History of the Straub Award

An Excerpt from The St. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory - The First Fifty Years, by Mary H. Marsh
Shortly after Straub's death, a Lorenz G. Straub Fund was established at the University to create a suitable memorial for Straub's professional contributions. Over $18,000 has been contributed to the Memorial Fund by over 100 individuals and organizations in amounts ranging from $5 to $2,500. The establishment of the Lorenz G. Straub Award to be supported by this fund was announced at the dedication of the Lorenz G. Straub Memorial Library within St. Anthony Falls Laboratory by Edward Silberman. The award, made annually, is for the author of an especially meritorious dissertation in the area of hydraulic engineering or a closely related area. In reflection of Straub's world-wide professional activities, recipients can be from any school throughout the world, which has an appropriate graduate degree program. The award consists of a medal and an honorarium. Inititally, both M.S. and Ph.D. theses could be submitted, but after the first two awards were made, the competition was limited to Ph.D. dissertations. Over 200 dissertations were submitted in the first 20 years after the award was established. Two-thirds of these were submitted from schools in the United States, and the other third came from universities in India, seven countries in Europe, and from Canada and Australia. Because the number of dissertations in some years was quite substantial, in 1980 submissions were limited to one per university.

The Straub Award is presented annually at a special colloquium held at the laboratory. The first award was presented in 1966. For the first 5 years, the featured speaker was the recipient, who provided a research summary. In 1971, the Straub Lecture was added as a part of the Colloquium. The lectures are given by invited guests who are outstanding in their fields.

When the Straub Award was established, it was recognized that it was unique in its nature. In the years of its existence, it has come to be widely recognized professionally and has accrued much honor to its recipients.

Two of the award holders joined the faculty at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory some years after receiving it. They are Roger E. A. Arndt and Peter Kitanidis. Roger Arndt remains as a Professor Emeritus at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, and Peter Kitanidis is now a Professor of Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology at Stanford University in California.

The dissertations submitted for consideration for the Straub Award are reviewed by an Award Selection Committee. This committee consists of one or two members from the University of Minnesota, and two other members considered outstanding in their field from other universities. The members of the committee usually serve for three-year terms.