Thursday, September 11, 2014

Three upcoming events will celebrate the publication of a new book by Robert Ettema and Cornelia F. Mutel, exploring the life and work of Hans Albert Einstein, a 20th-century pioneer in the field of river engineering.

book cover

The book offers new insights into the Einstein family and the complex relationship between father and son, documented with personal letters and other original materials never before shared outside the Einstein family.

The public is invited to attend these events at no charge:

  • Book reading by the co-authors, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, Prairie Lights Bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
  • Seminar by the co-authors, “Hans Albert Einstein — Albert’s Son and Pioneering Engineer,” 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18,Seamans Center, Room 1505, University of Iowa College of Engineering, Iowa City (reception and display of Einstein family materials will follow the talk)
  • Seminar by Robert Ettema, “John Fisher Kennedy — Student and Statesman of Water Engineering," 1:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19, C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Lab, Seminar Room, UI College of Engineering, 320 S. Riverside Dr., Iowa City

Co-authors Ettema and Mutel will also be the guests on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa, 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 15, at 10 a.m.

Hans Albert Einstein: His Life as a Pioneering Engineer, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers, tells the story of Albert Einstein’s eldest son, Hans Albert, a gifted and dedicated hydraulic engineer. The book is the culmination of a longstanding project at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, conceived by former IIHR Director Jack Kennedy, who was a colleague and admirer of Hans Albert. The book combines the story of Hans Albert’s life with a fascinating account of his work in the field of river engineering. The book’s authors weave these two threads together seamlessly, providing an absorbing and readable account that will appeal to scientists and nonscientists alike.

Hans Albert Einstein was single-minded in his efforts to understand and quantify the relationships between alluvial sediment transport and water flow in rivers. He was, for example, the first to develop a mathematical formulation describing sediment transport in rivers — a tremendous achievement that to this day stands as an important component of our understanding of river flow. His work extensively aided major river engineering projects in the United States, including those along the Missouri and Arkansas Rivers.

Co-author Robert Ettema is a professor at the University of Wyoming, where he served six years as dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. In addition to research and teaching activities, he consults extensively for agencies and industry, and has served as editor of ASCE’s Journal of Hydraulic Engineering. Previously, he was a faculty member and research engineer at IIHR, where he also served as associate and then interim director.

Co-author Cornelia F. Mutel is senior science writer at IIHR; she has written a dozen books and numerous articles on a variety of science-related topics, ranging from natural history to ecological restoration to the history of engineering. Her most recent writing reflects the increasingly complex interaction between Iowa’s altered natural environment, the state’s hydrology, and the consequences of climate change.

Hans Albert Einstein: His Life as a Pioneering Engineer is published by the ASCE Press, ISBN 9780784413302. To learn more, visit the American Society of Civil Engineers website.

IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering is a world-renowned center for education, research, and public service focusing on hydraulic engineering and fluid mechanics. IIHR is a unit of the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact IIHR in advance at 319-335-5237.