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Elected in 1985

“For pioneering contributions to hydrodynamical theory/applications, wave force analysis, storm tide prediction, tsunami flooding estimation, and for superlative teaching.”


ROBERT OSBORNE REID was born on August 24, 1921, in Milford, Connecticut, and died on January 23, 2009, in College Station, Texas. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1985. He received his B.E. in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California (1946) and his M.S. degree in oceanography from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (1948).

He served as a weather officer in the Army Air Corps (1942–1945) and participated in meteorological and oceanographic predictions for the landings in Normandy, France, in the Second World War. Shortly after the landings, he was stationed onshore and continued to contribute to the forecasts. He later served in the Pacific theater. His academic career was spent entirely at Texas A&M University, where he progressed from assistant professor (1951) to distinguished professor (1987) when he retired. Although his contributions to physical oceanography and meteorology were very substantial, including serving as founding editor of the Journal of Physical Oceanography for 11 years, this memoriam will focus primarily on his engineering achievements in practice and education.

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