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In Memoriam: Glen V. Berg (1918 – 2019)

Berg passed away on January 9, 2019. Berg was a professor a former chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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Glen V. Berg

Glen V. Berg, former Professor and Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), died peacefully on January 9, 2019.

Berg was born on December 17, 1918 in Mead, Nebraska. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1941 from the University of Nebraska. After graduation, he worked as an engineer for the Panama Canal from 1941 to 1948, with a three-year interruption as lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II. After six more years of working as an engineer, he returned to the University of Nebraska to obtain his Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in 1955 and then continued onto his PhD degree (1958) in Civil Engineering at the University of Michigan.

Berg joined the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan as a lecturer during his PhD program in 1956. In 1958, he became an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering; he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1959 and then to Professor in 1961. Berg served as Chair of the Civil Engineering Department from 1969 to 1976. He continued to teach in the department until his retirement in May 1984.

During his 26 years of service to the University, Berg earned the respect and admiration of undergraduate and graduate students and his peers throughout the world. He wrote over 40 technical publications including eight reports detailing observations of buildings damaged by earthquakes.

Berg’s research interests focused on structural design specifically for protection from earthquakes. He traveled around the world to examine and research building damage after earthquakes. He worked for better enforcement of building codes for buildings in California that are affected by seismic activity. Berg was also involved in many organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Alaska Earthquake, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Concrete Institute, and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

In addition to his research work, Professor Berg was part of an international program to aid in the development of engineering education in India. From 1967 to 1969, Berg advised the program development and taught at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India. The program helped to develop future engineering leaders and fostered an exchange of ideas between the U.S. and India.

Professor Berg died peacefully on January 9, 2019, less than one month after his 100th birthday. The U-M community is greatly saddened by his loss.


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Mason Hinawi

Marketing Communications Specialist
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering