UW News

February 18, 2010

Dennis Lettenmaier elected to National Academy of Engineering

Dennis Lettenmaier, professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He was among 68 new members and nine foreign associates announced this week. Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer.

In electing him, the academy cited Lettenmaier’s “contributions to hydrologic modeling for stream-water quality and hydro-climate trends and models for improved water management.” His research is in large-scale hydrology, hydrologic aspects of remote sensing, and interactions between hydrology and climate.

Lettenmaier earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering (summa cum laude) at the UW in 1971, his Master’s degree at George Washington University in 1973, and his doctorate at the UW in 1975. He joined the UW faculty in 1976.

In addition to his service at the UW, he spent a year as visiting scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey in 1985-86 and was the manager of NASA’s land surface hydrology program in 1997-98.

Lettenmaier is an author or co-author of over 200 journal articles. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a member of the International Water Academy. He is president-elect of the American Geophysical Union’s hydrology section.

This week’s appointment makes a total of eight active UW faculty who are members of the National Academy of Engineering.

Richard (Dick) Scherrer, who earned his bachelor’s in the UW’s department of aeronautics and astronautics in 1942, was also elected to the academy. He is a Seattle native who worked at Boeing Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp., and now is retired and living in Port Townsend, Wash. He was cited “for his pioneering work on revolutionary aircraft designs with extremely low radar cross sections that led to the F117A stealth fighter.”