Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


May 1, 2008

Papanicolaou receives national civil engineering prize

A researcher in the University of Iowa College of Engineering has received one of the most prestigious awards given by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Thanos Papanicolaou, Robert and Virginia Wheeler Faculty Fellow of Engineering, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, associate faculty research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, and a researcher at the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, has been selected as the recipient of the 2008 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize.

The Huber Prize recognizes notable achievements by ASCE members in research related to civil engineering. Papanicolaou was cited "for research in several aspects of hydraulic and environmental engineering, in particular various fluvial morphological processes."

His special fields of knowledge include sediment transport in rivers, sediment fingerprinting techniques in watersheds, hydrodynamics and fluvial geomorphology. He has received funding from many federal agencies -- including the U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, and U.S. Department of Agriculture -- for his innovative work in sediment transport. Also, many state agencies -- including the Washington Department of Energy, Washington Department of Transportation, Iowa Department of Transportation and Nebraska Department of Fish and Game -- as well as Native American Tribes, such as the Nez Perce Tribe, and various public utilities have supported his investigations into a wide range of hydraulic/environmental issues.

He is a member of numerous professional and scientific societies, as well as a registered professional engineer in the state of Washington. He was a 2005-06 recipient of the Iowa Obermann Center Research Award. Papanicolaou has attracted more than $1 million in external funding since 2004 and has published more than 210 articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings. Papanicolaou serves on the editorial boards of four different scientific journals. His research has been used in numerous projects, including the design of stable riprap for the newly constructed Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the state of Washington. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is using his research in the Missouri River for the Shallow Water Habitats project.

Previous UI recipients of the Huber Prize have included: (1955) Philip F. Morgan, professor of civil engineering from 1948-61 and noted sanitary engineering researcher; (1964) John F. Kennedy, Hunter Rouse Professor of Hydraulics and director of the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research (IIHR) from 1966-91; and (1984) Jerald L. Schnoor, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1977 to the present, Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering, co-director of the Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research, and recognized authority  in groundwater contamination and hazardous waste remediation.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,