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J JOHN FISHER KENNEDY 1 933-1 991 BY VITO A. VANONI AND NORMAN H. BROOKS jOHN F. KENNEDY, Hunter Rouse Professor of Hydraulics, Uni- versity of Iowa; director emeritus, Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research; and internationally known hydraulic engineer, died in Iowa City on December 13,1991, at the age of fifty-seven years. He was born in Farmington, New Mexico, on December 17, 1933. Dr. Kennedy earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 1955. He continued his academic education in civil engineering at the California Insti- tute of Technology (Caltech), where he obtained a master's degree in 1956 and a Ph.D. degree in 1960. The title of his thesis was "Stationary Waves and Antidunes in Alluvial Channels." The results of this research, published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics (1963), clarified the phenomena of antidunes en c! became a landmark study on the subject. This served as his introduction to river sedimentation, the various aspects of which became the subject of much of his research and . . engineering wor I. Upon completion of his graduate studies at Caltech, Dr. Kennedy immediately entered a long and productive career of academic teaching, research, and professional engineering. In 1960-1961 he remained at Caltech as a postdoctoral fellow while he continued his work on sedimentation and started his teaching career. In the fall of 1961 he joined the civil engineer- ingfacultyofthe Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as 103
104 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES assistant professor of hydraulics, and in 1964 he was promoted to associate professor. While at MIT, he taught hydraulics courses and extendecl his research to include hydraulic resistance in alluvial streams, transport of cohesive sediment, and density- stratified flows. In 1966 Dr. Kennedyjoined the University of Iowa as professor and director of the prestigious Iowa Institute for Hydraulic Research (IIHR), a position held previously by Dr. Hunter Rouse. In 1981 he was named Carver Distinguished Professor. He retired as director in August 1991 after a busy tenure of twenty-five years. Under Kennedy the program of IIHR continued to work on basic hydraulics but at the same time undertook research on engineering problems that were of interest to him. The engi- neering problems often resulted from consulting projects that Kennedy undertook at times, and were a welcome factor in maintaining the fiscal viability of the laboratory. John Kennedy's accomplishments were appreciated by his associates as indicated by the University of Iowa President Hunter R. Rawlings III, who sai(l, "During the distinguished twenty-f~ve- year tenure as director of the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Re- search, Professor Kennedy contributed greatly to the institute's position of world leadership. All of us will remember him not only as a great engineer but as a warm and caring human being. We will miss him." ~ _T' '~_ ~ While he was director of IIHR, Kennedy devoted much of his time to research. During this time over two hundred technical papers and reports were published in which he was the sole author or a coauthor. The wide range of subjects of these papers is an indication of the breadth of his interests in hyclraulics. A portion of these papers dealt with aspects of alluvial streams, including sediment transport, beclforms, and flow in bends and meanders. These papers mostlywere fundamental in nature and tended to advance the understanding of the complicated ero- sion processes acting in rivers. His paper in the Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 196S, entitled "Formation of Sediment Ripples, Dunes and Antidunes" summarizes his work on bedforms and is a reference work on the subject.
JOHN FISHER KENNEDY 105 In addition to river sedimentation, Kennedy's many papers dealt with mechanics of river ice, density currents, density stratified flows, cooling towers and pumping systems for circulat- ing cooling water for power plants, transport of cohesive sedi- ment, and biographies of famous hydraulicians and history of hydraulics. Kennedy's interest in ice hydraulics dates from the time a colleague called his attention to ripples that form uncler the ice cover of rivers. He was intrigued immediatelywith the ice ripples and ice problems and set out to obtain funding for studying these problems. This led to the construction of a refrigerated laboratory to house a flume to study ice problems. This labora- tory was the first of its kind in the world. Kennedy was called on to consult for the design of other similar facilities. Kennecly and his Ph.D. student George D. Ashton developed a theory that explained the formation of ice ripples, and which was confirmed by experiments in the refrigerated laboratory. The results of this work, for which they won the Hilgard Prize, were publishecl in the ASCEJournal of the Hydraulics Division in 1972. Kennedy became a leading figure in ice hydraulics re- search. He was called on frequently to lecture on ice engineering and was instrumental in forming the International Association for Hydraulic Research Section on Ice Research and Engineer- ing. Togetherwith his Ph.D. students, he produced what remains the leading theoretical model of ice jam equilibrium and other papers on ice hydraulics. As the program on ice engineering grew, Kennedy delegated its coordination to his colleagues, several of whom went on to develop careers in ice research. Dr. Kennedy traveled widely and gave lectures at a number of foreign laboratories. In September and October 1969 he visited several scientific centers in the USSR under the auspices of the Academy of Science of that country. In the academic year 1972- 1973 he was Fulbright Fellow and visiting professor at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. In the winter of 1976 he was Erskine Fellow and visiting professor at the Canterbury Univer- sity in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the winter of l9X1 he was visiting consultant at the Central Power and Water Research
106 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES Station, Poona, India, and in the spring of 1985 he was guest professor at Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, Zurich, Switzerland. Dr. Kennedy was the recipient of many honors and awards starting early in his career. The crowning award came when he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1973 at the unusually young age of thirty-nine years. When he was still in the lower academic ranks, he received several awards for his publications in the journals of the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 1980 he was elected president of the International Association for Hydraulic Research and reelected for a second term in 1982, and in 1989 he was elected honorary member of the association. He was invited to give the American Society of Civil Engineers' Hunter Rouse Hydraulics Lecture in 1981, and in 1983 he was awarded the Iowa Governor's Medal. Through his publications, travel, and other activities, he became known widely and received a number of international honors. In 1983 he was elected honorary member ofthe Hungar- ian Hydrological Society. Two years later in 1985 he was named honorary fellow of the Institute of Water Conservancy and Hydroelectric Power Research, Beijing, China, and was ap- pointecI honorary professor by the East China Technical Univer- sit,v of Water Resources, Nanjing, China. In the next year, 1986, he was named corresponding member of the Chinese Engineer- ing Society. Kennedy was an active member of the National Academy of Engineering, International Association for Hydraulic Research (honorary member and past president), American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and American Society of Engineering Education. He served on and chaired numerous committees of these organizations. Kennedy served on the following committees of the National Research Council: Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, Com- mittee on Natural Disasters, chairman 1983-1984, member 1980-1991, Commission on Engineering en c! Technical Systems, Com- mittee on ComputerAnalysis of River Sedimentation, chair-
JOHN FISHER KENNEDY 107 man l9XO-1983, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, Water Technologies Board, 1982-1984, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, Panel on Niagara Ice Boom Investigations, 1983, and Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, Advisory Committee for the International Decade of Hazard Reduc- tion, 1987. He served on the following national consulting boards: Board of Consultants for the Sacramento River and Tributar- ies, Bank Protection and Erosion Control Investigation, 1978-1991, Board of Consultants for St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation Extension Season, 1975-1979, and Peer Review Group, Alden Research Laboratory Power Reac- tor Containment Sump Studies, Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Sandia Corp.,1981- 1982. In addition, he served on the following international consulting boards: At, Team of Experts to Review Development of National Water Plan for Saudi Arabia, 1982-1991, Advisory Panel of International Experts for Three Gorges Dam Project (China), 198~198S, and International Commission of Experts to Review Leningrad Storm Surge Barrier, Lenhydroenergospesstroy (USSR), 1990. Through his activities in teaching, research, professional societies, and international and national committees and con- sulting boards, John F. ~ Jack) Kennedy had a major influence on hydraulic engineering. He was an effective speaker, knowledge- able of a broad range of technical subjects, and a sought after leader. Engineers who have worked closely with him admired him for his pleasant personality and his ability to grasp the salient features of an engineering problem and to quickly conceive its
108 - MEMORIAL TRIBUTES solutions. Jack Kennedy was a very personable, articulate, friendly, and caring person. He was devoted to his wife, Nancy, and their four children. He will be missed. The following poem included in the introduction to his (loctoral thesis reflects his personality as well as his skill with words: SEDIMENT RESEARCH Sand in my hair, Sand in my teeth, Sand overhead, Sand underneath. Plugging the pitot, Abracling the pump, Clogging the samplers, Filling the sump. This was my research Exciting and grand. Very rewarding Despite all the sand!! JFK 1 960