Michel Hug was born on May 30, 1930 in Courson, France, graduated from Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, and received in 1956 a doctorate in hydraulics and fluid mechanics at the State University of Iowa, USA. He then joined the national electricity board EDF where he was engaged for the following decade with various questions in hydraulics at the EDF research center in Chatou. In 1966, Hug was appointed as EDF Regional director of planning and construction in Marseille and thus he was involved in hydroelectric power plants on the Durance and the Verdon Rivers. In 1972 he was appointed as the chairman of the planning engineering and construction board and thus headed the French nuclear power program for the next ten years. In 1982 Hug was appointed president of the French national Coal Board and the associated chemical group CdF, and from 1992 to 2000 he was in charge of the Organization of Nuclear Energy Producers OPEN, where he developed new understanding of the relationships between European utilities faced with deregulation.
Michel Hug was elected president of IAHR in 1975 and stayed there until 1979. He had various teaching assignments at Ecole Polytechnique and at Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées. At the latter he was a professor of fluid mechanics from 1963 to 1980. He authored the books Applied fluid mechanics, and Change within the corporation: An experiment at Electricité de France. Earlier research work had been devoted to problems in cavitation, hydraulic machinery and laboratory questions. He was awarded in 1980 the title Commander of Légion d’Honneur and is an Honorary IAHR Member from 1985. Hug actually lives in Croissy-sur-Seine, France.