US Army Corps of Engineers
Hydrologic Engineering Center

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Leo Roy Beard (1917 - 2009)

A photo of Leo Beard. Leo Roy Beard, a world renowned hydrologic engineer, died in Austin, TX, on March 21, 2009, at the age of 91. Roy Beard had an illustrious career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from 1939 to 1972, retiring as (founding) Director of the Corps Hydrologic Engineering Center (CEIWR-HEC) in Davis, CA. He was known for his pioneering work on the application of statistics to hydrologic engineering. Following his retirement from USACE, he joined the University of Texas as Professor of Civil Engineering and subsequently the engineering consulting firm of Espey, Huston, and Associates. Professor Beard lectured at universities and other organizations throughout the world. He was a visiting professor at the University of California (Berkeley) and Utah State University and lectured at the University of California (Davis). He was a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the International Association of Hydrologic Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Water Resources Association, a Fellow and Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE), and Honorary Member of the American Waterworks Association. Mr. Beard served as chairman of the ASCE Water Resources Planning & Management Division, President of the AGU Section of Hydrology, Editor-In-Chief of Water International and Managing Editor of the International Journal of Hydrology. In 1975 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 2001 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for a life-long and eminent contribution to the environment and water resources engineering disciplines through practice, research and public service. In 2007 he received the Ven Te Chow Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers for advancing knowledge in hydrologic engineering in systems techniques for reservoir regulation, statistical methods for streamflow frequency analysis, flood hydrograph computation, and the development of computer based methods for hydrologic computations.