A tribute to code initiators of the SWMM engine - and design environment

William James


This presentation is not a peer-reviewed history of the SWMM code, but rather based on personal discussions with a few SWMM engine team pioneers (whom the writer met in the course of their careers and luckily got to know). The presentation discusses proprietary vs. public domain software and details the contributions of the engine code and design environment code pioneers. Successful software is more than just engine code, which is key, though comprising only ca. 20% of the overall tasks. Before SWMM, we had widespread use of the rational formula and unit hydrograph approaches, i.e. simple empirical relations. SWMM pioneered physical relationships, which are partly based on Newtonian mechanics. PCSWMM pioneered analyses of long-term continuous water quality model design methodologies, which allow eco-sensitive (or Darwin) considerations. Of course the three concerns, empiricism, Newtonism and Darwinism, co-exist, but the presentation has fun inflating their differences. Some early photographs are shown.

Pioneers were interviewed by Lucinda Hooley and Alan Belk who then worked with the interviewer.

 Click here to download a static PDF version of the presentation.

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