He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia
in 1883. After graduating from an Austrian technical college,
he practiced engineering in Vienna; in 1916 he went to Istanbul
to teach and in 1918 joined the faculty of Robert College
there. He first came to the USA in 1925 to teach at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (1925--9), then went to Vienna to
teach (1929--38), returning to the USA in 1939; he became
a citizen in 1943 and taught at Harvard (1946--56). He was
the advisor of one of the earliest doctoral theses awarded
at MIT, Boston, MA, in all engineering fields.
He presented to the world the
new science, Soil Mechanics, that he developed mainly while
working at ITU and Bogazici University.
In this monumental work he
lays it all out: consolidation theory, settlement calculations,
bearing capacity theory, lateral earth pressures and retaining
walls, shear strength and slope stability. In all cases he
makes it clear that he is doing all that to be able to solve
real world problems.
He always gives design/analysis
charts to make it easier for the engineer to apply the theories
he developed or reorganized and perfected for practical use.