You are on page 1of 5

FORUM

How I Became a Hydraulic Engineer


Margaret S. Petersen, Hon.M.ASCE River. No one thing, and certainly no driving ambition, led me to
Emerita Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering and Engineering civil engineering. In adult life, most of my professional associates
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by Instituto Mexicano De Tecnologia Del Agua on 04/05/17. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Mechanics, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721. E-mail: and mentors were male, but my early years were primarily influ-
petersen@engr.arizona.edu enced by a number of strong, kind, and independent women. First
was my mother, who frequently reminded my two younger broth-
Note: This paper was originally presented at the EWRI World ers and me that anyone could do anything if one wanted to
Water and Environmental Resources Congress, May 20–24, enough and was willing to work hard enough to accomplish it.
2001, Orlando, Florida. She also believed that education was priceless.
Chronologically, the second was my great-aunt Minnie, a
widow at an early age, an independent, self-reliant woman who
Summary raised six sons on a farm on a large point bar of the Mississippi
River a few miles west of Rock Island. Her two-story concrete-
This forum is a brief overview of my life as a woman civil engi-
block house had concrete floors, and the first floor was often
neering student during World War II and one of the first women
flooded 共sometimes for months兲 by the spring rise of the Missis-
graduate engineers to practice in the United States. Early interest
sippi. The house had a wide concrete porch on the north side,
in science and mathematics led to studies at the University of
Iowa and 30 years as a hydraulic engineer and water resources facing the river, with three concrete steps leading down to sand
planner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prior to joining and a long boardwalk over a swampy 共sometimes flooded兲 area to
the faculty of the College of Engineering at the University of near the water’s edge when the river was low. When the house
Arizona. People and events that shaped my life are reviewed, and was first built, some 20 year earlier, about 15 steps led down from
the increasing role of women in civil engineering as undergradu- the porch. The point bar had silted in that much in that time. We
ate students, graduate students, and practicing professionals is visited aunt Minnie frequently when I was a child, and it was on
summarized. that farm that I first learned about the power of a river and the
fortitude and resiliency of people who live along a river.
Three of my primary school teachers made me feel that learn-
Introduction ing was exciting and fun, and two of my junior high school teach-
ers had major influence on my life. For 3 years our English
Preparing for the Rouse Lecture made me stop to reflect on who teacher drilled us in grammar and common sense and tried to
I really am, the same questioning feeling experienced on retiring instill in us a love of reading and the ability to think for ourselves.
from the Corps of Engineers in 1977. If I was no longer an engi- She and my mother stimulated my life-long interest in the printed
neer with the Corps, who was I? Since then I’ve lived two more word and the desire to write well. Our general science teacher
lives, as a university professor and finally as a ‘‘retired person’’ introduced us to climate differences, cloud formations, and other
still submerged in engineering and always running out of time. wonderful things that led to an appreciation of the beauty of sci-
There are never enough hours in the day to meet daily responsi- ence.
bilities, and we don’t often reflect back on how we got to where In high school I was interested in math and science, but never
we ended up. Preparing the Rouse Lecture forced me to look back considered engineering as a career; I had no understanding of
again. what engineers do. After high school, in the late 1930s, I attended
I don’t consider my life to have been remarkable at all; many a small liberal arts college in Rock Island for a few semesters, but
women in many fields have accomplished more, and I’ve been that was in the depth of the depression, and I couldn’t afford to
blessed with serendipity—more often than anyone could reason-
continue. There were virtually no part-time jobs, but I eventually
ably expect. Many things in life are fortuitous—a matter of being
was employed by an architect as a secretary and continued col-
in the right place at the right time and being prepared to make
lege in the evening. It was a small office and not a busy period for
good choices. I rarely felt discriminated against as a woman in
architects so there was time to read the old files of architectural
engineering, but perhaps that was largely because of the time at
which I was an undergraduate student and when I entered the and engineering magazines and to examine detailed construction
profession, during and immediately after World War II. drawings. The office had a contract with the Federal Housing
Administration to review applications for housing loans, includ-
ing review of plans, specifications, and cost estimates and con-
The Early Years struction inspection, and I participated in some of the office re-
view.
Many things shape our lives: our families, people we meet, That was my introduction to the world of design, plans and
people who help us, various experiences, successes, failures. In specs, construction inspection, and interaction with clients and
looking back, what stands out is how much I owe to many people contractors. It was a fascinating complex world to a naı̈ve young
who were a part of my life. I grew up in Rock Island, Illinois, a woman from a poor family. By 1942, with that experience and
town of about 40,000 people on the east bank of the Mississippi course work, I had sufficient background to be employed as a

JOURNAL OF HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING © ASCE / MAY 2003 / 335

J. Hydraul. Eng., 2003, 129(5): 335-339


draftsman by the Rock Island District of the Corps of Engineers, tary, Mary Sheedy, to write us a letter denying our applications.
and there I became aware of what engineers do. Miss Sheedy was another important woman in my life. She had
In the 1930s the Rock Island District of the Corps had been been persuaded not to enter medical school when she was
responsible for design and construction of a series of navigation younger, and she told the Dean that he could ‘‘at least meet with
locks and dams on the upper Mississippi River, and when I was a the girls,’’ and so he did.
small child my father sometimes took us to watch construction of That was during World War II, when American women first
Lock and Dam 15 at Rock Island. The Rock Island District had a entered the industrial work force in large numbers, and it was also
close relationship with the Panama Canal Company. In the late the era of Eleanor Roosevelt, who actively encouraged women to
1930s the Panama Canal Company set up a Special Engineering become involved in all facets of American life. It didn’t seem
Division 共SED兲 for design and construction of a third set of canal unusual or daring to us to want to study engineering, and Dean
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by Instituto Mexicano De Tecnologia Del Agua on 04/05/17. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

locks. Many high-level positions in SED were filled by engineers Dawson’s initial hostility turned to warm support once he was
from Rock Island with experience on the upper Mississippi River convinced of our serious interest in engineering.
work, and from time to time others from the Rock Island District Again, we were incredibly fortunate. At that time the St. Paul
were loaned to SED. By 1942 German submarines in the Carib- District of the Corps had a suboffice at the Iowa Institute of
bean were sinking much of the construction materials and equip- Hydraulic Research to model test designs for new locks and dams
ment being shipped from the United States to Panama, and a on the Ohio River and tributaries. Working half-time at the Corps’
decision was made to complete the contract drawings for the suboffice made it financially feasible for us to attend college, and
Third Locks but halt construction until World War II ended. that experience focused our interests on hydraulics. The suboffice
In 1943 the Rock Island District loaned 10 draftsmen 共includ- was under the direction of Martin Nelson in St. Paul, the Corps’
ing myself and three other young women兲 to SED in Diablo long-time expert on lock design, and one of the most kind and
Heights, Canal Zone, to help complete the drawings. I was as- capable people I’ve known. The engineer in charge was Robert
signed to share an apartment with Irene Miller, and that was the Kreiss, and those two had the interest and trust to hire us and give
beginning of a friendship and professional association that lasted us the opportunity to study engineering. A year or so later Robert
until her untimely death in 1979. I had no sisters or close girl Kreiss moved to another position, and Marvin Webster took
cousins, and Irene and her two sisters became my sisters. charge of the suboffice.
I was interested in photography and watercolor painting at that While undergraduates, we made drawings for model construc-
time. We worked 6- and sometimes 7-day weeks, but I spent as tion, operated the models, compiled data, and worked in the shop,
much time as possible in the side streets of Panama City, sketch- sanding wooden model components, etc. It was a happy experi-
ing and photographing the architecture. I was befriended by many ence. Those three engineers helped and encouraged us and were
women and children who visited with me as I painted, and the best role models one could have. At the same time, the Iowa
Panama was my initiation into another culture. The experiences faculty and the few undergraduate students there at the time
there still color my interest and activities in lesser-developed readily accepted us. At Iowa, Hunter Rouse, Joseph Howe, John
areas of the world. McNown, Maurice Albertson, and especially Emory Lane were
important faculty influences. The nurturing atmosphere at Iowa
may have been unusual for the time. I really don’t know, but a
Undergraduate Studies woman enrolled in engineering in the southwest at the same time
later told me that she and another young woman felt so much
Irene and I shared many interests, and after returning to Rock hostility from both faculty and students that they withdrew from
Island from Panama in December 1944 we decided to go back to the engineering program and transferred to architecture.
school and study civil engineering. In Panama we had been given
the choice of either $3 per day per diem or a cost of living allow- Life as a Hydraulic Engineer with the Corps
ance of 25% of base pay. Per diem of $3 was more than 25% of of Engineers
our salary, and we saved it all. That money made it possible for us
to return to school to study engineering. When we received our B.S. degrees in 1947, few women earned
At that point another important role model influenced my life, enough money at anything to live apart from their families in
a long-time family friend who was 10 years older than me and a other than a rented room, so Irene and I hoped to find jobs that
classics student. With a doctorate in classical languages, Norma would permit us to share an apartment. We soon found that most
Young joined the University of Iowa faculty in men’s physical employers in those days had no interest in employing women as
education and became a respected teacher, and the coauthor of engineers. There was an offer from a paper company in Wiscon-
books and papers in that field. A strange career move for her, but sin, in their technical library, and many, many rejections. Finally
the department chair thought it was more important to have some- the Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station 共WES兲 at
one intelligent on the faculty than someone in his field! Norma Vicksburg, Mississippi, offered us positions as junior engineers.
was the one primarily responsible for my enrolling at Iowa. She We knew where Mississippi was, but we couldn’t find Vicksburg
knew Dr. Rouse because of their consultations with him about on any of our maps. It didn’t matter; we eagerly accepted.
what could be done to decrease the resistance and improve the We were assigned to the Jackson suboffice of WES where the
speed of swimmers. Norma thought I’d like that program, and she Mississippi Basin Model 共MBM兲 was under construction. That
was right. Another important consideration was that Iowa City is was an outdoor fixed-bed distorted model of all major streams in
about 60 miles west of Rock Island and was easily accessible by the Mississippi Basin, with a horizontal scale of 1:2000 and ver-
bus and train in those days. tical scale of 1:100. It covered 210 acres. The idea for such a
So, in the summer of 1944 Irene and I applied for admission to model dated back to the devastating 1937 flood on the Mississippi
the Iowa civil engineering program and went to Iowa City for an River and to the District Engineer at Memphis, Tennessee, who
interview with Dean Dawson. He later told us that initially he was recognized the need for a comprehensive tool to study basin-wide
not enthusiastic about meeting with us and had asked his secre- flood problems. In 1942 WES had been asked to investigate the

336 / JOURNAL OF HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING © ASCE / MAY 2003

J. Hydraul. Eng., 2003, 129(5): 335-339


feasibility and practicality of constructing such a model to coor- refused to make us employment offers because, in their view, ‘‘no
dinate problems anticipated with the operation of the 200 reser- woman is worth that much money.’’ 共Our annual salary then was
voirs 共existing and planned兲, levees, and other flood protection probably less than $5,000.兲
measures in the Mississippi basin. However, that was during In Omaha from 1953 to 1955 I worked on hydraulic structures,
World War II, and both labor and construction materials were in sediment problems, channel stabilization, and bank protection; it
very short supply. Rommel’s Afrika Corps had just been captured was stimulating and challenging. That work involved several
by the British in North Africa, and the Chief of Engineers secured model studies at WES in Vicksburg, and there were frequent
permission to use those German prisoners of war 共POW兲 for meetings with Lorenz Straub, Emory Lane, and Vito Vanoni who
rough grading of the model site. An internment camp was con- were consultants on MRD projects. For recreation Irene and I
structed to house several thousand POWs adjacent to the model often drove up to South Dakota on weekends to watch construc-
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by Instituto Mexicano De Tecnologia Del Agua on 04/05/17. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

site in early 1943, and POW work on the model began in August tion of Gavins Point and Fort Randall Dams, and work involved
1943. The rough grading had been completed, and all POWs had field trips to those and other dams under construction on the Mis-
been transferred from the site just weeks before we arrived in souri River farther upstream.
Jackson in August 1947. The MBM was used extensively during Most of the people we worked with in Omaha were ‘‘worka-
the 1950s and 1960s, but was placed on standby maintenance in holics.’’ Probably in all my years with the Corps in several of-
1971, then used occasionally during flood emergencies and later fices, only a few engineers were not. The questions and problems
closed. were so pervasive; there was so little in the literature at that time;
In Jackson from 1947 to 1952, we worked on the design and and Iowa Hydraulics Conferences every 3 years were almost the
operation of the MBM and various research studies. The MBM only opportunities for discussions with colleagues in other Corps
was one of the tools used by the Corps to develop design and offices and in university research laboratories. Iowa had orga-
operating criteria for many flood control projects throughout the nized a conference on hydraulics in 1939, and it was followed by
Mississippi basin. It was also used in ‘‘real time’’ flood forecast- five other Iowa Conferences. The Fourth Iowa Conference in
ing and flood-fighting operations. For example, during a major 1949 attracted 425 people, and proceedings were published as the
flood on the upper Missouri River in the spring of 1952, engineers 1,000-page book Engineering Hydraulics, edited by Hunter
in the Corps Division and District offices in the basin and the Rouse. That book became the standard reference for many years.
Missouri River section of the MBM worked around the clock. The Fifth, and last, Iowa Conference was held in 1953. The Iowa
The model was operated to reproduce the latest forecasts for Mis- conferences were then discontinued because Dr. Rouse felt their
souri discharges and stages—especially in the vulnerable Omaha- original purpose was being met by the annual ASCE hydraulics
Council Bluffs urban area protected by levees and floodwalls. The conferences. The second ASCE hydraulics specialty conference
large storage reservoirs on the upper Missouri River in North and was held in 1953, jointly with IAHR, at the University of Min-
South Dakota had not yet been completed, and there was no way nesota. There were not many working in hydraulic engineering in
then to modify the flood wave traveling downstream. Model re- the late 1940s to early 1950s, and we were acquainted through the
sults were used to help make decisions as to urban areas to be Iowa conferences and later through the ASCE hydraulics spe-
evacuated, where levees should be raised by sandbagging, and so cialty conferences. I never felt discriminated against in that group.
forth. In 1955 Irene and I transferred from MRD in Omaha to the
WES offered us opportunities to become involved in profes- Little Rock District of the Corps to work on the Arkansas River
sional engineering in ways not often available to junior engineers Navigation Project. Once again we were fortunate to be in the
at that time. Many of the foremost hydraulicians were consultants right place at the right time with the right background. The prob-
on our projects: Boris Bakhmeteff, Hans Einstein, Arthur Ippen, lems associated with building a series of navigation locks and
Morrough O’Brien, Hunter Rouse, and Lorenz Straub. We also dams on the Arkansas River, a river then carrying one of the
had the opportunity to meet and work with hydraulic engineers largest sediment loads in the world, were formidable. Our work
and hydrologists from many Corps offices. We were introduced to on the Missouri River and experience in physical modeling at
local activities of ASCE through the Vicksburg Branch and to Iowa and at WES were ideal background for the Arkansas. Work-
ASCE technical programs and publications. In 1950, at the sug- ing on the Arkansas was probably the most fun I’ve had in engi-
gestion of Albert Fry of the Tennessee Valley Authority, then neering practice. In stabilizing the river and laying out and de-
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the ASCE Hydraulics signing the locks and dams, we examined aerial photos, walked
Division, the Vicksburg Branch and Jackson ASCE members or- the caving banks, traveled the river in small boats, when there
ganized a specialty conference on hydraulics in Jackson, and we was enough water to float a boat, and flew the river frequently in
were actively involved. That was the first ASCE specialty confer- small planes during floods. To go back to Little Rock now is to go
ence. The next year we helped organize the Jackson Branch of back to a different river. The navigation project has made the river
ASCE, and I served as secretary for 2 years. not only deep enough for commercial tows, but the river is now
After 5 years in Jackson, we felt the need for more formal easily accessible to the public, and it is heavily used 共several
education to better understand the hydraulic problems we were million recreation days per year兲 for all types of water-oriented
encountering daily. Not many universities offered programs in recreation.
hydraulics or hydrology at that time, and we decided to return to By 1964, when most of the basic criteria had been established
Iowa. We finished our master’s degrees in 1953, early in the for the Arkansas navigation project and several of the locks and
Eisenhower administration, when federal water resources pro- dams were under construction, I transferred to WES in Vicksburg
grams were being significantly curtailed. The cutbacks reduced to work in coastal hydraulics under Robert Hudson and with Gar-
the number of job opportunities, but once again we were fortu- bis Keulegan, but somehow work in a research environment did
nate. The Missouri River Division 共MRD兲 of the Corps in Omaha not have the satisfying immediacy of the work in Little Rock.
offered to hire us both—probably because of our earlier work Irene had transferred to the Sacramento District of the Corps in
with their engineers while at the Mississippi Basin Model in Jack- California, and after about a year in Vicksburg, I also transferred
son. Later they told us that the MRD personnel office had initially to Sacramento, initially to work in planning for a deep-draft navi-

JOURNAL OF HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING © ASCE / MAY 2003 / 337

J. Hydraul. Eng., 2003, 129(5): 335-339


gation project. However, I soon also became involved in planning on river engineering in 1985. I taught full time in the Department
for shallow-draft navigation, urban flood protection, and major of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from 1981 to
multipurpose dams designed for flood damage reduction, power 1991 and part-time for the next 6 years, finally giving up my
production, irrigation and water supply, environmental protection, office at the university in 1998.
and recreation. Since 1985, I’ve lectured and participated in conferences and
While I worked as a water resources planner in Sacramento, workshops in China and in Africa, particularly southern Africa.
from 1964 until retirement in 1977, the Corps’ planning process Involvement in China led to preparation of a monograph for the
changed significantly. After passage of the National Environmen- Chinese on inland navigation and canalization at the request of
tal Policy Act 共NEPA兲 in 1969, Corps planning changed from Pin Nam Lin, another Iowa classmate. The work in southern Af-
being directed toward identifying and implementing the most rica led to a book, coauthored with David Stephenson of the Uni-
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by Instituto Mexicano De Tecnologia Del Agua on 04/05/17. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

cost-effective solution of specific technical problems to explora- versity of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, on water resources
tion of the economic, social, and environmental consequences of development in developing countries. I’ve also been involved in
a wide range of alternative solutions. The requirements of NEPA volunteer work with the World Federation of Scientists/World
were vague, and there was no guidance initially for preparing the Laboratory, Lausanne, Switzerland, related to improving quality
environmental reports required by the law. The Corps developed of life in developing countries through science and to studies of
criteria for preparing environmental impact statements by having planetary emergencies related to water resources, limits of devel-
planners in all Districts prepare draft statements encompassing opment, social and economic conditions, megacities, dust storms,
everything thought to be pertinent and responsive to the law and and so forth.
then used those drafts as the basis for setting criteria. I wrote three
of the original statements—one for an urban local flood protection
project, one for a large multiple-purpose reservoir, and one for a Then and Now
deep-draft navigation project. Women make up approximately one-half of the U.S. population,
I became actively involved in the ASCE Hydraulics Division but in the mid-twentieth century they were grossly underrepre-
in 1963 when Eugene Fortson, then Chief of the Hydraulics Labo- sented in science and engineering. When I entered the engineering
ratory at WES, recommended me to be editor of the Hydraulics profession shortly after World War II, in the order of only 0.5% of
Division Newsletter. I later chaired the Publications Committee engineers in the United States were women 共a lower percentage
for several years and served on the Executive Committee from than in Russia at that time兲. It is difficult to find consistent his-
1976 –1980 共Chair in 1975 and 1976兲. After Jim Villemonte, of torical data about the increasing number of women in engineering
the University of Wisconsin, took a sabbatical to teach in India in and in civil engineering prior to about 1960 but, in general, data
1977 and resigned as the Hydraulics Division representative on from the U.S. Bureau of the Census 共1960兲 and various National
ASCE Management Group D 共MGD兲, I served the remaining 3 Science Foundation 共NSF兲 studies 共1996, 2000兲 indicate that
years of his MGD appointment. • The total number of scientists and engineers in all disciplines
in the U.S. workforce increased from about 1 million in 1950–
1960 to about 3.4 million in 1997. By 1997, the number of
Life as a College Professor women in science and engineering totaled 780,000, or 23% of
the workforce.
In the summer of 1980, with active involvement in ASCE coming • The number of engineers in all branches increased from
to an end 共I thought兲, I was facing the question of what to do with 526,000 in 1950 to 870,000 in 1960 and to 1.4 million in 1997.
the rest of my life. And again something fortuitous and totally In 1960, the 248 women engineers employed by the Federal
unexpected happened. In August, Emmett Laursen, a professor at Government comprised 0.4% of all federal engineers. By
the University of Arizona who had been a fellow student at Iowa, 1997, there were about 127,000 women engineers, or 9% of
called to invite me to come to Arizona as a visiting professor for the engineering work force.
a semester, or a year, or perhaps longer. There had been a death • The number of women civil engineers ranged from about
on their faculty, and they were looking for someone with practical 2,000 共1.6%兲 in 1950 to 700 共0.6%兲 in 1960 and 19,600
engineering experience to teach graduate-level classes in hydrau- 共9.3%兲 in 1997.
lics. ‘‘Maybe you’ll like it,’’ he said. I was terrified at the idea. I’d • In the period 1987–1997, the number of women undergradu-
never wanted to teach and didn’t think I could. Public speaking ates in all branches of engineering increased from 60,000
had always been excruciating for me. But Emmett was patient and 共15.4%兲 to 70,000 共19.4%兲.
persistent, and in January of 1981 I went to Tucson to teach. I • In 1950, in the order of only 37% of women working as pro-
thought it was a temporary move and kept my house in Sacra- fessional civil engineers had a bachelor’s degree or higher. By
mento for 5 years, going back there each summer. Finally, I real- 1960 there were significantly fewer women engineers in the
ized that each summer I was taking home a car packed with work force, but the number with degrees had increased to
papers related to a research contract with the Corps on a naviga- about 60%. Women earned 146 共0.4%兲 of the 36,000 bach-
tion project on the Red River in Louisiana, and I moved perma- elor’s degrees awarded in engineering in 1966, but the number
nently to Tucson. increased to about 7,000 共11%兲 of the 64,000 degrees awarded
When I began teaching in 1981, there were virtually no pub- in 1981 and to 11,300 共18%兲 of 63,000 degrees awarded in
lications suitable for use as texts for graduate classes in water 1996.
resources planning, river engineering, hydropower, and flow Data are available on science and engineering degrees awarded
through dams—subjects which I taught. I soon learned, too, that in the period 1966 to 1996 共NSF 2000兲, but little information is
students 共especially those for whom English is a second language兲 readily available prior to that time. However, the number of
found it difficult to sift through a stack of handouts and recognize graduate degrees awarded in science and engineering, the number
the salient points. That led to developing my class notes into one awarded to women, and the percent of degrees awarded to women
of the first books on water resources planning in 1984 and another have all increased significantly in recent years, as follows:

338 / JOURNAL OF HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING © ASCE / MAY 2003

J. Hydraul. Eng., 2003, 129(5): 335-339


• The number of master’s degrees awarded in engineering in- to the effect that the most important thing we do in life is to help
creased from 13,705 in 1966 to 16,451 in 1981 and to 27,761 each other, are confirmed by my experience.
in 1996. Women earned only 76 共0.6%兲 of the 13,705 master’s There is much interest today in attracting more women, mi-
degrees in engineering awarded in 1966, but the number in- norities, and the handicapped to careers in engineering and sci-
creased to 1,329 共8%兲 in 1981 and to 4,752 共17%兲 in 1996. ence and to introducing children to engineering and scientific con-
• The number of doctoral degrees awarded in engineering in- cepts at an early age in the K–12 curricula. My life is witness to
creased from 2,301 in 1966 to 2,528 in 1981 and to 6,305 in the importance of family and inspiring K–12 teachers in influenc-
1996. Doctoral degrees in engineering awarded to women in- ing a child’s future and to the effectiveness of their support. I had
creased from 8 共0.6%兲 of the 2,301 degrees awarded in 1966 to parental encouragement to study and read, teachers who excelled
99 共4%兲 of the 2,528 awarded in 1981 and to 776 共12%兲 of the in their fields and obviously loved teaching, and role models and
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by Instituto Mexicano De Tecnologia Del Agua on 04/05/17. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

6,305 degrees awarded in 1996. mentors who encouraged and helped me. There were many others
unnamed in this paper who quietly influenced my life and to
whom I am indebted, especially many engineers in the Corps of
Engineers and engineers who were active in the old ASCE Hy-
In Conclusion
draulics Division. In awarding me the Hunter Rouse award,
ASCE has also honored all those who influenced my life, and I
Some years ago the noted anthropologist Margaret Mead said that am grateful.
our society was changing so rapidly that everyone over the age of
25 was an immigrant in a strange land. That has been even more
true in recent decades, and interaction with students has helped to References
ease my way. I’ve learned as much from them as they learned
National Science Foundation. 共1996兲. ‘‘Women, Minorities, and Persons
from me. Deciding to go to Arizona to teach was one of the most with Disabilities in Science and Engineering.’’ Washington, D.C.
difficult choices I’ve made, but probably one of the happiest. My National Science Foundation. 共2000兲. ‘‘Women, Minorities, and Persons
students were mostly graduate students and many were foreign with Disabilities in Science and Engineering.’’ Washington, D.C.
nationals. They needed encouragement and understanding, and I U.S. Department of Commerce. 共1960兲. ‘‘Census of Population.’’ Bureau
am still in touch with many of them. Clare Boothe Luce’s words, of the Census, Washington, D.C.

JOURNAL OF HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING © ASCE / MAY 2003 / 339

J. Hydraul. Eng., 2003, 129(5): 335-339