University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Remembering Leslie W. Haug

LeslieHaugLeslie W. Haug, formerly with chemical engineering and Project Lignite, died March 20 at his home in Grand Forks after a short illness.  He was 82.

Leslie Wilson Haug, son of Olaf and Mathilda (Davis) Haug ,was born May 3, 1928 in Big Woods, Minn. He grew up on the family farm and attended rural schools. He moved to Grand Forks in 1949 and was employed with Agsco Chemicals. In 1950, Les joined the United States Army. He was stationed at Ft. Benning, Ga., as a troop leader instructing soldiers for battle during the Korean War; he was honorably discharged in 1952. Les married Helen Kozel on Sept. 28, 1954, in East Grand Forks, Minn. Returning to Agsco as a crew foreman in the chemical plant, he invented and patented a fertilizer bag-closing device. He transferred to the steel building division as a shop foreman. At Agsco, Les and co-worker Maury Goodwill--along with the assistance of the Engineering Department at NDSU--designed and developed equipment for the fabrication of end panels for the construction of steel buildings. They obtained several patents (some international) on this product.

In 1963, Les and Maury established the Wedg-Cor Steel Building Co. in Cooperstown, N.D., relocating to Jamestown, N.D. In 1973, he was employed by the UND Chemical Engineering Department as part of Project Lignite. He developed and built a steel barricade and batch liquefaction process which is still in use today. He and his project supervisor, John Rindt, worked on several research and development projects for the public and private sector. They devised a method for putting out the Kuwaiti oil fires set during the Gulf War. Their work also included contracts with 3M as well as soil and water contamination projects for the federal government. During his career, Les registered a total of six patents.

Les enjoyed spending time with his family. Some of his favorite pastimes included relaxing at his lake cabin at Leech Lake in Minnesota, camping, boating, music and photography. In his retirement years, Les spent many hours restoring classic Lincoln cars and Ford trucks along with his son, Forrest.

He is survived by a son, Forrest (Kimberly) Haug, Grand Forks; daughters, Claudia (Stef) Honl, Grand Forks; Coral (Phillip) Blanchard, Waynesboro, Ga.; Diana (Larry) Hayes, Buxton, N.D.; Darby (Kevan) Rabat, Middletown, Md.; Holly (Jeffrey) Boulware, Brookings, S.D.; Natalie (Karl) Kostelic, Brighton, Colo.; a sister, Bette (Mrs. Martin) Floe, Phoenix, Ariz.; 13 grandchildren and former wife, Helen Haug.

Les was preceded in death by his parents and a sister.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorials for a military marker placement.  The online memorial registry may be signed at

Military Honors: Members of the American Legion Post 157, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3817 and the North Dakota National Guard, in the spring.

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