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PhD, PE, D.GE, F.ASCE
Texas A&M University
Education and Past Experience
Dr. Lytton received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1960, having received the Hamilton Watch Award of the College of Engineering emblematic of the graduating senior with the highest grade average in the College. Having completed the Senior ROTC course, he was also awarded the distinction of a Distinguished Military Graduate. He received a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study for his Masters Degree in Civil Engineering which he received in August, 1961. After a period of two years on active duty with the U.S. Army in a Construction Engineering Group, he worked for a consulting engineer for two years in Houston, Texas before returning to the University of Texas with another National Science Foundation Fellowship to work on his Ph.D. degree. His research supervisors were Professors Hudson Matlock and Lymon Reese, both later elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in materials and geotechnical engineering as an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas during 1968. He was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship of the National Science Foundation to pursue research in unsaturated soil mechanics with the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization under the direction of Dr. Gordon Aitchison, the Head of the Division of Applied Geomechanics. Spending 1969 and 1970 in Australia, he returned to a faculty position with the Texas A&M University and a research position with the Texas Transportation Institute.
Dr. Lytton was promoted to Professor and Research Engineer in 1976 and was awarded the distinction of the endowed A.P and Florence Wiley Chair in Civil Engineering in 1991. In 1995, he was elevated to the endowed Fred J. Benson Chair in Civil Engineering which was named in honor of the former Dean of the College of Engineering and was donated by the Zachry Construction Company. He remains the current holder of the Benson Chair. In 1984, he was recognized for his work in foundations on expansive soils with the Everite Bursary Award by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research of South Africa. This required a series of lectures delivered at various locations in South Africa. In 1995, he was awarded the Texas A&M Former Students Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award for Research and in 2000, was named the Distinguished Lecturer of the Transportation Research Board. He is the patent holder of U.S. Patent No. 5,384,715 on "Systems Identification Analysis of Subsurface Radar Signals."
Dr. Lytton is a Professor of Civil Engineering in the Zachry Civil Engineering Department of the Texas A&M University. He teaches undergraduate courses in geotechnical engineering, and graduate courses in foundations on expansive soils, systems design of pavements, micromechanics of civil engineering materials, and pavement evaluation (non-destructive testing), and has taught the capstone design course for graduating seniors. He has supervised both Master of Science and Master of Engineering students and Ph.D. and Doctor of Engineering students at the doctoral level. In 2008, he was presented with the Dick and Joyce Birdwell Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Zachry Civil Engineering Department. Dr. Lytton is the Director of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station Center for Infrastructure Engineering and is a Research Engineer with the Texas Transportation Institute.
Dr. Lytton's research interests are in the general areas of mechanics, soils, construction materials, climatic effects and non-destructive testing. More specifically, he has interest and has done research in continuum mechanics, fracture mechanics, plasticity, soil dynamics, moisture diffusivity and constitutive modeling. He developed the fracture mechanics approach that has successfully predicted reflection cracking and is the basis for the recently completed NCHRP project on modeling reflection cracking in hot mix asphalt overlays of which he was the principal investigator. In the soils area, his interests and research have been in expansive soils theory and design and unsaturated earthquake constitutive testing and modeling. He developed the analysis method used in the test protocol that determines the anisotropic properties of unbound aggregates. In the area of climatic effects, he led one of the FHWA research projects that developed the current Enhanced Integrated Climatic Effects Model which couples moisture flow with heat and temperature flow in pavements, including the surface effects of solar radiation, wind speed, and relative humidity. His background in unsaturated soil mechanics led to a collaboration with chemical engineering faculty in the discovery of the role of surface energy (Gibbs Free Energy) components on adhesive and cohesive bond energy in resisting fracture and promoting healing. It also led to the discovery of the mechanism of moisture damage and derived the fracture locus which shows the role of film thickness in explaining the difference between adhesive and cohesive fracture. His interest in non-destructive testing led him to develop methods of measuring the viscoelastic properties of asphalt pavements in the field using impulse testing and of measuring the volumetric composition of asphalt, concrete, and base course or soil pavement layers using reflected ground penetrating radar signals. His interest in design and statistics has led to his contributions in evaluating the risk and reliability of pavement design methods including the variance of test methods.
Publications and Committee Activities
Dr. Lytton has published over two hundred papers in refereed journals in the areas of his interests and has been invited to present keynote addresses in international conferences in all of the areas of interest noted above. He has been the Chairman for two terms of the TRB Committee on Environmental Factors except Frost which has been more appropriately re-named Committee on Unsaturated Soil Behavior. He is an active member and Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering and the Technical Committee TC-6 on Unsaturated Soils, the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, was a founding member of the International Society of Asphalt Pavements. In 2009, he was elected to membership in the National Academy of Geo-Professionals,, which carries with it the designation as a Diplomate, Geotechnical Engineering ( D. GE.). The Academy of Geo-Professionals is an affiliate of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is a member of the National and Texas Societies of Professional Engineers. He has been a member of the Post-Tensioning Institute Technical Advisory Board and the American Concrete Institute Committee 360 on Concrete Foundations. He was a principal author of all three Editions (1980, 1996, and 2003) of the Post-Tensioning Institute design manual for post-tensioned foundations on expansive soils. In 2005, he was named one of the "Legends of Post-Tensioning" at the PTI national convention in Denver. In 2006, he was honored with the NOVA Award of the Construction Innovation Forum of the Construction Users Roundtable for his development of the commercial application of ground penetrating radar analysis to construction quality control. In June, 2010 he was the keynote speaker at the GeoShanghai International Geotechnical Conference where he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Soils and Pavements. On October 21, 2010 he was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni of the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Texas in Austin. He is a member of the Transportation Research Board and was that organizations' Distinguished Lecturer for the year 2000.