December 3, 2002

Prof. Brusaert Receives Research Awards

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Prof. Wilfried Brutsaert, the W.L. Lewis professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been the recipient of several awards for his outstanding work in environmental fluid mechanics and hydrology. Most recently, he received the 2002 international award from the Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources for the contributions his research in that field.

Brutsaert has also been selected to receive the 2003 Jule G. Charney Award from the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

The AMS award recognizes Brutsaert’s “highly significant research or development achievement in the atmospheric or hydrologic sciences,” according to the AMS website on award requirements.

The Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources cited Brutsaert’s “significant contributions to progress in the field of hydrology and water resources and for valuable participation in the exchange of information on the international level within the society,” as reported by the Cornell News Service.

“Both awards are both lifetime achievement awards and reflect individual accomplishments,” Brutsaert said. “You work for a period of time on research and the committee decides that you should receive an award.”

One of the many areas of research Brutsaert examined at Cornell was the application of planetary boundary theory, a theory explaining how to define turbulence and diffusion, to regional evaporation.

“He’s one of the most outstanding hydrologists in the United States and we’re proud to have him with us,” said Prof. John Abel ’63, director of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

He described the process of being nominated by members of the society and then being selected by a committee.

“At regular intervals, different scientific and professional societies are looking for deserving members to give an award to,” he said. “That’s more or less how it goes.”

Brutsaert has received many other awards during his career at Cornell.

A longtime member of the Cornell faculty, he received a Fulbright-Hays Award from the Council for International Exchange of Scholars in 1976, the Horton Award in 1988 and the R.K. Linsley Award from the American Institute of Hydrology in 1993.

“It just confirms what a person does is fine and that they should keep going,” Brutsaert said of the awards. “It’s a stimulus. It’s an encouraging thing when it occurs in one’s life.”

Archived article by David Hillis