UW News

May 11, 2015

Atmospheric scientist Bob Houze awarded Symons Gold Medal

UW News

The Royal Meteorological Society has awarded Robert Houze, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences, the Symons Gold Medal. The London-based society awards this international honor every two years to recognize distinguished work in meteorology, and it is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the field.

portrait in purple shirt

Robert Houze

Houze will deliver the society’s Symons Gold Medal Lecture May 20 in London on “The many ways that mountains affect precipitation: A broader view of orographic precipitation.”

Houze earned his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in 1967, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the UW faculty in 1972. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and the Royal Meteorological Society. In 2006 he was awarded the highest research medal from the American Meteorological Society.

Houze has published more than 200 scientific articles. Some of his research topics are tropical clouds, hurricane forecasting, mountain weather, and flooding in Pakistan and India. He is part of an upcoming collaboration with NASA to measure rain and snow on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula to test the accuracy of the new Global Precipitation Measurement satellite, and he recently updated his textbook on the physics of clouds.