Obituary on Prof. Pierre Foray

Pierre Foray, Professor Emeritus of Grenoble INP passed away on March 24, 2014 after a long battle with cancer. His death a few years after his retirement has saddened many people including his former students, colleagues, and friends. Pierre is well known in the Geotechnical community in France and abroad. The ALERT-Geomaterials community has lost an extraordinary individual with his passing.

Pierre received his degree of Civil Engineering from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in 1969, and his PhD from the Université de Grenoble in 1972. He started his academic career as a Professor of Geotechnics at the Universidad de Santiago de Chile (1972-1973) and then he moved back to Grenoble, where he was Assistant Professor, then Full Professor of geotechnical engineering at the engineering school of Grenoble INP since 1992. He also spent long periods abroad at the Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito (Ecuador), at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch (New Zealand) and at the University of Western Australia, Perth (Australia).

Pierre’s research was chiefly focussed on the physical modelling of geotechnical works, in particular for off-shore applications, dynamic soil-structure interaction, earthquake-induced liquefaction of sandy soils, the soil-fluid-structure interaction related to wave and storm action as well as the evaluation of soil parameters from in-situ experiments.

Pierre was an outstanding researcher in geotechnical engineering and a truly great human being. He loved teaching not less than research, as the many students that he has taught and supervised over the years know well. Working with him was always a pleasure and an opportunity to learn, as many of his colleagues have expressed. He was the epitome of a teacher and a true gentleman.

While Pierre Foray will be remembered for his professional contributions, his legacy is of having been a sincere, warm gentleman of uncompromising honesty and integrity. We will all miss his intelligence, his generosity, his modesty.

Pierre is survived by his wife, Marie, and his two daughters, Soazig and Nolwenn.

[Prof. Gioacchino (Cino) Viggiani]

4 thoughts on “Obituary on Prof. Pierre Foray

  1. Lamentamos muchisimo la noticia del fallecimiento de Pierre. Gran amigo, gran persona, quisieramos, Silvia y yo, expresar nuestras mas sentidas condolencias a Marie Ivonne y a sus hijas. Conoci a Pierre en Quito, Ecuador, trabajamos juntos, y despues, en Grenoble, nos ayudo mucho. Hicimos juntos la fundacion de su hermosa casa en Lacombe de Lancey. Pierre, amigo mio, que en paz descanse.

  2. I will always remember Pierre for his support to human rights causes, and also, for his warm, kind smile. My condolences to Mary and their two daughters. Silvia Arana

  3. Ma femme et moi, venons de savoir de ce tragique événement et nous sommes profondément consternés.

    Nous vous serons toujours très remerciés de votre inestimable patiente, support et aide pendant ces deux années à Grenoble.

    Vous étiez un très grand ami, homme, personne et professionnel, comme nous n’avons jamais connu.

    Descansa en paz y nuestras más profundas condolencias a su familia.

    Pablo Sánchez e Isabel Grau.

  4. Sinceramente lamento mucho que Pierre ya no esté. Lo conocí hace 34 años, en Yungay, Perú, junto a su esposa Marie. Juntos hicimos una caminata inolvidable de 4 días en los Andes peruanos. Tengo el recuerdo de un hombre cálido, amable, muy buena persona. Y jamás lo olvidé a él ni a Marie. Un saludo enorme para Marie y para sus hijos.

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