Ackermann, W C

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Photograph[edit]

photo required for William C Ackermann


Dates[edit]

William C. Ackermann, October 7th 1914 (Sheboygan Wisconsin, USA) - June 9th 1988 (Urbana, Illinois, USA).

Biography[edit]

Bill Ackermann was born in 1913 in Sheboygan Wisconsin, the son of William and Frances E Sheerer Ackermann. He attended Lawrence College in Appleton Wisconsin, completing his undergraduate education in engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1935.

He worked for a short period for the Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Neenah, Wisconsin before taking up a position with the Tennessee Valley Authority where he worked as a river forecaster in the Water Control Planning Department from 1935-1941, then Headed the Hydrology Section from 1942-1954.

In 1954 he moved to the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland as Head of the Watershed Hydrology Section. In 1956 he was appointed as Chief of Illinois State Water Survey. In 1958 he also had a joint appointment as Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois.

In 1963, he undertook a special one-year assignment at the White House where he chaired the Committee on Water Resources Research within the Office of Science and Technology. He advocated the establishment of water resources institutes in all 50 states, which was enacted by Congress in 1964. He continued working for the Office of the President in various capacities including acting as vice-Chair of the Acid Rain Peer Review Panel.

He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1967 and served on its council from 1972-1975. He chaired the Academy’s Committee on Engineering Aspects of Environmental Quality and from 1980-1982 the National Research Council Water Resources Review Committee. He also served as president of the US National Committee for IUGG.

Other honours included the Laureate Medla of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the ASCE Collingwood Prize, the Soviet Medal for Geophysics, the AWWA Fuller Award, the AWRA Icko Iben Award, and the AGU Horton Medal for “expertise and and outstanding leadership in research, planning and management of water resources”. He served as president of the AGUs section of hydrology from 1962-1964 and president of AGU from 1966-1968. He served as President of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences in the years 1970-1971 taking over from Dr Szezstay (Hungary). He also served ASCE in different capacities included as a member of the Society’s board of direction from 1971-1974.

When he retired from the Illinois State Water Survey in 1979 he continued teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and in 1985 became an emeritus professor.

Hydrological Achievements[edit]

Head of Watershed Hydrology for ARS, Chief of the Illinois State Water Survey, and President IAHS.

Reference Material[edit]

Source: Anon, (1988) William C. Ackermann, 1914–1988, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 33:6, 634-634, DOI: 10.1080/02626668809491297

Source: National Academy of Engineering Memorial Tribute

Major Publications[edit]

Linsley, R.K. and Ackermann, W.C., 1942. Method of predicting the runoff from rainfall. Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, 107(1), pp.825-835.

Ackermann, W.C. and Corinth, R.L., 1962. An empirical equation for reservoir sedimentation. In Symposium of Bari (Italy), International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication, Vol. 59: 359-366.

Ackermann, W.C., 1964. Application of severe rainstorm data in engineering design. Bull. Am. Met. Soc, 45(4).

Ackermann, W.C., 1966. Guidelines for research on hydrology of small watersheds. United States, Department of the Interior, Office of Water Resources Research.

Ackermann, W.C., 1969. Costs of wells and pumps. Ground Water, 7(1), pp.35-37.

Ackermann, W.C., White, G.F., Worthington, E.B. and Ivens, J.L., 1973. Man-made lakes: their problems and environmental effects. Washington DC American Geophysical Union Geophysical Monograph Series, 17.

Ackermann, W.C., Harmeson, R.H. and Sinclair, R.A., 1970. Some long‐term trends in water quality of rivers and lakes. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 51(6), pp.516-522.

Ackermann, W.C., Changnon Jr, S.A. and Davis, R.J., 1974. The new weather modification law for Illinois. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 55(7), pp.745-750.

Schickedanz, P.T. and Ackermann, W.C., 1977. Influence of irrigation on precipitation in semi-arid climates. Arid Land Irrigation in Developing Countries: Environmental Problems and Effects, pp.185-196.


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