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1 March 2011 Introduction to this Volume Celebrating the Coastal Engineering Career of Nick Kraus
Hans Hanson
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I suppose that as perhaps the earliest student of Dr. Nicholas C. Kraus, I was chosen to write this Introduction. I knew Nick since 1979, when I met him in Tokyo during a one-month visit I made to Japan to learn about research on Coastal Engineering. I subsequently found out that the Tokyo group did not know what to do with me and they asked Nick, who was working at the Nearshore Environment Research Center with Professor Kiyoshi Horikawa, to handle the visit. The rest is history as they say, with more than 40 publications written together in my case.

This volume is an outcome of presentations at the “NCK Symposium” held in honor of Nick at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, in March 2009. Co-Chairs for the symposium were Dr. Gary Zarillo at FIT and his wife Kim – who served as host, Dr. Julie Dean Rosati of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dr. Ping Wang of the University of South Florida, and Dr. Magnus Larson and I, both at the University of Lund. Approximately 50 papers were given over two days, with attendees representing several countries. Topics covered were coastal processes, inlet processes, sediment transport, morphology change, regional sediment management, overwash and breaching, laboratory and field measurements, coastal engineering practice, numerical modeling, and “adventures with Nick.”

This book is a collection of original papers from Nick's students and colleagues presented to him in honor of his career. Many stories were told about Nick – his energy and enthusiasm, his interest in so many topics, and his sustained record of bringing the best science to the hands of the coastal engineer. We heard stories, too, of his rigor about good writing and of his theories of personality, management, and leadership, his zeal for the martial arts, and his legendary availability on email seemingly 24 hours a day no matter what time zone you are in. In preparation of background material for the Symposium I managed to get my hands on Nick's List of Publications from 1978 to 2008. In that list I could compile some interesting numbers. The List contains 410 different publications written together with 170 different co-authors. By defining the number of years Nick has collaborated with each of them based on the year of the first and last co-authored publications, respectively, the list represents 577 years of cooperation with his co-authors. All of these numbers are more than impressive and if he were an athlete with a corresponding resumé, he would have been guaranteed a place in the appropriate Hall of Fame.

Already at this meeting we were all very much aware of Nick's lung cancer, but were still taken very deeply as Nick gave a very unsentimental resumé of his fight against this terrible disease. He made it clear to all of us that he would fight hard to the end, as always, although he knew he could never win. He did indeed fight long and well after this, but finally, he had to give up the battle against the cancer on February 3, 2011.

It is an honor and privilege to write this introduction for the NCK Symposium Special Issue of the Journal of Coastal Research, dedicated to Nick. The issue is edited by Tiffany Roberts, Julie Rosati, and Ping Wang, academically and professionally influenced by Nick. Nick reviewed many of the articles in this Special Issue, and we assume that he would be very proud to have the SI published.

So, Nick, this issue is for you. You were the greatest of us all. A constant source of inspiration and guidance. Never giving up on us even though we did not always meet your standards. Always appreciative for what we did. We will miss you dearly.

ABOVE: Nick Kraus at the Nicholas C. Kraus Symposium in 2009 held in Melbourne, FL honoring his lifetime of research achievements and his numerous contributions to coastal science.

COVER PHOTOGRAPH: A field experiment coordinated by Nick Kraus in 1985 at Duck, NC called Duck’85. The researchers are busy with Nick's ‘Streamer Traps’ that measure sand transported along the coast. As usual Nick is at the outer end of the measurement line near the most energetic breaking waves.

Hans Hanson "Introduction to this Volume Celebrating the Coastal Engineering Career of Nick Kraus," Journal of Coastal Research 2011(10059), (1 March 2011).
Published: 1 March 2011
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