Terracon Foundation Awards $100,000 Grant for Geotechnical Laboratory at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois

December 17, 2018

Urbana, Ill. — The Terracon Foundation announced a $100,000 grant to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) for a new geotechnical laboratory planned as part of the CEE Modernization Plan Phase II now underway.

The hands-on instructional laboratory honors those who built the geotechnical engineering program at the university, including Karl von Terzaghi, Ralph B. Peck and Don U. Deere. The Terracon Foundation made the grant in honor of company founder and University of Illinois alumnus Gerald Olson, who was inspired to pursue the field of geotechnical engineering after attending an impactful lecture by Karl Terzaghi.

“Terracon has a history of supporting the next generation of civil and environmental engineers through its relationship with the University of Illinois,” said Brian Porter, P.E., Terracon’s St. Louis office manager.

The Terracon Foundation has been making grants to individual CEE students for more than 25 years.  This is the first year a grant is being awarded to a capital campaign for CEE engineering education facilities at the University of Illinois.

“We are deeply grateful to Terracon for all their support over the years, but especially for this latest gift to the CEE Modernization Project. Their generous gift in support of the Geotechnical Engineering Instructional Laboratory honoring some of the great geotechnical engineers of the department’s history – Karl Terzaghi, Ralph Peck and Don Deere – will inspire and benefit students for generations to come,” said Benito Mariñas, Ph.D., head of CEE at Illinois.

For more information about CEE at Illinois, visit

For more information about the Terracon Foundation and other organizations it has supported, visit

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