Dr. Patrick C. Lucia, a long-time professional engineer and more recently an adjunct professor at UC Davis, was an exemplar engineer, businessman, colleague, and teacher who left an indelible mark on those fortunate to interact with him.
Pat’s life journey was unconventional and unique, and included being a football star in high school, a Vietnam War soldier, a GI-bill funded student, a single father of two while in graduate school completing his PhD, and a graduate student of Professor Mike Duncan. After graduating he joined The Tensar Corporation, and then spent nine years at Woodward Clyde Consultants. Pat joined Geosyntec Consultants in 1993 and worked there for the remainder of his practicing career, including serving as Chairman of the Board and overseeing its tremendous growth.
Pat’s considerable accomplishments as a geotechnical engineer are reflected by his election in 2016 into the U.C. Berkeley Civil and Environmental Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Pat was an extremely competent engineer with exemplary judgement and values. He was often called upon to lend his expertise to some of the most challenging geotechnical problems, including providing expertise to the Panama Canal Commission, California Department of Water Resources (DWR), San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development, and the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the failure of levees and floodwalls in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
As a capstone on his distinguished career, in 2011, Pat began an affiliation with the geotechnical program at the University of California, Davis. In 2014, he became an Adjunct Professor and an integral part of the geotechnical program. While at Davis, he co-taught classes, served as advisor to the Geotechnical Graduate Student Society, and completed the most comprehensive risk management study ever undertaken of the geotechnical engineering industry. Pat was a tremendous teacher, bringing his deep technical experience and judgement developed in practice to the classroom. He also developed and taught a Professional Practice in Geotechnical Engineering course, which educated students about the business, ethics, and processes of the geotechnical industry.
This scholarship, founded by companies, colleagues, and friends of Pat, has been established to continue his legacy of support for students in the field of geotechnical engineering. Founding philanthropist include Terra Insurance, Geosyntec Consultants Inc., Haley & Aldrich, Rudy Bonaparte, Ross and Joyce Boulanger, Jason and Julie DeJong, Chris Hunt and Diona Cheng, Edward Kavazanjian, Christopher and Stephanie Krage, and Lelio and Sandra Mejia. Specifically, the purpose of this annually awarded scholarship is to recognize academic achievements, ease the financial burden, and support the diversity of future generations of geotechnical engineers.
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