Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Jorg Imberger

Jorg Imberger Ph.D., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Jorg Imberger, received his Ph.D. (1970) in Civil (Coastal) Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, he received his M.Eng. degree (1966) in Civil Engineering from the University of Western Australia and his B.C.E. degree (1963) in Civil Engineering from the University of Melbourne.

Prof. Imberger has had a prestigious career in academia, holding several positions in universities in the U.S. and Australia. These include: Adjunct Professor, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami (2015-present); Vice Chancellor and Distinguished Fellow, University of Western Australia (UWA, 2006-2015); Director (and Founder) at the Center for Water Research, UWA (1981-2015); and Winthrop Professor, UWA (1979-2015). In addition, from 1976 to 1978, he was Associate Professor in Civil Engineering at Berkeley.

Prof. Imberger is widely credited with creating the field of environmental fluid mechanics, and more specifically, the application of fundamental fluid mechanics principles to environmental flows. He has significantly advanced our understanding of the physics of flows and mixing in lakes, estuaries, and coastal seas. He is best known for his pioneering work in physical limnology, where he transformed the field into one that uses state-of-the-art measurement tools and computations and for this he was awarded the Onassis Prize in 1995 and the Stockholm Water Prize in 1996. Through the Centre for Water Research, he provided the engineering community with powerful and widely used software for modeling the physical and biogeochemical dynamics of lakes, reservoirs and estuaries. Having supervised 79 Ph.D. students, 46 postdocs, and many undergraduates and M.S. students, he has been a mentor to many people in the field of environmental and water resources engineering.

Prof. Imberger is the author of nearly 300 journal papers, including two that have won the ASCE Hilgard Prize (1988, 1994). He is co-author (with H.B. Fischer and three others) of “Mixing in Inland and Coastal Waters,” the most widely used text in environmental fluid mechanics. His awards include: Centenary Medal from the Australian Government (2009); US National Academy of Engineering, Foreign Member (2006); Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (2007); American Geophysical Union, Fellow (2007); and, Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow (2008).

During his time on the Berkeley faculty, Prof. Imberger played a key role in strengthening the Department’s hydraulics group. He did this through the development of innovative and rigorous classes that were the first of their kind in the field of environmental fluid mechanics. The set of students who took these classes are now faculty at leading institutions around the world.