Year Inducted / Awarded: 1989
Member Award: Distinguished Engineering Alumni
Dr Silva is a Connecticut native. After a few years in the private sector he joined Worcester Polytechnic Institute for 18 years, became Head of Civil Engineering, was an involved proponent of the innovative WPI Plan, helped expand and improve the research facilities and established a strong research base in Civil and Ocean engineering. He then went to the University of Rhode Island as Professor of Ocean and Civil Engineering, became Chair of Ocean Engineering and established the world renowned Marine Geomechanics Laboratory where he attracted considerable funding for multidisciplinary research that included other universities, research laboratories, and an industrial consortium of five oil/gas firms in the Gulf of Mexico. He was Chair of a nine member Committee on Seabed Utilization in the Exclusive Economic Zone formed by the National Academy of Sciences, (report: Our Seabed Frontier,Challenges and Choices, 1989). He has several research and academic awards and over 60 papers, mostly in refereed publications. He established a new accredited undergraduate degree program in Ocean Engineering at U.R.I. and encouraged interdisciplinary programs within the University. He retired in 2001, is active in environmental issues, does art/painting, and now resides in San Francisco, California.