Kisiel, C C
Chester C Kisiel 1929 (Harrison Township, PA, USA) - 1973 (Tucson, AZ, USA)
Chester Kisiel was born on 9 July 1929, in Harrison Township, Pennsylvania, and was the eldest of six children. He came from an immigrant background and spent his youth surrounded by the rivers, hills, and steel mills of Pittsburgh. He worked from the age of fourteen to help support himself and his family and to help pay for his educational expenses. That strong steel town work ethic was an intrinsic part of Chester’s character.
Following high school, from 1951-53, Chester was a member of the U.S. Air Force, serving in Japan and Korea. After military service, he was educated in civil and in sanitary engineering, first at Pennsylvania State University and later at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a Master of Science degree in civil engineering (1956), a Master of Public Health degree (1959), and a Doctor of Science degree (1963).
At Pitt from 1954-1965, he taught many courses, including engineering graphics, statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, hydraulics, laboratory analysis of water and wastes (and, in the process, conceived and developed the sanitary laboratory), theory and practice in water and waste water treatment, stochastic hydrology, applied statistics for engineers, and systems analysis of water resources systems.
In 1966, he left the University of Pittsburgh to join the newly-formed Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona. At the time of his death in 1973, while playing handball, he was a Full Professor in Hydrology and Water Resources and held the same rank with the Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering.
Professor Kisiel brought to bear prodigious gifts in pursuing his goals. He had the gift of hard work and uncompromising standards. He was a hard task master, but he never demanded more of others than he was willing and able to do himself. He had the gift of almost perfect recall. He knew what he read (and he read, it sometimes seemed, everything). In the maze and piles of documents, books, and files that barricaded his office, he knew where to find every document, every piece of paper. He had the gift of sound instinct, both with regard to technical matters and in the assessment of the strengths of his colleagues. He had the gift of stimulating and working with others across many disciplines. As an indication of his activities in this direction, this obituary was prepared by six colleagues, each from a different discipline. Finally, Chester Kisiel had the gift of self-examination, which is another way of saying that he had the gift of honesty. He tried to be honest with himself and honest with others. He could forgive many things but not something, that in his view, was a dishonest piece of work.
There was a theme to Professor Kisiel's professional work-it was his continuing effort to bring mathematical and modern engineering methods to bear on problems in hydrology. And he was not content to deal with existing problem statements. In many cases he refined and reformulated the problem itself, or he identified problems before many of his colleagues were aware of their existence. The fruits of his efforts are evidenced in his many publications, in several international symposia in which he played a leading organizational and scientific role, and perhaps most important of all, in the stimulation and guidance he gave to his colleagues and students. By these efforts he established an international reputation and a deep personal esteem on the part of those with whom he collaborated.
His research activities focused on the application of systems theory, operations research, decision theory, mathematical statistics and theory of stochastic processes to problems in hydrology and water resources.
This entailed the study of worth of data, choosing models, uncertainties, indeterminacies, error propagation, space-time sampling of environmental processes, time series analysis, and modeling of the Tucson aquifer.
As a memorial to Chester Kisiel, the University of Arizona established the Kisiel Lecture which was first given by Nick Matalas in 1982.
(1974) OBITUARY, Hydrological Sciences Bulletin, 19:1, 159-159, DOI:10.1080/02626667409493886
University of Arizona Obituary
Davis, Donald R., Chester C. Kisiel, and Lucien Duckstein. "Bayesian decision theory applied to design in hydrology." Water Resources Research 8, no. 1 (1972): 33-41.
Monarchi, D.E., Kisiel, C.C. and Duckstein, L., 1973. Interactive multiobjective programing in water resources: A case study. Water Resources Research, 9(4), pp.837-850.
Duckstein, Lucien, Martin M. Fogel, and Chester C. Kisiel. "A stochastic model of runoff‐producing rainfall for summer type storms." Water Resources Research 8, no. 2 (1972): 410-421.
Kisiel, C.C., 1969. Time series analysis of hydrologic data. Advances in hydroscience, 5, pp.1-119.
Moench, A.F. and Kisiel, C.C., 1970. Application of the convolution relation to estimating recharge from an ephemeral stream. Water Resources Research, 6(4), pp.1087-1094.
Kisiel, C.C., Duckstein, L. and Fogel, M.M., 1971. Analysis of ephemeral flow in aridlands. Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 97(10), pp.1699-1717.
Gates, J.S. and Kisiel, C.C., 1974. Worth of additional data to a digital computer model of a groundwater basin. Water Resources Research, 10(5), pp.1031-1038.
Lovell, R.E., Duckstein, L. and Kisiel, C.C., 1972. Use of subjective information in estimation of aquifer parameters. Water Resources Research, 8(3), pp.680-690.
Duckstein, L and Kisiel C C, 1971, EFFICIENCY OF HYDROLOGIC DATA COLLECTION SYSTEMS ROLE OF TYPE I AND II ERRORS, JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association 7(3): 592–604