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Eric Laurenson


Professor Eric Laurenson (right)

Eric Laurenson graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of New South Wales in 1952 and went on to work for the NSW Department of Public Works on flood estimation for the Eucumbene Dam. He completed a PhD on hydrograph synthesis by runoff routing in 1963 before heading to Papua New Guinea to take up the position of Professor of Civil Engineering, a position he held until 1972. In 1973 Laurenson was appointed Chair of Civil Engineering at Monash University. He was Head of the Water Group within the department, and led this group for 25 years, having a major influence on hydrology and water engineering in Australia. During his time at Monash, Laurenson also helped develop a Masters coursework program and established a very successful series of water focused engineering workshops.

Laurenson’s work had a significant impact on engineering hydrology. Along with fellow academic Russell Mein, Laurenson created the RORB program for flood estimation using runoff routing. This software is based on Laurenson’s PhD thesis and was launched at the first Monash Water Engineering Workshop in 1975. After spending the next 20 years working closely with users of the program, Eric Laurenson retired in 1997.

*Eric Laurenson was Head of the Department with Noel Murray, each holding the position for two years then alternating.