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In Memoriam: David Ford
The AAWRE honors the life and legacy of AAWRE founding Diplomate Dr. David T. Ford who passed away at the age of 70 on December 13, after 16 months of treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. David was born on October 1, 1950 in Alice, Texas, spent most of his childhood in McAllen, Texas. He attended Schreiner College in Kerrville, Texas before transferring to the The University of Texas at Austin, where he completed his BS, MS, and PhD in hydrologic and water resource systems engineering.
Dr. Ford began his remarkable career in 1978 as a hydrologic engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) in Davis, CA. In 1990, he founded his own firm David Ford Consulting Engineers, Inc (DFCE) which specialized in a variety of water resources and flood forecasting projects with the California Department of Water Resources, the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, the Central Valley Hydrology study, and various districts of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Most recently, he served on the recovery team following the spillway failure at Oroville Dam. In 2018, HDR, Inc. acquired DFCE and Dr. Ford retired from active practice in December 2020.
David spent the last four decades living in Davis, Sacramento, The Sea Ranch, and San Francisco, California. Internationally renowned for his expertise in water resources, Dr. Ford served on the National Academy of Science on numerous ad hoc committees of the National Research Council. He consulted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Weather Service, The World Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development, and consulting government agencies in India, Indonesia, and Romania. In 1985 received a Fulbright Fellowship award and spent 6 months working with the Water Resources Agency in Portugal. His career culminated in a variety of awards and achievements including: Life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); Founding Diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers; Ray K Linsley Award for Surface Water from the American Institute of Hydrology; ASCE's prestigious Julian Hinds Award; UT Academy of Distinguished Alumni for the Cockrell School of Engineering; ASCE's Sacramento Section David N. Kennedy Water Resources award.
Dr. Ford served as an adjunct professor at U.C. Davis and lecturer at California State University, Sacramento. He trained and educated thousands of civil engineers and scientists in professional development classes. Dr. Ford had a deep admiration for the civil engineering profession and he built a reputation for seeking intelligent solutions, effective communication skills, and willingness to work in a variety of collaborative problem solving environments. Dr. Ford was a member of the Chi Epsilon and an active member of ASCE. He served as editor and associate editor of the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. Dr. Ford held engineering licenses in 12 states and was registered with the National Council for Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.
Ford spent most of his career in Sacramento where he enjoyed proximity to his recreational passions for hiking, backpacking in the Sierra, cross-county skiing, snowshoeing, camping, and distance biking. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Lynne Cannady and his brother, Larry Ford, of Arlington, Texas. He will be remembered for his high standards for excellence in both professional and personal pursuits, his philanthropic generosity, sense of humor, and the joy of hosting dinner get togethers with friends and family, and casual hospitality.