September 7, 2022

AAWRE honors the life and legacy of Dr. Don J. Wood who passed away peacefully at his home in Lexington, KY, on July 5, 2022. Don was 85 years of age and he was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing. Dr. Wood was AAWRE’s only 25th Honorary Diplomate to be inducted in 2011 and he was an emeritus professor of civil engineering at the University of Kentucky and CEO of KYPIPE, LLC.

Dr. Wood was born July 28, 1936 in North East, PA to Glenn and Elizabeth (Beil) Wood.  He spent most of his childhood in Corry, PA.  He graduated from Carnegie Mellon (Carnegie Tech) with his PhD in Civil Engineering.  After a short time at Clemson and Duke, Don spent most of his career as a professor of civil engineering at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Wood was the recipient of numerous academic and research awards at the UK and in the engineering profession. He became renowned internationally as the world’s respected expert in his field of transient hydraulics and the development of KYPipe and Surge software. He authored over 110 technical papers dealing with steady-state and transient flow. He was co-author of the AWWA Engineering Division 2007 best paper – AWWA Journal, titled, “The Need for Comprehensive Transient Analysis of Distribution Systems.” He received the 2004 Simon Freese Environmental Engineering Award and presented the award-winning lecture titled, “Waterhammer Analysis – Essential and Easy” at the 2004 EWRI Congress. He has received numerous other awards, including the national ASEE Western Electric Outstanding Engineering Professor and the ASCE Huber Research Prize in addition to many teaching awards such as and the Outstanding Engineering Professor and the Lutes Teaching Award. In March 2011, Dr. Wood was awarded the AAWRE’s highest honor given to an individual, the Honorary Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (Hon.D.WRE), for his significant and outstanding contributions in the water resources engineering profession.

Don was widely recognized for his work in developing state-of-the-art techniques in pipe network flow modeling. Dr. Wood invented the powerful node/loop method for steady-state pipe network analysis. He was the developer of the widely-used KYPipe program for steady-state flow and pressure analysis in large piping networks that carry water and other liquids. He also invented the computationally-efficient and accurate wave method for analyzing transient flow and the principal developer of the widely-used Surge program for modeling transient liquid flow in piping systems. Both of these commercial software packages are used extensively worldwide. He was the senior author of a recent text on transient pipe flow. He taught short courses on steady-state and transient pipe system modeling at numerous locations worldwide. He was very active in consulting activities for engineering consulting firms in the area of transient flow including transient analysis of sprinkler systems. In addition Dr. Wood developed the GoFlow software package for the analysis of fire protection sprinkler systems.

Don was an academic, many-times-honored professor, entrepreneur, golf champion, tennis player, an almost-astronaut, a generous neighbor, but mostly a wonderful dad who both led his family into great adventures, and was simply there for them.  Many friends and neighbors will remember the open-door friendliness and hospitality of the Wood family home in the neighborhood of Westmorland in Lexington, KY.  Don also loved mystery novels, PBS programs, bicycling, and travelling.

Don is survived by his children Wendy Wood (Jack May), Doug (Kate) Wood, and Jana (William) Faith, many grandchildren, and the children and grandchildren of his wife, Janet.  Don was preceded in death by his wife of 17 years, Janet Kelsey Wood (married in 2005).

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