ASCE has honored Willi Hermann Hager, Ph.D., F.ASCE, with the 2024 Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award for research, teaching, and practice contributions to many aspects of hydraulic engineering, notably the hydraulics of water flow associated with hydraulic structures, wastewater systems, and the history of hydraulic engineering. 

Hager is among the foremost experts in the areas mentioned above. His many U.S. recognitions include the following awards from ASCE: in 1998, the J.C. Stevens Award for the best discussion of a paper; in 1994 and 2002, Best Technical Note; and in 2007, the Hydraulic Structures Medal. In 2006, he gave the Borland Hydraulics Lecture at Colorado State University. His papers and books are widely cited and used in the U.S. and worldwide.

He is professor-emeritus at ETH- Zürich. His doctoral degree, bestowed in 1981, is based on his work as a graduate student at the institute’s VAW (Versuchsanstalt fur Wasserbau, Hydrologie & Glaziologie). He joined VAW as a research head and faculty member in mid-1989, becoming professor of hydraulics in 1998.

His expertise earned him the 1997 Arthur Ippen Award from IAHR. He also became editor of IAHR’s flagship journal, the Journal of Hydraulic Research in 2006, a position he held till 2011, and recently completed a book-length study of the Frenchman Henri-Emile Bazin, who contributed enormously to various aspects of flow in open channels, including the development of Manning’s well-known equation for flow resistance in open channels. 

Hager’s main research activities concern hydraulic engineering as applied to various hydraulic structures (notably, open-channel canals and various structures used to form dams and bridges), wastewater technology (flows conveying pollutants, sewer hydraulics), and water-related natural disasters. The top five of his six most-cited papers are published in ASCE journals. Moreover, he is the top publisher of papers in the Journal of Hydraulic Research.

The Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award is presented, upon recommendation of the Executive Committee of the Environmental & Water Resources Institute Hydraulics and Waterways Council, to a distinguished person who will deliver the Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Lecture at an appropriate meeting of the Society.