The 2017 Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) Osterberg Memorial Lecturer has been announced. Richard J. Finno, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, civil engineering professor at Northwestern University, will present at the DFI’s SuperPile ’17 conference. The event is scheduled for June 14-16 at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in Coronado Bay, Calif.

The annual Osterberg Memorial Lecture and Award was established in honor of Dr. Jorj O. Osterberg to recognize innovations in deep foundations construction related to engineering design, testing or education, and is supported by DFI Corporate Member Loadtest Inc. A portion of the proceeds from the event benefit the DFI Educational Trust Scholarship Fund.

This year’s lecture, “Lessons (Re)learned from Geotechnical Failures,” ties back to Osterberg’s Terzaghi Lecture titled “Necessary Redundancy in Geotechnical Engineering,” which discussed the causes of geotechnical engineering failures and presented eight cases to illustrate his points. Finno’s lecture presents case studies of several geotechnical failures related to earth retaining structures and foundations, two areas for which Osterberg had a keen interest.

Finno received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Illinois and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees at Stanford University. Prior to entering academia, he worked for five years as a geotechnical engineer for Sargent & Lundy Engineers and Woodward-Clyde Consultants.  He has been at Northwestern University since 1986 and is a professional engineer registered in Illinois. 

He has conducted research in the areas of full-scale performance of deep excavations and tunnels, adaptive management methods in geotechnical engineering, numerical analysis, inverse analysis techniques, failure processes in soil, small strain behavior of clays and nondestructive testing of deep foundations.  Finno is the author or co-author of 170 reviewed technical papers and 20 technical reports.  He is the recipient of the ASCE’s Karl Terzaghi Award and the Harry Schnabel Jr Award.   He has also served as a consultant on a wide variety of projects related to retention systems, tunnels, shafts and foundations. 

The DFI is an international association of contractors, engineers, academics and suppliers in the deep foundations industry with more than 3,300 members worldwide. For more information about the Deep Foundations Institute, visit