RESTON, Va. – Rao S. Govindaraju, Ph.D., P.E., P.H., D.WRE, F.EWRI, Dist.M.ASCE, was named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This is the highest honor to which a civil engineer can aspire. Govindaraju is being recognized for his contributions in developing advanced statistical methods to address complex hydrologic problems associated with flooding, drought and extreme climatic events, and for his influence in civil engineering education. He will be inducted on Friday, October 11, 2019 at a special ceremony at Purdue University.
“ASCE is proud to present the 2019 class of Distinguished Members. Distinguished Members are the most eminent members in ASCE. The nine professionals recognized in 2019 are well-deserving of this recognition for their contribution to the civil engineering profession,” said Robin A. Kemper, P.E. “Each member has attained a level of excellence that sets the standard for their peers, paving the way for engineers of the future. These civil engineers will join the ranks of 220 other current ASCE members who have received this honor.”
Govindaraju is the Bowen Engineering Head and the Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Professor of the Lyles School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University. He is also the editor-in-chief of ASCE’s Journal of Hydrologic Engineering. Under Govindaraju’s leadership, Purdue’s civil engineering programs are ranked in the top 10 by many agencies, including U.S. News & World Report.
His work focuses on issues of heterogeneity and uncertainty in surface and subsurface hydrology, contaminant transport, watershed hydrology and climatic influences, and is used internationally. In Italy, studies with collaborators have highlighted run-on mechanisms with relevance to hydrologic design. In India, some of his studies have addressed droughts. Govindaraju’s research has also shown peers how to reconstruct rainfall, streamflow and water quality sequences when records are sparse or unavailable. In the United States, his work has been used for managing pollutant loads under sparse data and uncertainty. He has partnered with students to develop machine learning techniques that engage sea-surface temperatures and associated uncertainty information to predict rainfall in different parts of the world.
Govindaraju has received numerous ASCE awards and honors, including the Ven Te Chow Award, State of the Art of Civil Engineering Award, Alfred Noble Prize, Arid Lands Hydraulic Research Prize, Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, Best Paper Award for the Journal of Hydrologic Engineering and Best Reviewer Award for the Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. Others include the STAHY Best Paper Award and the S.N. Gupta Memorial Lecture Award. He has coauthored four books, over 130 refereed journal papers, 24 book chapters, reports and various conference papers.
Govindaraju is a fellow of ASCE’s Environmental & Water Resources Institute, a diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, a member of the American Geophysical Union, a life member of both the Indian Institute of Hydraulics and the Indian Association of Hydrologists and was previously president of the American Institute of Hydrology.