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Sangoyita Andriyas

Sanyogita Andriyas, a graduate student in Civil & Environmental Engineering, was a recent recipient of AGU’s Outstanding Student Paper Award for her research presentation titled, "Bayesian Belief Networks Approach for Modeling Irrigation Behavior", at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California (December 3-7, 2012). For more information click here.

Margie, Christel, and Allia

Malgorzata (Margie) Rycewicz-Borecki, PhD student in Environmental Engineering, Christel Olsen, MS student in Environmental Engineering, and Allia Abu-Ramaileh, MS student in Environmental Engineering, received awards at the American Water Works Association. For more information click on awards.

xmas 2012

The Utah Water Research Laboratory celebrated their 2012 Christmas Holiday. For more information click on pictures.

Susu Spillway Model

The Susu Stair Step Model at the Hydraulics Modeling Lab at the Utah Water Research Laboratory successfully ran water for the first time. For pictures go to "Susu Stair Step Model." Contact Dr. Blake P. Tullis or Dr. Michael C. Johnson for further information.

4th International Junior Researcher and Engineer Workshop on Hydraulic Structures -- June 17-20, 2012

UWRL faculty member Dr. Blake P. Tullis recently hosted the 4th International Junior Researcher and Engineer Workshop on Hydraulic Structures (IJREWHS 2012) at Utah State University.  This IAHR affiliated conference brought together young researchers from Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Colombia and the United States.  The objective of this conference is to provide young researchers (typically graduate students) and young professionals with the opportunity to write about, present, discuss, revise, and publish their research.  An international scientific committee, comprised of senior hydraulic structures researchers from six countries, provided feedback on the presentations and reviewed the technical papers; papers of appropriate quality will be published in the IJREWHS 2012 proceedings (available Oct. 2012)

Click here for pictures of the conference

Drs. Doucette and McKee

The Utah Water Research Laboratory celebrated their annual Staff Appreciation Day on June 15, 2012. For pictures please go to:


uwrl staff for Christmas party

The Utah Water Research Laboratory celebrated Christmas on December 2, 2011. For pictures please go to:


Dr. Wynn Walker

Dr. Wynn Walker will lecture on "Water: The Fickle Finger of Fate in the Middle East--Recent 'Water' Lessons From Iraq" on October 25, 2011. The focus of the lecture will be global water issues (including water resource management and irrigation engineering) with particular emphasis on the Middle East. The Iraq Agricultural Extension Revitalization Project, a project recently completed by Dr. Mac McKee, Dr. Jagath Kaluarachchi, and Dr. Wynn Walker will also be a main topic. For more information please go to:

international research.usu.edu



Emission chamber containing ornament fround in residence U8-8452

map showing location of residences where indoor air samples were collected in relationship to areas of groundwater contamination

Essential Reading for Hydrogeologists

Two of the recently recognized Top 5 Downloaded Papers of 2010 from Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation (GWMR), a publication of the National Ground Water Association, were the work of Utah Water Research Laboratory (UWRL) faculty members.  GWMR is considered "an indispensible resource for researchers and practitioners in the field" that "plays a unique role in advancing the practice of groundwater monitoring and remediation field by combining forward thinking academic research with practical solutions from industry leaders."

UWRL researchers Joan E. McLean, R. Ryan Dupont, and Darwin L. Sorensen co-authored Dechlorinating and Iron Reducing Bacteria Distribution in a TCE-Contaminated Aquifer (along with Carmen Lourdes Yupanqui Zaa and Jeanette M Norton), and William J. Doucette authored Emissions of 1, 2-Dichloroethane from Holiday Decorations as a Source of Indoor Air Contamination (along with co-authors A.J. Hall, and K.A Gorder).

These recognized papers are freely available on the GWMR website: click here

Dr. R. Ryan Dupont

Dr. R. Ryan Dupont has been re-appointed as a member of the Utah Solid and Hazardous Waste Control Board.

sand bagging - 2011

The UWRL with the aid of the City of Logan, CERT, and others got together and filled bags full of sand in case of flooding on May 11, 2011

For more information click on this link.

uwrl xmas 2010

The UWRL celebrated their annual Christmas party on Friday, December 3, 2010

For more information click on this link.

Dr. Laurie McNeill

Dr. Laurie McNeill Named Carnegie Professor of Year

It is not every day that your college professor begins lecture by highlighting National Toilet Day or the birth of one Thomas Crapper (make the link between the two references yourself)! Then again, Utah State University engineering professor Laurie McNeill is not an ordinary professor.

McNeill is one of 38 national winners named Thursday as this year’s Carnegie Professors of the Year. McNeill is in Washington, D.C., to participate in a special awards ceremony honoring her as the solo 2010 pick representing Utah. She is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at USU.

For more information click on this link.

Water Canal Model

Canal Wave Oscillation: Finding a Solution at One-Tenth the Cost

Finding a solution to a persistent problem is uniquely satisfying. Finding that solution at 1/10th the cost? Priceless. In October 2009, Utah State University sent Civil Engineering department head, Dr. William Rahmeyer, and Steve Barfuss, a research professor and head of its laboratory, to Boise for an on-site visit with ITD’s State Hydraulics Engineer, Lotwick Reese, and project designers Horrrocks Engineers.

Over the next few months, USU graduate students built a 100-foot-long 1:9 scale model of the N.Y. Canal structure that replicated water velocities, the spacing and height of the piers even the size of gravel in the channel.

For more information click on this link.

aggieair crew

AggieAir Flying Circus flies officially with COA# 2009-WSA-76 at its training/testing area near Cache Junction, UT.

To read a copy of the official COA#2009-WSA-76 please click on this link.

Andrew Hobson

Andrew Hobson received the Legacy of Utah State Award at the 2010 Robins Award Ceremony. This award was created in memory of the students and the professor that were in a van accident in 2005.

Hobson is an Environmental Engineering major, and served as Engineering Senator for the College of Engineering from 2009-2010. He is also a member of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department's winning Water Design team. After graduation in May, he will be pursuing an MS in Environmental Engineering at Utah State.

For more information please click here.

Dr. Mac McKee

“There are places on the planet where parents of a child interested in water engineering are told to send their child to Utah State University—not Harvard, not MIT, not Stanford, but to Utah State University and the Utah Water Research Lab,” said Mac McKee, director of the UWRL. This emphasizes the brand name that USU carries worldwide in water engineering.

USU’s hundred-year legacy in international water research and development will bring Mac McKee and his colleagues, emeritus professors Bill Grenney and John Keith, to Dakar, Senegal for their next project. They will work with Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du fleuve Sénégal, an organization that oversees the Senegal River, to reassess the allocation of costs for projects on the river.

Modeling building dedicated 9-24-09

The Utah Water Research Laboratory dedicated its new Hydraulics Modeling Laboratory building on September 24, 2009, together with the College of Engineer's Structural Testing Laboratory. Both buildings were dedicated with the participation of Lt. Governor Gregory S. Bell, President Stan L. Albrecht, Dean H. Scott Hinton, Dr. Mac McKee, UWRL Director, and many other dignitaries. Dr. Mac McKee and other dignitaries cut the ribbon in the ceremony.

For more information please click here.

Noah Schmadel

Utah State University graduate student Noah Schmadel captured top awards at the 2009 Spring Runoff Conference and Intermountain Meteorology Workshop held on campus April 2-3, 2009. The two-day gathering, hosted by Water@USU and the USU-based Utah Climate Center, featured a slate of national speakers and more than 80 oral and poster research presentations by academics, professionals and students.

ashleigh restad

Ashleigh Restad, a student in the Environmental Engineering program in the College of Engineering has received the "Undergraduate Researcher of the Year" award. Ashleigh started working for the Utah Water Research Laboratory in 2007 assisting with various laboratory and field projects. She is also involved with the Utah State University's chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) as the Board President. Congratulations Ashleigh.

For more information on Research Week go to research.

R. Ryan Dupont

Dr. R. Ryan Dupont has received the "Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year" award. Dr. Dupont mentors undergraduate students and hires them in their freshman and sophomore years for research projects in laboratory, field work, and data analysis. Dr. Dupont involves the students in all aspects of research. Because of his mentoring many students have gone on to graduate school.

construction 2008

Construction started in 2008 and fininished early in 2009 on the new Hydraulics Building for the Utah Water Research Laboratory. For pictures of building construction progress please go to construction site.

uwrl staff 12-08

UWRL X-mas 2008--December 5, 2008.

Dr. Thomas B. Hardy

Dr. Thomas B. Hardy will head a team of eight scientists that will study the existing springflow requirements for three endangered species found exclusively in the Comal and San Marcos Springs: A small freshwater fish called the Fountain Darter, the Comal Springs riffle beetle, and an aquatic grass known as Texas Wild-Rice. Dr. Hardy is a nationally recognized expert in determining what the minimum and maximum requirements are for various endangered species.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) has approved spending $45,000 to partially fund an analysis of these endangered species. The GBRA is the first agency to approve the proposed $308,000 project and is waiting approval by other agencies.

Thom Hardy, Mac Mckee, and William J. Doucette

Our annual staff appreciation day was held June 6, 2008.

Dr. McKee & USU President Albrecht

The Director of the Utah Water Research Laboratory at USU, Dr. Mac McKee presented "Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory" as part of the USU Sunrise session series, Friday, April 25, 2008 in Salt Lake City.

Researchers at the UWRL are currently working on more than 300 contract projects from around the world in an effort to deal with water issues.

There are three main water problems arid communities such as Utah and others worldwide need to address,” Dr. McKee said. “Water per person is decreasing, there is an increase in diversification of water uses and there is a stronger demand from stakeholders to play a role in the decision-making process. The UWRL aims to get in front of these problems and develop solutions before they get out of hand, Dr. McKee said.

For more information go to article at Utah State Today.

jagath kaluarachchi

USU Water Resources Engineer Honored with Diplomate Status. Utah State University engineering professor Jagath Kaluarachchi was recently named a Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE) of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE).

Dr. Kaluarachchi is an associate dean in USU’s College of Engineering and is a professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department and at the Utah Water Research Laboratory. His specialties include hydrology, water resources planning and management, risk-based decision analysis and water quality. “It is an honor to be recognized for my research and academic work in the field of water resources engineering,” said Kaluarachchi.

For more information go to article at Utah State Today.

Jeffery S. Horsburgh

Jeffery S. Horsburgh, a PhD Candidate has won an award at the AWRA Student Presenter Competition at the 2008 Spring Specialty Conference on GIS and Water Resources, held March 17-19, 2008 in San Mateo, CA.

His presentation on "Using GIS in Cretating an End-to-End System for Publishing Environmental Observations Data" was among the three winners chosen. All winners will be announced in an upcoming issue of the AWRA's Water Resources IMPACT and on their website.

erik dettenmaier

Erik Dettenmaier, a PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering, received the Adventus Americas Award, Best Student Platform Presentation at the Eighteenth Annual meeting of The Association for Environmental Health and Sciences (AEHS) Meeting and West Coast Conference on Soils, Sediment, and Water, held in San Diego, California on March 10-13, 2008. The title of his presentation was "Re-Examining the Relationship Between Plant Uptake of Organic Chemicals and Octanol Water Partition Coefficients."

Judith L. Sims

Utah State University engineering professor Judy Sims was recently elected to the board of directors for the National On-Site Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA). Sims is a researcher at USU’s Utah Water Research Laboratory.

As a member of the board of directors, Sims serves on the education committee and editorial board and will participate on committees that promote the educational activities of NOWRA.

For more information go to article in Utah State Today.

David S. Bowles

Utah State University engineering professor David S. Bowles was recently named a Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE) of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE). In addition, Bowles was also awarded a certificate of appreciation for patriotic civilian service to the United States Department of the Army. 

The AAWRE encompasses water resources engineers from the Environmental and Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers to improve the practice, elevate the standards and advance the profession of water resources engineering. The organization provides specialty certification for water resources engineers.

For more information please go to Utah State Today.

uwrl staff 12-07

UWRL X-mas 2007

David S. Bowles

Dr. David S. Bowles was recently nominated and approved via the “Eminent Practicioner” route as a Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE) (American Academy of Water Resources Engineers). This is a prestigious nomination, as only a few people are nominated through the eminence route each year. The following is an excerpt from his nomination:

"As you are a recognized eminent water resources engineer with over 25 years of professional experience, the AAWRE Board of Trustees is pleased to waive the interview portion of the Diplomate application process... The 2007-2008 group of diplomates will be recognized at a special ceremony and reception during the May 13-16, 2008 World Water and Environmental Resources Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii"

Beth Neilson

Dr. Bethany Neilson has been selected as the first place recipient of the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) Ph.D. Dissertation Award for 2007 in the field of Natural Science and Engineering. Her award was presented at the Awards Banquet during the UCOWR's Annual Conference held in Boise, Idaho on July 25, 2007

Our annual Staff Appreciation Day was held April 25, 2007

Laurie McNeill

Dr. Laurie McNeill has won "Professor of the Year" for 2007 at the 49th annual Robins Awards held April 21, 2007. These awards are the most prestigious honor bestowed on contributors to Utah State University. At the acceptance of her award, Dr. McNeill said: "I would like to dedicate this honor to my friends and colleagues at Virginia Tech and encourage everyone here to work for peace."

randy martin

Dr. Randal Martin received an award for being "USU's 2007 Engaged Scholar" in recognition of service learning. This award was presented to Dr. Martin by Dr. Stan Albrecht, President of Utah State University, at the Utah Campus Compact's ceremony on April 3, 2007 at the Utah State Capitol

jagath kaluarachchi and dean hinton

Dr. Jagath Kaluarachchi has been presented with the USU Faculty Researcher of the Year Award for 2007 for the College of Engineering. The Researchers of the Year, presented to a faculty member in each College, are engaged in research projects that solve real, practical problems for people in Utah and throughout the world. Dr. Kaluarachchi was recognized this year during the Annual Research Awards Luncheon held by the Vice President for Research Office.

Dr. Kaluarachchi’s research specialty lies in groundwater hydrology and quality for water resources planning and management. He has become a world expert in the assessment of environmental risks, costs, and benefits associated with the complicated issues of ground water pollution, the fate of ground water contaminants and their implication toward human health risk, and the management of ground water contamination sources to protect public health. A Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Dr. Kaluarachchi authored eight journal articles, one book chapter, and gave seven conference presentations in the past year. Presently, he is the major professor for eight graduate students. Dr. Kaluarachchi is highly regarded by faculty and students in the College of Engineering, and by his peers around the world. His research record is one of sustained high productivity in scientifically and socially important problem areas. His leadership in the CEE Department, the UWRL, and the College of Engineering with regard to research and scholarly work is exemplary.

venturi meter

Jason Bradford and Dr. Mike Johnson's paper "Performance of Venturi Meters Installed Downstream of Bends" has been selected for the 2007 AWWA Engineering and Construction Division Best Paper Award

david s. bowles

Dr. David S. Bowles has been elected to the Board of U.S. Society on Dams

dr. mac mcckee

Utah State University, Utah Water Research Lab Director Mac McKee has been elected as a board member on the Universities Council on Water Resources

national geographic

The Day National Geographic came to the UWRL. The Utah Water Research Laboratory was contacted last fall by producers at the National Geographic Channel. They were putting together a documentary on flooding, and inquired if our laboratory had the capabilities to recreate some of the flooding scenarios they wanted to illustrate in their documentary. In addition to simulating flooding conditions at the UWRL, they wanted to talk with our faculty about the current state of flooding research. The focus of the documentary was the Ft. Collins (Colorado) flood of July 1997 – what happened, why did it happen, and what is being done to prevent such an event from occurring in the future.

utah water research laboratory building

Water Wise for 40 years and going strong! Water is a key factor in life in the arid West and since Utah State University’s beginning in 1888, water has been a key research focus. In December of 1965, when the university dedicated its new Utah Water Research Laboratory, USU took its place as one of the world’s leading water research universities in the nation.

betty hansen

Betty Hansen retires after 40 years of service! After working for the Utah Water Research Laboratory (UWRL) since November 1965, our colleague and friend Betty Jane Hansen has retired. Her lifetime of service to the UWRL is truly appreciated. Betty was consistently dependable and hard working, a team player with an exceptional eye for detail, and a valuable resource of knowledge to the UWRL. We extend our sincere expression of appreciation and gratitude for her contributions to the UWRL.

beth neilson and christina bandaragoda

Bethany Neilson an Environmental Engineering graduate student and Christina Bandaragoda, a Water Engineering graduate student, have been selected to receive an Outstanding Student Paper Award for their presentation at the 2005 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Their presentation "Data Collection Methodology for Dynamic Temperature Modeling, Testing, and Corroboration" was recognized as among the best of a strong group of student presenters, which has set an example for fellow students and the entire AGU membership. AGU is a worldwide scientific community that advances, through unselfish cooperation in research, the understanding of Earth and space for the benefit of humanity.

map of utah drought

Our Utah Water Journal, presents issues of water quantity and quality in Utah

May 29, 2014