WALTER LEON MOORE
Walter Leon Moore, civil engineering professor emeritus, died on March 24, 2009. He was ninety-three. Professor Moore was born on March 12, 1916, in Estrella, California, the son of Leon and Nellie (Munson) Moore. He grew up in Pasadena, California, and married Reta Mae Nunn in 1942. She predeceased him on March 23, 2002, after nearly sixty years of marriage.
Walt earned his B.S. in engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1937, and his M.S. in civil engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1938. He continued on at Cal Tech from 1938 to 1940, performing hydraulic research on river channel improvements, pump model studies, and energy dissipation studies. He was a structures research engineer from 1940 to 1947 at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in Burbank, California, planning, performing, and reporting on structural tests of aircraft components and complete air frames.
In 1947, Professor Moore joined the UT faculty in the civil engineering department as an associate professor and taught courses in hydraulics, hydrology, hydraulic machinery, flow in open channels, and advanced hydraulic engineering design and laboratory. Walt took a one-year leave-of-absence for the purpose of completing his Ph.D. degree work and earning his Ph.D. with major in fluid mechanics and hydraulics at the State University of Iowa in 1951. He was promoted to professor of civil engineering in 1953 and served as chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering from 1958 to 1965. He was instrumental in leading the transition of the department from an essentially undergraduate teaching program to a major research-oriented graduate center. Many of the faculty who acquired national prominence in research in the different areas of civil engineering were hired or given support to complete doctorate degrees while he was department chair. His broad background in both solid and fluid mechanics combined with a healthy curiosity allowed him to assess the potential of faculty in most areas. The department profited greatly by the quality of these faculty additions.
Professor Moore’s research interests focused on hydraulic engineering, including research on energy dissipation structures, erosion and scour, and coastal sea walls and floating breakwaters, and relationships between pipe resistance formulas. He served as president of the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and he served as chairman of the Sedimentation Committee in the Hydraulics Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Walter Moore was an active sailor and a long time member of the Austin Yacht Club. Walt, Reta, and their family greatly enjoyed cruising on their Cal 25 “Cirrus” on Lake Travis. They loved to entertain young faculty with a sail and then anchor down the lake for a meal.
Professor Moore completed his last teaching assignment in fall 1981 and was designated professor emeritus on September 1, 1984.
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Randall J. Charbeneau (chair), Joseph F. Malina, and John E. Breen.