Craig Benson

Craig H. Benson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, he is a renowned geoenvironmental engineer with a distinguished record of research

Craig H. Benson

Wisconsin Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Dean of Engineering Emeritus, University of Virginia



BS Civil Engineering – Lehigh University – 1985

MSE Civil Engineering (Geoenvironmental) – University of Texas at Austin, 1987

PhD Civil Engineering (Geoenvironmental) – University of Texas at Austin, 1989

Research Interests

  • Near-surface waste containment
  • Engineered barriers
  • Radionuclide transport
  • Vadose zone hydrology and transport
  • Life-cycle analysis and sustainability metrics
  • Uncertainty assessment and risk analysis
  • Sustainable decision making

Brief Biography

Craig H. Benson is the 13th dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Janet Scott Hamilton and John Downman Hamilton Professor of Civil Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, he is a renowned geoenvironmental engineer with a distinguished record of research. His research focus areas include engineered barriers for waste containment systems; engineering for sustainability & life cycle analysis; sustainable infrastructure and beneficial use of industrial byproducts in infrastructure. He has more than 300 research publications and three U.S. patents.

Prior to his position at the University of Virginia, Benson served at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he chaired the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Geological Engineering, co-directed the Office of Sustainability and served as Director of Sustainability Research and Education for the university. He was also an affiliate professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

Benson currently serves on the advisory board of the Global Waste Research Institute at the California Polytechnic State Institute at San Luis Obispo. He previously served as president of the Geo Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, vice-chair of ASTM International’s Committee D18 on Soil and Rock, and was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering.

In addition to being named a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Benson is a fellow of ASTM International and the American Society of Civil Engineers and a Diplomate of Geotechnical Engineering in the Academy of Geo-Professionals. He was named one of the Top 100 educators by the Wisconsin Student Association and received the outstanding professor award from the ASCE Wisconsin Student Chapter.

He holds the Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Lehigh University and the Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in civil engineering/geoenvironmental engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

CRESP Projects

  • Hanford Site-wide review
  • DOE Landfill Partnership
  • Long-Term Performance of Geosynthetics Used in Surface Barriers for Disposal Facilities


Tian, K, Benson, C.B., Yang, Y., Tinjum, J.M. (2018), Radiation dose and antioxidant depletion in a HDPE geomembrane, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 46(4):426-435.  “Best Paper Award” from journal.  Download Article

Benson, C., Oren, A., and Gates, W. (2010), Hydraulic Conductivity of Two Geosynthetic Clay Liners Permeated with a Hyperalkaline Solution, J. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 28(2), 206-218, doi:10.1016/j.geotexmem.2009.10.002.

Benson, C., Kucukkirca, I., and Scalia, J. (2010), Properties of Geosynthetics Exhumed from the Final Cover at a Solid Waste Landfill, J. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 28, 536-546, doi:10.1016/j.geotexmem.2010.03.001 Download Article

Scalia, J. and Benson, C. (2010), Preferential Flow in Geosynthetic Clay Liners Exhumed from Final Covers with Composite Barriers, Canadian Geotechnical J., 47, 1101-1111

Li, L. and Benson, C. (2010), Evaluation of Five Strategies to Limit the Impact of Fouling in Permeable Reactive Barriers, J. Hazardous Materials, 181, 170-180

Benson, C. and Meer, S. (2009), Relative Abundance of Monovalent and Divalent Cations and the Impact of Desiccation on Geosynthetic Clay Liners, J. Geotech. and Geoenvironmental Eng., 135(3), 349-358

Committee Service

  • Hydraulic Properties and Hydraulic Barriers, ASTM D18 on Soil & Rock
  • Past-President, Board of Governors, ASCE Geo Institute
  • Advisory Board, Global Waste Research Institute

Additional Information:

Benson CV

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