Memorial scholarship will honor hydrology and water resources leader Jorge Ramirez

Professor Jorge Ramirez is honored by Colorado State University's Civil and Environmental Engineering department and the attendees of 2019 Hydrology Days (Left to right: Professors Neil Grigg, Mazdak Arabi, Jorge Ramirez, Pierre Julien)
Professor Jorge Ramirez is honored by Colorado State University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering department and the attendees of 2019 Hydrology Days (Left to right: Professors Neil Grigg, Mazdak Arabi, Jorge Ramirez, Pierre Julien)

Editor’s note: Go here for details on the scholarship established in memory of Jorge Ramirez.

Colorado State University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering lost a beloved colleague and mentor with the death of Jorge Ramirez on March 28. Ramirez was an accomplished engineer, an acclaimed professor, and a world-renowned leader in hydrology and water resource management. A scholarship will be established in his name that will support graduate students studying hydrology and water resources.

“Jorge’s passion was conducting research, teaching, and interacting with students,” Department Head Charles Shackelford said. “The purpose of this scholarship is to provide annual support to a deserving graduate student who is pursuing an advanced degree in hydrology and water resources, to recognize Jorge’s significant contributions to his chosen fields of study, and to honor the memory of his impact on all of us who were fortunate to know him personally.”

The scholarship, with an initial gift commitment of $5,000 and goal of $50,000, will create a legacy in Ramirez’ name that will benefit students and advance the fields to which he devoted his life.

“We’re hoping to build up the principal in this scholarship to a level that will ensure that this scholarship and our memory of Jorge will be everlasting,” Shackelford said.

A remarkable career

During his 30 years at CSU, Ramirez earned the respect of his colleagues around the world as a preeminent authority in hydrology and water resources. For nearly 20 years, he organized Hydrology Days, a conference that brings top experts in water studies to CSU to engage in interdisciplinary research topics with students, faculty, staff and practitioners.

“Jorge was a world leader in hydrologic analysis and eco-hydrology,” Professor Neil Grigg said. “His courses were demanding and forward-looking, and his research was cutting-edge, often focused primarily on student needs.”

In addition to the classes he taught in person and online, Ramirez led several NSF-funded programs supporting undergraduate and graduate research.

To his students, Ramirez was an inspirational teacher. In 2016 he was listed by National Online Engineering Programs as one of the top 20 professors of civil engineering.

“He was the kind of person that clearly connected with and truly cared about his many hundreds of students over the years,” wrote Jonathan Quebbeman in a tribute he posted online. “For Jorge, being a professor was more than a job, it was his calling, his passion.”

In 2019 the American Society of Civil Engineering honored Ramirez with the Arid Lands Hydraulic Engineering Award for outstanding teaching and research on arid lands hydrology and hydraulics. His many other awards included the Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award (2018), the Faculty Award for Excellence in Service from the Civil Engineering Department (2016), the George T. Abell Research Excellence Award of the College of Engineering (2011), and the Colorado Governor’s Recognition Award for High Impact Research (2011).

If you’d like to contribute to the Jorge Ramirez memorial scholarship, please go to the website or contact Colleen Reese at (814) 360-3488 or Colleen.Reese@colostate.edu.