American Hydro’s Chacour elected to engineering academy

Selim A. Chacour, president and principal founder of American Hydro Corp. of York, was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in February.

Members of the independent, non-profit institution elected Chacour to join their number “for pioneering three-dimensional fluid-dynamic finite-element computations, leadership in hydro turbine research, and business stewardship.”

The National Academy of Engineering’s 2,246 members were elected by their peers for seminal contributions to engineering, American Hydro spokesman Diane F. Hake said. The academy, established in 1964, provides leadership and guidance to government on the application of engineering resources to social, economic, and security problems.

Chacour began his career with Allis-Chalmers. By 1970, he had developed a three-dimensional finite element code, called Danuta, that still is used today in the hydroelectric industry, Hake said. In addition, Allis-Chalmers licensed the code to McDonnell-Douglas for aircraft analysis and to the Canadian Nuclear Power Industry for analysis of nuclear power plant components.

Chacour has contributed to the design of many hydro units, including Francis turbines at 6,809-MW Grand Coulee Dam in Washington and 2,078.8-MW Hoover Dam in Arizona and Nevada, and the pump-turbines at the 1,065-MW Bad Creek project in South Carolina, 2,316-MW Bath County in Virginia, 1,600-MW Raccoon Mountain in Tennessee, and 636-MW Smith Mountain in Virginia.

In 1986, when Allis-Chalmers sold its hydro turbine division to Voith of Germany, Chacour founded American Hydro.

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