Prof. Don Deere: 1922-2018

Posted on 01.02.2019
Prof. Don U. Deere, who taught Engineering Geology at Illinois from 1955 to 1972, passed away on January 14, 2018, in Gainesville, FL at the age of 95.  A world-renowned engineering geologist and expert on tunneling, dam building and design, and the construction of large underground spaces, he received numerous distinctions throughout his career including being elected to both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.  Don received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at UIUC. In 1955 he accepted a joint appointment in the departments of Civil Engineering and Geology at Illinois and helped lead the geotechnical engineering program to international prominence. In 1972 he left UIUC to pursue full-time consulting and co-founded Deere and Merritt, an international consulting firm in geology and rock mechanics.  Major projects to which he contributed included the construction of the World Trade Center, the Channel Tunnel, the Washington DC subway, and numerous hydroelectric facilities throughout the Americas, most notably Itaipu, the world's largest hydroelectric project at the time.