George Filz, former Professor, Director of the Center for Geotechnical Practice and Research, and Assistant Department Head, has been conferred the title of the Charles E. Via, Jr. Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the Board of Visitors by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.
Filz served as a member of the Virginia Tech community from 1990 to 2020. During his Virginia Tech career, Filz’s research and scholarship have contributed greatly to improvements to many aspects of geotechnical engineering, particularly to soil-structure interaction, ground improvement, and seepage barriers.
His work has been acknowledged by numerous major professional awards, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Distinguished Member status, Cross-USA Lecturer for the Geo-Institute of ASCE, Chapter Honor Member of Chi Epsilon Society, ASCE Hayward Baker Award, ASCE Croes Medal, ASCE Middlebrooks Award, and induction into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni in civil engineering at Virginia Tech.
He has taught well over a thousand civil engineering students in many areas of geotechnical engineering in courses such as Earth Pressures and Foundation Structures, Foundation Engineering, Environmental Geotechnics, and Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering. His teaching has been recognized with six teaching awards at department, college, and university levels. He has advised 112 graduate students through their master’s degree and doctor’s degree research work.
Filz received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Oregon, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Oregon State University, and his doctorate in civil engineering from Virginia Tech.
During retirement, Filz continues to serve Virginia Tech as co-director of the Center for Geotechnical Practice and Research and as research advisor to graduate students.