Celebrating the legacy of George G. Goble, Ph.D., P.E.


In loving memory of George G. Goble, Ph.D., P.E.

There are some giants in the world of engineering – some more recognized than others. For those of us in the Deep Foundation Engineering World, Dr. Goble was a giant. He had the intellect, knowledge and – most importantly – the drive to change our world. His keen sense of where technology is leading us and how it can be used for a more effective and efficient use of resources helped us all in this industry to improve and renew.

He learned to do honest, hard work. This background formed his thinking as to what a good person should and should not do to better themselves and this world

George Gordon Goble was born in 1929 in Boise, Idaho. His family had a farm where he learned to do honest, hard work. This background formed his thinking as to what a good person should and should not do to better themselves and this world. He studied civil/structural engineering at the University of Washington and spent a year on a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Stuttgart (Germany). He became Professor and Chairman of the departments of civil engineering first at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and later at the University of Colorado – Boulder. Throughout his professional life, he worked as a consultant.

Professor Goble didn’t mind climbing the greasy pile driving leads to attach gages and do the field work in polar cold and desert heat

Most importantly for us at GRL and PDI, George recognized early on the potential of the pile testing technology that had been formulated and studied by faculty and students at CWRU. Many different pieces of the puzzle had to be put together: the theory, the sensor selection and packaging, the computer and software development. More difficult yet: it was necessary to convince people that the technology would work and help engineers and contractors make a better product for project owners. The general electronics industry was not interested and so it was up to Dr. Goble to get people and resources together to build and use the Pile Driving Analyzer®. It was his gift to instill the same enthusiasm that he had for these innovations in those that worked with him, as well as those he met and talked to along the way. He was instrumental in both the founding of the companies and in the promotion of the technology. It required a lot of different tactics and hard work. Professor Goble didn’t mind climbing the greasy pile driving leads to attach gages and do the field work in polar cold and desert heat. And out of those field experiences came many humorous stories which everyone listening enjoyed.

George would never stop working. From the time of our founding and into the early 2000s

True to his upbringing, George would never stop working. From the time of our founding and into the early 2000s, he helped direct the companies and stayed close to GRL and PDI while he was teaching and researching at the universities and getting involved in other ventures. GRL/PDI benefited from him sending us his best students to work with – and more importantly, we benefited from his advice and support. Without his perseverance in our early years we would not be where we are today.

Sadly, George G. Goble passed away today, Sept. 19, 2017, in Longmont, CO shortly after his 88th birthday. He is survived by his wife Christine Goble, his daughter Tanya, son Gregory and a grandchild. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. GRL and PDI will thankfully cherish his loving memory and lasting contributions for a long time to come.

 

Frank Rausche
Ph.D., P.E., D.GE


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