College of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAcademicsGraduateProgramsWater Resources Engineering

Water Resources Engineering

hydraulicsWater Resources Engineering in civil engineering deals with hydraulic and hydrologic studies and consists of a vast field that focuses on water resources, its applications in human activities and its interactions with the environment. Rooted in fluid mechanics, hydraulic and hydrological engineers focus on problems that include:

  • Conveyance of water in the urban environment, with applications on water supply and wastewater and stormwater collection
  • Motion of water in the overland flows, rivers, aquifers, coastal environments, etc.
  • Sediment, heat, and contaminant transport processes in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries, and in groundwater system
  • Hydraulic structures such as reservoirs, dams, canals, etc.
  • The interaction between the hydrologic cycle and nutrient and energy cycles in terrestrial ecosystems

Techniques applied to address these problems involve use of laboratory facilities to simulate various problems, computational simulation of flows via solution of complex mathematical problems and field investigation of various hydrological problems. By bridging the gap between mathematics/fluid mechanics and the needs of society, hydraulic and hydrological engineers have historically contributed and continue to impact society decisively, increasing the standard of living and life expectancy of mankind.

Engineers in the water resources area may spend their time with applied mathematics, laboratory experimentation, or field construction and testing. The necessary skills range from imagination and common sense to sophisticated analytical and computer modeling ability.

Graduate study

The Water Resources Engineering graduate degree program at Auburn University provides the student with a rigorous foundation in theoretical and experimental aspects of hydraulics and hydrology together with the practical skills and knowledge necessary to solve modern water resources engineering problems.

Considerable emphasis is given various areas such as:

  • Mathematical modeling of surface and subsurface hydraulic and hydrological systems
  • Laboratory experimental techniques of various engineered and natural flow problems
  • Field investigations of various hydrological problems and issues involving water and sediment flows
  • Water quality modeling in aquatic systems (rivers, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries, and groundwater)
  • Systems analysis of coupled hydrological, ecological and social problems

Faculty in Water Resources Engineering