Prof. Emeritus Gerald Orlob: 1925-2013

Dr. Orlob retirement award photo

UC Davis Professor Emeritus Gerald Orlob died peacefully in his sleep in Poulsbo, Washington, on March 23, 2013. He was 88 years old. A celebration of Prof. Orlob’s life will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 14, 2013 in room 3102B of Ghausi Hall at UC Davis. For more information on the memorial service, contact Margaret Lozano at or 530-752-1434. 

Having attained a Ph.D. in hydraulic engineering, his professional experience was divided between teaching graduate studies, first at UC Berkeley and then at UC Davis, where he taught graduate courses in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1968 until his retirement in 1991. 

Dr. Orlob had been awarded many professional awards during his career, including being elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineers in 1992, and also was elected as an Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Additionally, he founded and became CEO of a consulting engineering firm credited with the development of many original mathematical models for simulation of hydrodynamics and water quality in streams, lakes, reservoirs and coastal waters, many of which are widely used by environmental organizations throughout the world. He has been described as one of the world’s foremost authorities in the field of water quality management. 

Although his passion was for teaching, Gerald and his wife Lillian enjoyed entertaining guests in the home he designed and built in Green Valley. They also traveled extensively throughout the world together, collecting works of art to display in their home. 

Gerald was preceded in death by his wife of 26 years, Lillian Orlob. He is survived by his five children: Ken Orlob and Curt Orlob of Washington, Kathleen Corley and Colette Markham of California and Mark Orlob of Colorado, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gerald T. and Lillian P. Orlob Professorship in Water Resources Engineering. Checks should be made payable to the UC Davis Foundation. For more information contact Oliver Ramsey at

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