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Stern Named Ashton Professor

Posted on May 22nd, 2013
IIHR Research Engineer Fred Stern.

IIHR Research Engineer Fred Stern.

IIHR Research Engineer Fred Stern has been appointed the George D. Ashton Professor of Hydroscience and Engineering at the University of Iowa, effective July 1, 2013. Stern is world renowned for his teaching and research in computational and experimental fluid dynamics and ship hydrodynamics.

Stern, who is also a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and a faculty research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, employs computer modeling and on-the-water testing in IIHR’s state-of-the-art Hydraulic Wave Basin Facility to create software codes that analyze the flow of water around hulls of ships.

Stern has high ambitions for the future of the IIHR ship hydrodynamics program. “My vision for the future acknowledges the need for continued emphasis on international collaborations and the building block, step-by-step approach,” he explains. “This will help ensure the continuation of Iowa’s considerable external funding and international leadership in ship hydrodynamics for the foreseeable future.”

Stern was recently named the 2012–13 Georg P. Weinblum Memorial Lecturer. The lecture series is sponsored in Germany by the Institut fur Schiffbau of the University of Hamburg, and in the United States by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, along with the Naval Studies Board of the National Research Council.

Stern received a BSE degree (summa cum laude) in 1975, an MSE degree in 1977, and a doctorate in 1980, all in naval architecture and marine engineering at the University of Michigan. He joined the University of Iowa in 1983 after the retirement of Louis Landweber, one of the founding fathers of ship hydrodynamics research. As a young researcher, Stern trained at SAIC Inc. in Annapolis, Md., where he developed strong ties with William Morgan, director of the David Taylor Model Basin and another UI engineering alumnus.

The professorship is named in honor of UI engineering alumnus George D. Ashton, an international expert on the study of ice jams, ice control, flooding, snow drifting, snow loads, and river ice. Ashton received a BSCE degree in civil engineering from the University of Iowa in 1961, an MSCE in civil engineering from the University of Arizona-Tucson in 1963, and a PhD in mechanics and hydraulics from the University of Iowa in 1971. After service in the U.S. Army, he worked as a structural engineer for Bechtel Co. in San Francisco and later joined the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, N.H., conducting research concentrating on river ice processes and problems. From 1990 to 1998, he was chief research and engineering director. He retired in 1998 and now works as a private consultant dealing primarily with river ice problems. Ashton received the Straub Medal from the University of Minnesota, the Hilgard prize from ASCE, the Stevens Award from ASCE, and most recently the 2002 Ice Research and Engineering Award from the International Association for Hydraulic Research. He is the author of numerous papers and book chapters dealing with ice problems. He was editor of the Journal of Cold Regions Science and Technology from 1995 to 2006.

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