Prof. Yalin (1925-2007) was born in Baku, former U.S.S.R., on February 23, 1925. He obtained his Civil Engineering Diploma in 1950 and his Ph.D. degree in 1953, both from the Technical University of Istanbul. After completion of his military service in Turkey in 1954, he moved to Karlsruhe, Germany, where he held the positions of Scientific Collaborator at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering of the Technical University of Karlsruhe (1955-1956), and Research Officer at the German Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute, BAW (1956-1960). In 1960 he moved to England, where he worked at HR Wallingford, first as Senior Scientific Officer and two years later as Principal Scientific Officer. In 1966, at the invitation of Prof. T. Blench, Prof. Yalin spent one year at the University of Alberta in Canada as a Visiting Professor. He eventually joined the University of Calgary as an Associate Professor in 1967; and in 1969 moved to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where he worked as a Professor until his retirement in 1990. As an Emeritus professor at Queen’s since 1990, Prof. Yalin remained fully engaged in research and teaching until the time of his death on March 19, 2007, at the age of 82.
Prof. Yalin’s contributions cover the fields of hydraulic physical modelling, sediment transport and river mechanics. He was an outstanding, inspired and prolific scientist, who authored and co-authored close to one hundred scientific publications and wrote four books, namely “Theory of Hydraulic Models” (Macmillan, 1971), “Mechanics of Sediment Transport” (Pergamon Press, 1972, 1977), “River Mechanics” (Pergamon Press, 1992), and “Fluvial Processes” (IAHR Monograph, 2001), the latter jointly with Prof. Ana Maria Ferreira da Silva, also from Queen’s University. His publications are invariably filled with an abundance of new ideas and comprehensive theories that helped move the field away from empiricism and towards rationalism while considerably advancing the understanding and treatment of complex river processes. To his students, Prof. Yalin was known as an exceptional teacher and a truly inspirational mentor. Throughout his academic career, Prof. Yalin distinguished himself for his interest in, and active support of the efforts of many young researchers all over the world.
Prof. Yalin was awarded the CSCE Camille A. Dagenais Award in 1997 for his outstanding contributions to the development and practice of hydrotechnical engineering in Canada; and the title of Honorary Member of IAHR in 2005 for his outstanding accomplishments in fluvial hydraulics and sediment transport, and his support of IAHR especially through the Fluvial Hydraulics Section, which he chaired from 1986 to 1991.