Letter from Dick Goodman paying Tribute to Dan Moye

Dear Mr Stapledon

It was a fine surprise to receive your letter. I remember some of your work, which Dan Moye had told us about so many years ago. He was intensely proud of his associates at the Snowy.

Dan Moye meant a great deal to me and the memory of his tragic death, as well as that of his lovely daughter and wife, fills me with sorrow even so many years later. I had been looking to welcome any opportunity to visit Australia, primarily to visit with Dan and his family and tell them how much we valued what they had given us in Berkeley. But then, after the accident, Australia seemed like a big void to me and I no longer retained any impetus towards going to visit — the magnet was gone, (although I did attend the Melbourne rock mechanics congress).

I was a graduate student in the Geological Engineering Program at Berkeley, which had been newly created by my professor Parker Trask, when Prof. Trask suffered a sudden heart attack. Prof Trask asked me, from his hospital bed, to conduct his class in engineering geology — for grad students in civil engineering — for the balance of the semester; this I managed to do with enormous interest. The Department of Mineral Technology, in which our program was then housed, sought help from three leading figures in our field — Roger Rhoades, former chief geologist of the Bureau of Reclamation; Tommy Thompson, former chief geologist of the Panama Canal Authority; and Tom Lang, whom you will remember as Associate Commissioner of the Snowy Mtn, Hydroelectric Authority. By working together, as ¼ time Lecturers, Thompson and Rhoades conducted a wonderful seminar for a handful of us grad students. And Tom Lang worked up his famous notes into a lecture course on rock mechanics, which he ran on Saturdays, (with more auditors from our local engineering industry than legitimate students recruited from the civil engineering department). At this time, Tom Lang had left the Snowy and was in charge of Bechtel’s intemational operations, particularly the Manipouri hydro scheme.

After a year of this interim arrangement, the department asked the lecturers to recommend candidates for visiting professor, to take the burden of conducting the program and courses in geological engineering. Their unanimous choice was Dan Moye – who was quickly invited and soon on his way to Berkeley. I remember going around Berkeley with Amy Lang inspecting possible homes in the Berkeley Hills and selecting one for the Moyes. We all went to the SF airport to receive him, and a new breath of life blew into our university program. To help settle the Moyes in their new home, I recruited three or four of our grad students, after a few hours on the job, Dan invited them to “stay for Tea ” and they all suddenly found themseves around a supper table while their own wives wondered where in the world they had vanished. After this we knew we had to leam more about Australian ways.

Dan was a great teacher for our students in general, but particularly for me. He was my mentor. Professor Trask had died and a new life had begun. Dan Moye immediately set to work to compile notes and case histories from his experience for the support of his lectures. He organized rich field trips into the Sierra Nevada to visit dams and hydro-power schemes. He conducted a wonderful seminar. When we suffered a huge rain storm, which is the flood of record on more than one of my current dam projects, Dan insisted all the students in our advanced class get in some rental cars together and drive around to see what water can do. That was a remarkable, valuable pronto field trip. Dan was enthusiastic, warm, and anxious to share his knowledge. He gave me confidence that I was entering a challenging, exciting new field. He clearly foresaw the coming growth of interest and relevance of geological engineering and rock mechanics in civil engineering works.

I had hoped he would stay on to become the permanent Professor in this field at Berkeley, but after a time – (the exact length of which don't recall) – he returned to Australia – and died with wife and young daughter in that tragic automobile accident.

In 1963, I completed my PhD and luckily was appointed to Prof. Trask's position. I stayed in that position - with eventual promotions to full professor - until retirement in 1992 since when I have been very active in consulting work.

I wanted very much to have the honor of co-authoring a book with Dan Moye based on the lecture notes he had prepared so well at Berkeley. We even agreed on a contract with a publisher, and had a third author on board as well – Tor Brekke. Some years later, when I had compiled sufficient experience in the field through teaching and some consulting, mainly in Columbia, I did write that book and I proudly dedicated it to Dan Moye. It is titled Methods of Geological Engineering in Discontinuous Rocks, published by West Publishing Company, 1976.

I have to say, I really loved that guy. Your request to write a few lines about him resonated deeply within me and I am happy you asked.

Sincerely, Dick Goodman