Elected in 1980
“For development of geotechnical engineering and international leadership in design of embankment dams and in situ testing for foundation design.”
WRITTEN BY LUIZ GUILHERME DE MELLO
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
VICTOR DE MELLO, a Brazilian geotechnical engineer, died on January 1, 2009, at the age of 82. Son of a professor medical colonel M.P. (Member of Portuguese Parliament) and a German-Swiss mother, Victor de Mello was born in Goa, Portuguese India, on May 14, 1926. He attended British boarding school in India and then moved to Boston in 1944. As a brilliant student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he obtained both his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in 1946 and his doctoral degree in 1948.
He immigrated to Brazil in 1949 to be a Brazilian, both because of deep-rooted cultural affinities with Goa and the nostalgic challenges of unopened frontiers of tropical civil engineering. It was in Brazil and from Brazil that Victor grew from his strong roots into a big tree, spreading his teachings to the four winds and the fruit of his works through countless projects built.
Victor’s academic skills, nourished with Donald Taylor, led to a marked influence on MIT’s shear strength and on the stabilization of clays research projects, the latter granting him a U.S. patent.