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April 2020

Michael Bozozuk (1929-2020)

The Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique notes the passing of Michael Bozozuk who was instrumental in the development of the Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique (CFG) and its predecessor Geo-Contributions and its mandate to fund and support its activities.

He oversaw the transition of Geo-Contributions into the CFG during his tenure as the President from 1999 to 2004, and personally secured financial contributions from some of the individuals now listed as legacy donors to save the CCLT when the CFG was struggling financially.  Since that time, the CFG has been financially strong, and increased funding of sponsored awards and activities.  He oversaw the transition of the Robert F. Legget Award to the Robert F. Legget Medal, and when his request for design ideas for the medal drew no responses, Michael designed the medal himself.  He was a stalwart supporter and mentor of the Foundation even after he passed the reins of Presidency on to those who followed him.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to Michael for what the Foundation is today, and what it will become in the future.

Michael Bozozuk obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Manitoba (M.Sc. in 1953). He spent his entire career in the Soil Mechanics Section of the Division of Building Research, National Research Council, in Ottawa, retiring in 1985. During the 1960s, Michael took an academic leave of absence and obtained his PhD from Purdue University. His main fields of research included soil compaction, subsidence of foundations, and swelling, shrinkage, bearing capacity and resistance of clays. During the mid-1980s, Michael was Executive Director of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He served as  President of the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) during 1987 and 1988 and President of the Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique from 1999 to 2004. Michael was the recipient of a number of awards from the Engineering  Institute of Canada as well as CGS awards and honours, including the CGS‘s R.F. Legget Award (now Medal), it’s most prestigious award, in 1994. The Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique’s National Graduate Scholarship is named in his honour.