The St. Anthony Falls Laboratory in History

Ed Silberman, Roger Arndt, Gary Parker, Efi Foufoula, Chris Paola

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The laboratory, known until recently as the St. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory, was designed and built under the direction of a dedicated individual, Lorenz G. Straub. Straub had been a Freeman Fellow and observed several laboratories in Germany during the year of his fellowship. He came to the University in 1930 and promptly set to work to establish his own laboratory. His vision came to fruition through a WPA grant to the University of Minnesota and construction started in 1936. Straub came to be known as the "River Doctor" for his many studies at SAFL on several aspects of river engineering. The Laboratory building lies on the Falls of St. Anthony in Minneapolis, Minnesota where there is a drop of about 15 meters. Up to 9 m 3/s may be drawn through the building and distributed to the many flumes for experimental research. Laboratory personnel have pursued studies in many areas of river engineering, hydrology and experimental and theoretical fluid mechanics. The legacy left by Straub is more than just a laboratory building and the equipment it contains. His vision of a university laboratory as a leader in the advancement of pioneering methods in water resources engineering as well as being an educational tool lives on. SAFL continues to explore cutting edge research on environmental and geophysical fluid dynamics and apply its knowledge to a variety of water-related engineering problems. This is a brief account of SAFL's history, present and future written by five of its Directors dating back to 1963.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHenry P.G. Darcy and Other Pioneers in Hydraulics
EditorsG.O. Brown, J.D. Garbrecht, W.H. Hager, G.O. Brown, J.D. Garbrecht, W.H. Hager
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2003
EventHenry P.G. Darcy and Other Pioneers in Hydraulics - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2003Jun 26 2003

Publication series

NameHenry P.G. Darcy and Other Pioneers in Hydraulics


OtherHenry P.G. Darcy and Other Pioneers in Hydraulics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia, PA


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