Louis R. Howson
Louis R. Howson
Sanitary Engineer – Hydraulic Engineer
Thirty-fifth National Honor Member Nominated by the Supreme Council
Louis R. Howson, as member and then partner in the consulting firm of Alvord, Burdick and Howson of Chicago, Illinois, has contributed to the practice of hydraulic and sanitary engineering since 1908 in the United States and throughout the world.
Born in Folletts, Iowa, Mr. Howson was graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering in 1908 and a professional degree in civil engineering in 1912. In 1949, the University honored Louis Howson with a Certificate of Achievement for his many accomplishments in the field of engineering.
During his long career in the field of hydraulic and sanitary engineering, Louis R. Howson has contributed more than 60 technical articles to most of the leading journals in the fields of civil engineering, water supply, wastewater, and hydraulics.
Shortly after graduation, Louis Howson entered the employ of the firm, Alvord and Burdick, and has been continuously associated with the firm since that time. Starting as a designer and following with experience as superintendent of construction and principal assistant engineer, he became a junior partner in 1915 and a full partner in 1921, when the firm changed its name to Alvord, Burdick and Howson.
Mr. Howson has been highly active in many of the professional organizations, being a past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Water Works Association, and the Western Society of Engineers. He holds membership in many other organizations, such as the American Institute of Consulting Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, Chicago Engineers Club, and the Chicago University Club.
The American Water Works Association has conferred several honors on Mr. Howson for his professional ability and contributions to the water industry. Among these awards are the Diven Medal, Goodell Prize, the Fuller Award, the Management Award, and the Publication Award. In addition, Louis Howson has been honored by other engineering organizations for his work, including his membership in the Iron Ring of Canada.
Mr. Howson was also a member of the Chicago Engineers Club, where he was an honorary member, the Chicago University Club, and the Hinsdale Golf Club. He was a registered Professional Engineer in thirty states and four Canadian provinces.
Among his professional accomplishments were service on the New York Water Resources panel, participation in the development of the world’s largest filtration plant at Chicago, in addition to other assignments for the City of Chicago, and many other water supply facilities adjacent to the Great Lakes and throughout the United States. In general, Louis Howson’s activities have been divided equally between water and wastewater projects.Among his professional accomplishments were service on the New York Water Resources panel, participation in the development of the world’s largest filtration plant at Chicago, in addition to other assignments for the City of Chicago, and many other water supply facilities adjacent to the Great Lakes and throughout the United States. In general, Louis Howson’s activities have been divided equally between water and wastewater projects.
Mr. Howson’s connection with many important sewage treatment projects included assignments in Gary, Indiana; Birmingham, Alabama; Roanoke, Virginia; and Green Bay, Wisconsin, to name a few. In addition, many comprehensive studies of collection systems have been guided by his ability and experience in hydraulics, including the Milwaukee metropolitan area, with sewers varying in size from 48-inch to 150-inch in diameter.
Besides water and sewerage facilities, Mr. Howson has served on many arbitration boards and participated in numerous international engagements, such as World Health Organization, Pan-American Health Organization, and the Agency for International Development. Some of his professional career was spent in the employ of foreign governments in Europe, Asia, and South America.
From 1926 to 1942, he was chief sanitary expert for the six-lake states in four U.S. Supreme Court hearings relative to the requirements for sewage treatment at Chicago with varying rates of dimension from Lake Michigan. During the period of 1937 to 1952, Mr. Howson was the engineering member of the Illinois Board of Conservation and Natural Resources, which is the administrative body for the State Water Survey, State Geological Survey, and the State National History Survey.
Louis R. Howson was first elected to Chi Epsilon in 1957 as a Chapter Honor Member of the University of Wisconsin chapter. The Supreme Council of the Fraternity was privileged to elevate Mr. Howson to be the 35th National Honor Member on Chi Epsilon on April 6, 1972, at the 50th Anniversary Conclave at the University of Illinois