Hydrology and Fluid Dynamics

Research in the Hydrology and Fluid Dynamics track within Environmental Engineering Science covers some of the most modern open problems in environmental fluid dynamics, hydrology and water resources. Major themes include: 

  • hydrometeorology (rainfall dynamics, land-atmosphere interaction, remote sensing),
  • eco-hydrology (impact of hydroclimatic variability on ecosystems and feedbacks on the hydrologic cycle and local climate),
  • contaminant transport hydrology (surface-subsurface interactions), and
  • water cycle dynamics and human health, and stochastic hydrology).

Our approach to these complex problems is multifaceted and ranges from advanced theoretical computational analyses, to unique laboratory and field experiments such as the long term Duke Forest experiment.

Opportunities for Graduate Study

PhD, MS

Doctoral and Master of Science study in environmental engineering at Duke is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on a broad slate of faculty in the Pratt School of Engineering and the Nicholas School of the Environment. Students have considerable flexibility in crafting a graduate program that suits individual interests, but the core of this curriculum is described in the Hydrology and Fluid Dynamics study track.

MEng

The department also offers a program of study towards the Masters of Engineering (MEng) in Environmental Engineering. This 30-credit degree program includes course work towards departmental requirements, an area of specialization, business and management fundamentals, and an internship or applied research experience. There are currently four areas of specialization offered within this degree program:

  • Environmental Engineering and Public Policy;
  • Environmental Process Engineering;
  • Ecohydrology and Environmental Fluid Dynamics; and
  • Environmental Nanotechnology

Primary Faculty

Ana P. Barros

Ana P. Barros

James L. Meriam Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School of Engineering

Research Interests: Physics of water cycle processes in mountainous regions with a focus on cloud formation and precipitation; remote sensing of the environment using microwave and infrared sensors; long– range predictability and risk analysis of natural hazards; computational environmental fluid mechanics and...

Mark Edward Borsuk

Mark Edward Borsuk

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Mathematical models for integrating scientific information on natural, technical, and social systems; Bayesian network modeling with regular application to environmental and human health regulation and decision making; novel approaches to climate change assessment, combining risk analysis, game...

Andrew Bragg

Andrew Bragg

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Fundamental and applied problems in fluid dynamics, especially turbulence, and its role in environmental systems.

Zbigniew J. Kabala

Zbigniew J. Kabala

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Stochastic and deterministic theory of fluid flow and contaminant transport in saturated and unsaturated heterogeneous porous media, theory of related measurements, field and laboratory studies in subsurface hydrogeology, stochastic fields and processes, numerical and analytical methods and...

Marco Marani

Marco Marani

Professor of Eco-hydrology

Research Interests: My research interests include: understanding, through observations and modelling how the interaction between vegetation species and erosion/deposition processes leads to observed intertidal landforms, vegetation patterns, and biodiversity; development of an observational and a modelling...

Amilcare Porporato

Amilcare Porporato

Addy Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Near-wall turbulence, nonlinear analysis of hydrologic time series, stochastic soil moisture dynamics and water balance, soil-atmosphere interaction, and ecohydrology, complexity in the environment, sustainable use of soil and water resources.

David E. Schaad

David E. Schaad

Professor of the Practice of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Current research focuses on sustainable engineering, community development, water and wastewater treatment design, stormwater retention/detention and treatment design, hazardous waste remediation, urban hydrology, constructed wetland and stream restoration design, ecological stabilization,...

Secondary Faculty

Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle

Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division

Research Interests: River processes (hydraulics, hydrology, sediment transport, ecology) River policy (Clean Water Act, hydropower relicensing, large river management)

Peter K. Haff

Peter K. Haff

Professor Emeritus

James Hench

James Hench

Associate Professor of Oceanography

Research Interests: Environmental fluid mechanics, shallow-water physical oceanography, physical-biological interactions in marine environments, and marine technology

Marc A. Jeuland

Marc A. Jeuland

Assistant Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Prasad S. Kasibhatla

Prasad S. Kasibhatla

Professor in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy

Research Interests: Atmospheric chemistry, Regional and Global Modeling and Atmospheric chemical data analysis

Gabriel G. Katul

Gabriel G. Katul

Theodore S. Coile Professor of Hydrology and Micrometeorology

Research Interests: Micrometeorology and surface hydrology, Carbon and water cycling, and Environmental fluid dynamics

Mukesh Kumar

Mukesh Kumar

Assistant Professor of Watershed Hydrology in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy

Wenhong Li

Wenhong Li

Associate Professor of Climate

Research Interests: Dr. Li's research interests focus primarily on climate dynamics, land-atmosphere interaction, hydroclimatology, and climate modeling. Her current research is to understand how the hydrological cycle changes in the current and future climate and their impacts on the ecosystems, subtropical high...

Ram Oren

Ram Oren

Nicholas Professor of Earth Systems Science

Curtis J. Richardson

Curtis J. Richardson

John O. Blackburn Professor

Research Interests: Dr. Richardson's research interests are in the area of applied ecology and are centered on wetlands ecology and restoration. The objectives of his research are to utilize ecological principles to develop new approaches to environmental problem solving. The goal of his research is to provide...

Adjunct Faculty

John D. Albertson

John D. Albertson

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Surface hydrology and boundary layer meteorology; semi-arid vegetation dynamics; Large eddy simulation of turbulence and turbulent transport; urban air quality; hydroclimatic controls on infectious disease dynamics.

Douglas K. Miller

Douglas K. Miller

Adjunct Professor

Stefano Orlandini

Stefano Orlandini

Adjunct Associate Professor

Research Interests: Terrain analysis. Surface flow propagation. Surface-subsurface flow interaction. Flood protective measures. Flood control reservoirs. Wildlife impact on earthen dams and levees.

James R. Rigby

James R. Rigby

Research Assistant, Ph D Student