Engineering professor Jerry Yamamuro passes away

Jerry Yamamuro 1954-2010

Oregon State University and the College of Engineering lost one of their own on Aug. 18. Jerry Yamamuro, associate professor of geotechnical engineering, passed away following a lengthy illness. A Celebration of Life will be held in the Kearney Atrium on Sept. 17 from 4 to 5 p.m.

Jerry started his civil engineering career with a BS degree from OSU in 1976. His graduation picture can still be seen on the second floor of Kearney Hall. Following a four-year assignment with the US Forest Service as a project manager dealing with civil works, Jerry left to pursue a master’s degree specializing in geotechnical engineering at UCLA. His MS work culminated in a thesis on microcomputer control of high pressure triaxial testing, published in 1990. Jerry’s interest in geotechnical engineering continued with the pursuit of a doctorate under Professor Poul Lade who was at UCLA at the time.

Jerry started his academic career in 1995 at Clarkson University, following a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. Jerry was awarded a CAREER Award, a prestigious award for the top new university faculty in the country, from the National Science Foundation in 1997. After Clarkson, Jerry moved to the University of Delaware where he was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in 2003. But, Oregon was always home, so when the opportunity to join the faculty at OSU came up in 2004, Jerry moved back west and was welcomed into the School of Civil and Construction Engineering as a tenured associate professor.

Jerry’s nearly two decades of research and academic work in Geotechnical Engineering is easily visible with more than 30 referred journal publications between the Canadian Geotechnical Journal, the Geotechnical Testing Journal, and the Geotechnical Engineering Journal of ASCE, as well as numerous conference proceedings. Jerry’s commitment and support of the profession stands out in his editorship/authorship of seven books and conference proceedings in the last ten years.

Jerry was a Registered Engineer in Oregon, California, New York, and Delaware. He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, and the American Society for Engineering Education.

Jerry was an international authority on experimental and theoretical mechanics of frictional materials, soil instability and liquefaction, and constitutive modeling of frictional materials. His expertise led to fellowships with the Air Force and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

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