Terence O'Donnell 1927 - September 28th 2011 (Torquay, Devon, UK)
After graduating from Cambridge University in 1948, Terence became a research assistant in the Cambridge School of Agriculture investigating groundwater problems. In 1951 he moved to Imperial College London, constructing and testing hydraulic models in the Department of Civil Engineering. He then joined the newly opened Hydraulics Research Station (HRS) at Wallingford, before going back to Imperial College and a new group with Peter Wolf, undertaking teaching and researching in Engineering Hydrology for an MSc. Postgraduate Course. This course was the first of its kind at a UK University. His research concerned rainfall/runoff modelling of catchment behaviour using multi-parameter conceptual models.
The University of Lancaster appointed Terence to the Foundation Chair in Hydrology and Hydrogeology in its Environmental Sciences Department in 1972, the first professor of hydrology in a UK university. At Lancaster he continued research on deterministic modelling with a number of post graduate students. In 1984 he retired from his chair at Lancaster and from 1987 was the Editor of the Hydrological Sciences Journal. Volume 42 Number 3 June 1997 was the final number he edited and, the month before it was published, his long and valuable service to the International Association of Scientific Hydrology was recognised when he was awarded the IAHS/UNESCO/WMO International Hydrology Prize in Rabat, Morocco at the Scientific Assembly.
Terence O'Donnell made significant contributions to the use of conceptual hydrological models in hydrology, particularly in arguing for simplicity in models (Dawdy and O'Donnell, 1965) and in designing model structures with calibration in mind (papers with Richard Ibbitt). He also worked on the identification of the unit hydrograph and models for channel routing.
Source: BHS Circulation, No.30, 2011, Obituary PDF
- Dawdy, D.R. and O’Donnell, T., 1965. Mathematical models of catchment behavior. Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 91(4), pp.123-137.
- O'Donnell, T, 1966, Methods of computation in hydrography analysis and synthesis, in Recent Trends in Hydrography Synthesis, Committee for Hydrological Research, Central Organisation for Applied Research in the Netherlands, The Hague.
- Ibbitt, R.P. and O’Donnell, T., 1971. Designing conceptual catchment models for automatic fitting methods. IAHS Publication, 101, pp.462-475.
- Ibbitt, Richard P., and Terence O’Donnell. "Fitting methods for conceptual catchment models." Journal of the Hydraulics Division 97, no. 9 (1971): 1331-1342.
- O'Donnell, T., 1985. A direct three-parameter Muskingum procedure incorporating lateral inflow. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 30(4), pp.479-496.
- O’Donnell, T., 1986. Deterministic catchment modelling. In River flow modelling and forecasting (pp. 11-37). Springer Netherlands.
Terence O'Donnell interviewed by David R Dawdy in 1995 at the AGU History of Hydrology page