Professor Dooge was an Irish hydrologist, politician, engineer and academic. He lived a multifaceted existence with his roles including a period as Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the Irish Senate, President of the International Council for Science, President of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences and Professor of Hydrology at Dublin University. He had a significant role in the development of the European Union during the Irish presidency of 1984.
UNESCO-IHE awarded him Honorary Fellow of the Institute in 1992 at the Institute’s 35th anniversary. He was for many years invited to Delft to present a series of lectures (1968-1981) on Deterministic Hydrology to international students from developing countries around the world.
Launching of new book on hydrology
The joint publication 'Deterministic Methods in Systems Hydrology' was a result of those series of lectures, initially delivered by Professor Dooge and subsequently by Professor O'Kane to the international students attending the what is now known as the Hydrology and Water Resources specialisation as part of the International Master programme in Water Science and Engineering.
The text presents the basic theory underlying the multitude of parameter-rich models that dominate the hydrological literature today. It is also a research monograph containing material not available elsewhere, and is intended to stimulate new research directions especially for graduate students.
Unique engagement with the sciences of water
The book was to appear on the occasion of Professor Dooge's 80th birthday, but preparation of the material took more time than anticipated. With his unique sense of humor Professor Dooge said that this at least granted him two more years of life. The book contains research results from almost all his graduate students at the three colleges of the National University of Ireland at Cork, Dublin and Galway and ends with the encomium "his former students, colleagues and friends in Ireland and Delft ... wish him many more years of his unique engagement with the sciences of water".
Professor Dooge was a towering figure and pioneer in hydrology. With fellow Irishman, the late Professor Eamon Nash, he was the founder of what today is called systems hydrology in the early sixties. He had a tremendous influence on generations of hydrologists all over the world and was responsible for turning hydrology from an empirical technology into the science, we know today.
Supporter of young hydrologists
No hydrologist in the world today is left without his positive influence in one way or another. What we have today in hydrological process understanding, coupling and modelling all dates back to James Dooge. An eminent scientist, a successful international science diplomat, a leader in launching major new research directions and a constant supporter of young hydrologists all over the world - that was all Jim Dooge was as, a hydrologist.
"Interesting idea, but it's junk"
"Professor Jim Dooge strongly influenced my professional life," the Rector of UNESCO-IHE András Szöllösi-Nagy says. "I consider him my grand master. I learned systems hydrology from him. Once, he survived one of my early presentations where I advocated that continuous models belonged to the past and the future was for discrete models only, he said: "Interesting idea but it is junk, young man". Of course, he was right. I did not know it for many years but Jim often acted as my guardian angel."
Date published: 21 August 2010