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Ricardo Dobry


Dr. Dobry’s research interests include soil dynamics, geotechnical earthquake engineering and geotechnical dynamic centrifuge testing. He was a leading participant of the group that wrote the new seismic provisions on local site amplification in the 1990’s now incorporated in U.S. building codes. He is one of the authors of the visionary 20-year research plan in earthquake engineering prepared in 2003 by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Since 2000 he has directed the Rensselaer geotechnical centrifuge experimental site of the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), one of 15 interconnected experimental nodes funded by NSF to revolutionize earthquake engineering research in the U.S. He has written more than 200 technical papers and research reports and has directed 40 PhD and MS theses at Rensselaer.


Sc.D. Civil Engineering (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971)

M.S. Soil Mechanics (National University of Mexico, 1964)

B.S. Structural Engineering (University of Chile, 1963)

Scholarly Works:

  • Pile Response to Lateral Spreads: Centrifuge Modeling (2003)
  • Single Piles in Lateral Spreads: Field Bending Moment Evaluation (2003)
  • Centrifuge Modelling for Seismic Retrofit of an Immersed Tube Tunnel (2003)
  • Intl. J. of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics, 3 (2) (2002)
  • Post-Triggering Response of Liquefied Soil in The Free Field and Near Foundations (1998)


  • Member, National Academy of Engineering
  • Dobry has served as consultant and member of consulting boards of important and prestigious civil engineering projects, including offshore oil platforms in Venezuela and Australia, earth dams and dikes in California, Puerto Rico and South America, seismic retrofitting of several large bridges in NYC, seismic guidelines for design of new bridges in NYC, and design of the new Rion-Antirion bridge in Greece.
  • Dobry has been an invited state-of-the-art and keynote speaker at international meetings in the U.S., Mexico, South America, Europe, Japan and Australia. He earned the J. James Croes Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1985, and was elected member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2004, for fundamental contributions to multiple aspects of geotechnical earthquake engineering.
  • Dobry is the recipient Rensselaer’s William H. Wiley Distinguished Faculty Award for 2008.

Selected Publications:

Dobry and Abdoun (2011)

Dobry et al. (2013)


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