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In Memory of Prof. Bob Dean

In Memory of
CERF Trustee and JCR Editorial Board Member
Professor Robert W. Dean 


   Professor Robert W. "Bob" Dean passed away at his house suddenly on 28 February, 2015, from pneumonia. He was 84 years old, and despite health problems had remained very active in research on coastal processes. He had a paper published in the Journal of Coastal Research (JCR) in 2014 and was in the process of working on another paper. We lost a giant in coastal engineering. He taught university students for over 55 years, published many of the seminal coastal engineering and science papers, and worked tirelessly to preserve and restore beaches. He was a long-time member of the Coastal Education and Research Foundation (CERF), the CERF Board of Directors (Trustees), and the Editorial Board of JCR.
   Bob started his teaching career in 1959 as an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and became the Chairman of the Coastal and Oceanographic Department, University of Florida, in 1966. He became a Professor Emeritus in 2003 and continued research as an Emeritus at the University of Florida until his death. The students that graduated under his tutelage during these years are one of his great legacies.
   Bob publications have had a major influence throughout the world. He authored the book, "Beach Nourishment: Theory and Practice", considered the "bible" of beach nourishment. He co-authored with Professor Tony Dalrymple the classic books, "Water Wave Mechanics for Engineers and Scientists" and "Coastal Processes with Engineering Applications". He had well over 300 publications including 14 papers in the JCR. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering of the National Research Council (NRC) in 1980 and was Chairman of the NRC Committee on "Engineering Implications of Sea Level Change" and the Committee on "Restoration and Protection of Coastal Louisiana", following Hurricane Katrina. He served 18 years on the Coastal Engineering Research Board and chaired the Coastal Engineering Research Council of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for 12 years.
   He received every major award in coastal engineering and sciences including the ASCE International Coastal Engineer Award, the ASCE John G. Moffatt-Frank E. Nichol Harbor and Coastal Engineering, the Gold Medal Award of the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association (FSBPA), the ASCE Award for Significant Contributions in Coastal Engineering and Wave Hydrodynamics, the Morrough P. O'Brien Award of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA), both the Jim Purpura and Bill Carlton Awards from FSBPA, and the "Outstanding
Civilian Service Medal" for contributions to Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force forensic studies of Hurricane Katrina.
   Professor Dean was an advocate for preserving beaches and restoring those that had been impacted by human activities. He served from 1985 to 1987 as Director of the Division of Beaches and Shores, Florida Department of Natural Resources. He was an early opponent of taking beach-quality sand out of the littoral system through disposal of dredged material in the ocean, and this practice stopped in Florida years ago. He was an early advocate of Florida's Coastal Construction Control Line that prevents infrastructure encroachment of beaches. He worked tirelessly to protect and restore beaches through his positions as Chair of the Coastal Engineering Technical Advisory Committee of the State of Florida, Chair of the FSBPA, Director of the ASBPA, and a Director of CERF-JCR.

James R. Houston, Ph.D.
Director Emeritus
Engineer Research and Development Center
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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