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Release: May 25, 2001

UI engineer Odgaard receives national award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A. Jacob Odgaard, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the University of Iowa College of Engineering and research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering, has been awarded the American Society of Civil Engineer's (ASCE) 2001 Hydraulic Structures Medal.

The medal, given for "significant contributions to the advancement of the art and science of hydraulic engineering as applied to hydraulic structure," was presented during the May 20-24 World Water and Environmental Resources Congress in Orlando, Fla. Odgaard's award citation reads, in part, 'In recognition of his innovations in experimental and engineering design, and his innovative and creative design of structures for river restoration and control…"

Odgaard, who also serves as the college's associate dean for research and graduate studies, also was recognized for contributions to the profession as editor of the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering from 1994 to 1998 and associate editor from 1989 to 1994.

Odgaard is perhaps best known for his development and testing of fish by-pass structures for utilities and government agencies, including projects aimed at decreasing the salmon mortality rate caused by dams in the Pacific Northwest. He is also known for his design of the Iowa Vane, a double-curved, patented structure for sediment control in rivers. The Iowa Vane is used around the world to protect stream banks, maintain navigation depth and flood-flow capacity in rivers, and control sediment at water intakes. Lately he has been promoting a comprehensive, integrative approach to problem solving utilizing new tools and techniques being developed within the discipline of hydroinformatics.

He received his master's degree and doctorate from the Technical University of Denmark. His previous honors include the ASCE's Karl Emil Hilgard Hydraulic Prize.