November 16, 2020

AAWRE and the water resources engineering community honors the life and legacy of AAWRE Founding Diplomate Augustine Joseph (Jay) Fredrich, who passed away on September 29, at the age of 81. (Tribute below submitted by Jerry R. Rogers, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE)

Mr. Jay Fredrich was author of the ASCE Press best- selling book (three editions): Sons of Martha- Civil Engineering Readings in Modern Literature, ASCE, 598 pp, 1989. Fredrich was the author of more than 50 professional papers published in national and international journals.  Augustine J. Fredrich co-edited an EWRI/ASCE book on a 2001 International Conference (Houston, TX) and a 2002 EWRI/ASCE book on the ASCE 150th Anniversary Conference in Washington, DC. Jay also served as Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.

Jay graduated with a BSCE from the University of Arkansas in 1962 and a MSCE at California State University- Sacramento in 1972 and was a registered P.E. in California in 1972. In the fall of 1972, Augustine J. Fredrich was selected by the American Political Science Association and the U.S. Civil Service Commission as a Congressional Fellow (working with John Paul Hammerschmidt, John McClellan), the first civil engineer ever chosen for the program, years before ASCE started a Congressional Fellows program. Fredrich was a life-long active participant in the Catholic faith. He led a University of Southern Indiana cathedrals study tour in France and the U.K.

Jay Fredrich had three successful careers in government, university education, and consulting engineering:

  1. 1967- 1979- Jay Fredrich worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers- Little Rock District, Corps Hydrologic Engineering Center- Davis, CA, was Engineer-in Charge of the Corps International Hydrologic Decade project, served in the Office of the Chief of Engineers- Washington, DC, completed Federal Executive Institute at University of Virginia, and was selected as the first civilian director of the Corps Institute for Water Resources- Ft. Belvoir, VA (managing the National Waterways Studies and the National Hydroelectric Power Resources Study).
  2. 1979- 2003- Jay Fredrich was hired as Professor of Engineering Technology, Indiana State University- Evansville, IN, becoming Chair in 1981 and in 1985 when University of Southern Indiana was created, he became Chair of the Engineering Department and Associate Dean of the School of Science and Engineering. In 1993, Fredrich won the University’s Distinguished Professor Award and won the USI Core Curriculum Teaching Award. Fredrich wrote the USI successful application to become a registered Indiana Engineering School with a Civil Engineering program.
  3. 2003- 2015+- Jay Fredrich was a consulting engineer for Morley and Associates- Evansville, IN and FTN Associates- Little Rock, AR, working on hurricane and flood reports. Fredrich continued his service on the ASCE History and Heritage Committee, was Chair of the EWRI History and Heritage Committee, served on the Technical Council on Computer Practices, and was on the Executive Committee of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division and MGD. Jay also worked on a Traylor Brothers Construction- Evansville History Study.

Some of the awards and recognition by Augustine J. Fredrich include: 1981 Founder of Evansville Youth Soccer Program (became President); 1987 Man and Boy Award- Evansville Boys Club (youth soccer); 1989 Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineers installation; 1991 ASCE Citizen Engineer of the Year; 1993 ASCE National Julian Hinds Award; 1993 Tri- State Council on Science and Engineering Technical Achievement Award (summer career awareness in Science and Engineering for Middle School children) 1993 ASCE Indiana Section Engineer of the Year; 1993 Indiana Soccer Hall of Fame; 1993 Evansville Soccer Fields named as Augustine J. Fredrich Soccer Fields; 2009 EWRI National Lifetime Achievement Award; 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Subiaco Academy; 2012 ASCE National Civil Engineering History & Heritage Award; the 2013 Arkansas River Historical Society Hall of Fame; and Diplomate of the Inaugural class of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE).

Jay Fredrich was a volunteer JV soccer coach at Evansville Reitz Memorial HS, from 1981 to 1991, with the varsity winning 6 Indiana soccer championships. Upon Jay’s coaching retirement, he gave a speech: “Someone Else’s Dad,” stating that Jay’s father had drowned trying to save a young boy; often dad’s refused to help, asking to seek someone else’s Dad. Jay requested more fathers volunteer to help. An important publication co-edited by Augustine J. Fredrich is: “AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SELECTED BOOKS, COMPACT DISKS AND VIDEOTAPES ON THE HISTORY AND HERITAGE OF CIVIL ENGINEERING,” ASCE History and Heritage Committee, 76 pp., July 7, 2008:  Edited, Updated and Annotated by David R. Gilbert, Based on the Combination of two Separate Bibliographies Compiled Originally by Augustine J. Fredrich and Josiah E. Colcord, Jr. An interesting Fredrich paper was: “A Reader’s Life,” web.usi/edu/boneyard/fredrich06.htm, telling of Jay’s early and lifelong enjoyment of reading.

For an ASCE National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark (NHCEL), Jay Fredrich nominated the renovated West Baden Springs Hotel (1901), French Lick Resort Casino. From 1902 to 1913, the 200 ft. wooden span was the largest dome in the world and Jay coordinated the ASCE NHCEL plaque ceremony. Fredrich also nominated (with France) the Canal du Midi, 150 miles long with 65 locks (86 locks originally) for an International HCEL and coordinated the IHCEL plaque ceremony. The canal connects the Mediterranean with a river to the Atlantic and the canal had the world’s largest reservoir at the time. Fredrich supported Sarah McEwan for the nomination of the Corps Mississippi River Model in Jackson, MS, becoming an ASCE NHCEL. For a NHCEL, Jay Fredrich recently wanted ASCE to nominate the Louisiana Purchase Survey Point of Origin, Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park, with surveyors Prospect Robbins and Joseph Brown. Jay researched articles: “Louisiana Purchase survey site is in a swamp” and Richard Elgin, “The Initial Point of the 5th Principal Meridian.” There is an Oct. 27, 1926 Stone Monument Marker placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution- Marianna, AR. The site is already an April 1993 National Park Service National Historic Landmark.