Colorado State University Names Research Center After Pioneer Engineering Professor

The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System today approved naming the main building at the Engineering Research Center after an engineering professor who played a critical role in founding and developing the facility.

The facility, located at Colorado State’s Foothills Research Campus, will be known as the Daryl B. Simons Building at the Engineering Research Center after Daryl B. Simons, who played a pivotal role in making Colorado State a research university. Simons helped secure the funding that led to the facility being constructed in 1961 and expanded in 1969.

"We are pleased to name this center, where some of the nation’s most advanced engineering research occurs each day, after Dr. Simons, who played such an integral part in establishing Colorado State University as a national leader in research," said Anthony Frank, provost and senior vice president of Colorado State.

The Daryl B. Simons Building at the Engineering Research Center houses research on hydrology and hydraulics, lasers and optics, and materials and plasmas. The 110,000-sqaure-foot facility was built to provide large-scale laboratory space for faculty and student projects in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering.

"It is fitting that we name the Simons Engineering Research Center just after the passing of former President William Morgan," said President Larry Edward Penley. "Professor Simons carried out the late President Morgan’s desire to provide a place for engineering research at the Foothills Campus."

Simons, who passed away in March 2005, left a strong legacy at Colorado State. He was the College of Engineering’s first associate dean for research. During his 18-year tenure, which ended in 1983, he guided the college from $100,000 in annual research funding to more than $20 million. Simons helped forge research associations with other strong universities such as the University of California-Berkeley, Georgia Tech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Simons also was instrumental in establishing the Department of Atmospheric Science.

Simons’ accomplishments extended beyond Colorado State. He had a national and international reputation in watershed management, river mechanics and sedimentology, and worked on every major river system in the world. Simons produced over 400 technical publications, and sent over 150 Ph.D. and 200 master’s students to make ties in South America, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Japan, China and Canada.

After leaving Colorado State, Simons formed an independent consulting firm and continued to guide hydropower and hydraulic projects nationally and internationally through agencies such as the World Bank, the United Nations and the Department of Defense. Simons was honored in 1991 with the Hunter Rouse Award, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ highest recognition in hydraulic engineering.