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Taft honored by Alden Research Laboratories

HOLDEN, Mass., U.S., 10/25/11 (PennWell) – Alden Research Laboratories recently dedicated one of its fish testing facilities to Edward (Ned) P. Taft III, who served as a former president of the company and was a pioneer in the field of fishery biology.

Taft, who died in 2009 after suffering from brain cancer, was a nationally renowned fisheries biologist with degrees from Brown and Northeastern universities. His career began at Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation during the 1970s, when the Clean Water Act forced hydroelectric utilities to examine the effects of cooling water withdrawl on fish and other aquatic species.

Taft designed field and laboratory experiments to predict fish survival and behaviors associated with fish protection systems before succeeding George Hecker as Alden’s president in 2000.

“We owe a tremendous debt to his contributions,” current Alden president Stuart Cain said during the renaming ceremony.

The newly-christened Taft Fisheries Research and Test Facility – previously known as “Building 15” – has served Alden in a number of capacities since it was built in the 1970s.

Most recently, the facility was reconfigured to include a 10-foot by 20-foot water flume with a flow capacity of up to 500 cubic feet per second. The flume has been used for testing hydrokinetic turbines, fish bypass systems, traveling water screens with fish collection features and other underwater devices.

“It is obvious that a significant synergy exists between the history of Building 15 and the legacy of Ned as an innovator, researcher and leader,” Cain said.

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