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Interview with Norman H. Brooks

Brooks, Norman H. (2022) Interview with Norman H. Brooks. [Oral History]

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An interview in three sessions, April and June 2018, with Norman H. Brooks, James Irvine Professor of Environmental and Civil Engineering, emeritus. He recalls his education at Harvard (AB 1949, mathematics; MS 1950, civil engineering); courtship of his wife, Frederika; their work in Boston settlement house; decision to come to Caltech for graduate work; teaching assistantship; attention to civil engineering curriculum. Summer job for L.A. County Sanitation Districts leads to further studies in hydrology and sedimentation with adviser Vito Vanoni. Comments on founding of Keck Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Resources, with Jack McKee and Pol Duwez; designs recirculating flume. Establishes Environmental Engineering Science [EES] option. Participation of James Morgan, Fred Raichlen, Robert Koh, Wheeler North, JohApriln Seinfeld. Founding of Environmental Quality Laboratory [EQL] under Caltech president Harold Brown, which he directed from 1974 to 1993. Participation of Seinfeld, Roger Noll, John List, James Quirk, James Krier, John Ferejohn, Glen Cass. Throughout, he discusses the importance of firsthand observation of hydraulic issues, including sediment and pollutant dispersal and ocean outfalls; of taking a scientific approach to civil engineering; of understanding of ocean currents in using ocean as a resource for waste disposal. Recalls his numerous consulting jobs on ocean outfalls: Athens, Greece; Boston, Massachusetts; Sydney, Australia; Zurich, Switzerland; Taipei, Taiwan; Bangkok, Thailand; San Onofre nuclear plant.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Environmental and Civil Engineering
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Brooks_N
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URLURL TypeDescription GuideBrooks (Norman H.) Papers
Official Citation:Brooks, Norman. Interview by George Porter. Pasadena, California, April-June 2018 Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:Subjects > Engineering
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ID Code:306
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:24 Oct 2022 20:21
Last Modified:24 Oct 2022 20:21

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