sustainability & life cycle analysis
  •  beneficial use of industrial byproducts
  •  recycled materials
  •  geothermal energy
  •  barrier systems
  •  mining engineering
  •  environmental containment systems

Publications

Please see my list of publications in my CV. Many are avaialble for download via the PDF icons.

Links

For more information about my activities and engagement, please download a copy of my CV.

Duties and Responsibilities

Chair, Geological Engineering

Chair, Civil & Enviromental Engineering

Director, Office of Sustainability, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Director of Sustainability Research and Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Accomplishments

  • National Academy of Engineering, 2012
  • G. Leonards Lecturer, Purdue University, 2013
  • Honor Medal, Eurasian National University and Kazakhstan Geotechnical Society, 2013
  • Order of the Engineer, Geo Institute, 2011
  • Award of Merit, ASTM International, 2011
  • Ralph B. Peck Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2012
  • Outstanding Article on the Practice of Geotechnical Testing, ASTM International, 2011
  • Diplomate, Geotechnical Engineering, Academy of Geo-Professionals, 2009
  • Academy of Distinguished Alumni, University of Texas at Austin, 2009
  • Croes Medal, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1998, 2008
  • Alfred P. Noble Prize, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2008
  • International Journal of Geomechanics, Excellent Paper Award, 2008
  • Kellet Mid-Career Research Award, University of Wisconsin, 2005
  • Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Award, ASCE, 2000
  • Croes Medal, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1998
  • Polygon Outstanding Instructor Award, Univ. of Wisconsin, 1991, 93, 97
  • Casagrande Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1995
  • Middlebrooks Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1995
  • Collingwood Prize, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1994
  • Outstanding Professor Award, ASCE Wisconsin Student Chapter, 1992
  • Distinguished Young Faculty Award, U.S. Department of Energy, 1991
  • Presidential Young Investigator, National Science Foundation, 1991
  • Top 100 Educators Award, University of Wisconsin, 1991

Personal Statement

As a Professional Engineer and educator, I strongly believe that engineering faculty should be engaged with engineering practice. Engagement with practice brings realism and relevance to the classroom as well as practical concepts to the research environment. I regularly become engaged in actual projects conducted by government and industry in the United States and abroad. My involvement includes specialty design and analysis, peer review, prototype and field-testing of new technologies, forensic engineering, and litigation support.

Professional Affiliations

  • Geo Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers
  • ASTM International, D18 on Soil and Rock
  • Global Waste Research Institute
  • External Review Board, College of Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
  • External Review Board, School of Sustianable Infrastructure & Environment, Univ. of Florida
  • ASTM International
  • American Geophysical Union
  • British Geotechnical Association
  • Canadian Geotechnical Society
  • International Geosynthetics Society
  • National Ground Water Association
  • North American Geosynthetics Society
  • Soil Science Society of America

Leadership Roles

Current Leadership Roles at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Chair, Geological Engineering (www.gle.wisc.edu)

Chair, Civil & Enviromental Engineering (www.cee.wisc.edu)

Director, Office of Sustainability, University of Wisconsin-Madison (www.sustainability.wisc.edu)

Director of Sustainability Research and Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison (www.sustainability.wisc.edu)

 

Leadership Roles in Professional Service and Community

Global Waste Research Institute, Board of Directors, California Polytechnic Institute at San Louis Obispo, (2010-present)

Geo Institute of ASCE, Board of Governors, Board Member 2007-present, Treasurer 2010-11, Vice President 2011-12, President, 2012-13.

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 2004-06.

ASTM International, Executive Committee, D18 on Soil & Rock, 2006-2013, Vice Chair, 2011-2013.

Independent Technical Review Committee for On-Site Disposal Facilities, US Department of Energy, Appointed by Asst. Secretary J. Rispoli, Chair 2007-2010 (disbanded).

Glacier’s End Homeowners Association, Town of Middleton, WI, President, 2012-present.

Park Commission, Town of Middleton, Wisconsin, Commissioner, 2010-12.

Curriculum Vitae

Please use the following to view my CV.

Courses

Summer 2014

  • INTEREGR 102 - Introduction to Society\'s Engineering Grand Challenges

  • GLE 999 - Independent Work
  • GLE 990 - Research and Thesis
  • GLE 890 - Pre-Dissertator\'s Research
  • GLE 790 - Master\'s Research or Thesis
  • GLE 699 - Independent Study
  • CIVENGR 999 - Advanced Independent Study
  • CIVENGR 990 - Thesis
  • CIVENGR 890 - Pre-Dissertator\'s Research
  • CIVENGR 790 - Master\'s Research or Thesis
  • CIVENGR 699 - Independent Study
  • CIVENGR 699 - Independent Study
  • CIVENGR 790 - Master\'s Research or Thesis
  • CIVENGR 890 - Pre-Dissertator\'s Research
  • CIVENGR 990 - Thesis
  • GLE 699 - Independent Study
  • GLE 790 - Master\'s Research or Thesis
  • GLE 890 - Pre-Dissertator\'s Research
  • GLE 990 - Research and Thesis
  • Profile Summary

    My expertise falls broadly in the discipline referred to as geoenvironmental engineering. This discipline is at the interface of the built and natural environments, and deals with issues in the subsurface or interactions between conditions at the earth’s surface and the subsurface. In most cases, the important objectives are protecting soil and ground water or engineering systems that reduce emissions or save energy. Achieving these objectives requires knowledge of the mechanisms controlling energy and mass transfer in the subsurface and development of creative approaches to control the rate at which energy and/or mass is transferred. These principles are applied to controlling contaminant migration in the unsaturated zone and ground water, managing the movement of heat and water in near-surface soils, and assessing energy usage and emissions associated with geological engineering structures at the interface of the earth’s surface.

    My research in geoenvironmental engineering fits in three broad classes: sustainability assessment of geological and civil engineering systems, reuse and recycling of industrial byproducts for sustainable construction applications, and design and assessment of environmental containment systems for municipal, hazardous, and radioactive wastes. In each of these areas, we emphasize a full range of study from basic theory to practice and address energy and mass transfer issues. Our research includes fundamental laboratory studies, development of computer models, and practical field demonstration of new technologies. In many cases, our research findings are validated at full-scale in operating facilities or infrastructure in collaboration with industry and/or government agencies.


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