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Lorenz George Straub papers

Identifier: ua-00787

Scope and Content

The papers consist of notebooks dated 1936-1950 which contain handwritten entries by Lorenz Straub. Similar to diary entries, they list detailed descriptions of daily activities, trips, and departmental matters. The collection also included correspondence, biographical information, and materials documenting the establishment and history of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, which gives an overview of Dr. Straub's involvement with SAFL.


  • 1927-1987


Language of Materials

Collection materials in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical Sketch of Lorenz Straub (1901-1963)

Lorenz George Straub, B.C.E. (1923), M.S. (1924), Ph.D. (1927), Professional C.E. (1930), University of Illinois. Joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1930; became professor of hydraulics (1935) and director of St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (1938). World renowned expert in the fields of waterway engineering and hydraulic structures.

Lorenz Straub was born in Kansas City, Missouri on 7 June 1901. He received his B.C.E. (1923), M.S. (1924) and Ph.D. (1927) from the University of Illinois, as well as a professional C.E. degree in 1930 from the same institution. For two years after receiving his doctorate, Straub investigated and reported on river improvements and hydraulic practices in Europe as the first Freeman Traveling Scholar of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Dr. Straub joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 1930 as an associate professor of mathematics and head of the hydraulics department. He became a professor of hydraulics in 1935, served as an assistant dean of the College of Education and Architecture from 1936-1938, was named director of the St. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory in 1938, and head of the Department of Civil Engineering in 1945.

Soon after coming to the University of Minnesota, he began to plan and work for the building of the hydraulic laboratory at the St. Anthony Falls. Through his efforts and the cooperation of federal, state, municipal, and private agencies, work was started on the laboratory in 1936. Straub designed the building and supervised its construction.

Throughout the years, he was associated with some of the world's largest water resource and hydroelectric development programs as engineer and consultant. In 1952, he originated and supervised the unprecedented "friction control" closure of the Missouri River at the Fort Randall dam, and in 1954 he took a leave of absence from the University to serve as consultant to the Egyptian government in the building of the Aswan dam. He also had a long association with the United States Army Corps of Engineers as special consultant on various river problems, including Earthquake dam in Yellowstone Park, and was for many years a member of the Army's Beach Erosion Board and consultant to its Committee on Tidal Hydraulics

The American Society of Civil Engineers awarded him its Research award in 1959 and its Norman Medal in 1961. He was also a founding member, president from 1948-1955, and the first United States honorary member of the International Association for Hydraulic Research. Straub was also a charter member and national president of Chi Epsilon from 1944-1948. Lorenz Straub died on 27 October 1963.


1.45 Cubic Feet (2 boxes (1 record carton; 1 hollinger))


This collection contains the papers of Lorenz Straub, associate professor of mathematics and mechanics, director of the St. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory, and head of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

Source of acquisition

The original donation of the Lorenz Straub notebooks is unknown; a subsequent donation was transferred from the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory in September 2008.

Related Material in University Archives

Institute of Technology records

Lorenz George Straub papers, 1927-1987
University Archives staff
June 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area