Geotechnical Research Centre

R.M. Quigley Award


Dr. Robert (Bob) M. Quigley (1934 - 1995).  He was the founding director of the GRC and a distinguished Canadian Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineer.

Dr. Quigley was a leading figure in Geotechnical Engineering in Canada for over thirty years.  He obtained BASc (1955) and MASc (1956) degrees in Geologic Engineering at the U of T and a PhD in Soil Mechanics from MIT in 1961. In 1963, he joined Western University as a professor of Geotechnical Engineering. He, together with the late Professor L.G. Soderman, began the geotechnical program at Western and following Professor Soderman's untimely death in 1969, Dr. Quigley took the lead in developing the Geotechnical Group in the Department of Civil Engineering to become one of the strongest in Canada.


Dr. Quigley's strengths as a leader included the ability to identify outstanding individuals and provide an environment in which they could develop.  He was always ready to listen to and consider the views of others. He provided sound advice and good guidance to many young geotechnical engineers, including his many former graduate students and young faculty members (both at Western and at other universities).

He published extensively, authoring or co-authoring more than 100 conference and journal papers and co-authoring a book on Clayey Barrier Systems for Waste Disposal Facilities.

He made many seminal contributions, for example:


Dr. Quigley was a leading proponent of the need for universities to be relevant to industry.  As a mechanism for developing these links he was responsible for the formation of the Geotechnical Research Centre.  He served as the Director of the Centre from its formation up to his untimely death at the age of 61.

Professor Quigley was an outstanding Canadian teacher, researcher, and engineer who had an impact on all those with whom he had dealings.