Water Resources and River Engineering

Water resources engineering is a very large sub-specialty of Civil Engineering. With only a fraction of the world’s water available for human and agricultural production, the management of these scarce resources is critical to life on the planet. Furthermore, water is the most common method by which pollutants are transported, and floods and droughts threaten more people and infrastructure annually than any other natural phenomenon. River Engineering is concerned with the viability and health of the world’s river systems. The study of water and sediment motions in the river systems is essential to maintaining viability of the rivers as well as prevention of adverse consequences to man-made structures within the river systems (i.e. bridges, roads, buildings, etc.). Because of this, water resources and river engineering are critical aspects of sustainable design for almost any civil project.

Jerry Richardson, Ph.D. coordinates the water resource and river engineering program within the School of Computing and Engineering. In this effort Richardson has organized an impressive group of committed professionals to support the academic, research and practical application of water river engineering principles. Richardson collaborates on interdisciplinary with the School of Geosciences, Computer Sciences, Mechanical Engineering and other experts within and outside the University.

Recent and Current Research

Relation Between Spatial Variability of Bed Shear-Stress Distribution and the Statistical Characterization of Bed Material in the Missouri River

Principal Investigator(s): Jerry Richardson, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE
Funded by: U.S. Geologic Survey, Missouri Water Resource Center, $133,671
Goal: The magnitude of the bed-shear stress and its spatial gradient are important in sediment transport studies because they relate to the rate of erosion and deposition. The magnitude of the bed-shear stress determines which grains will be transported while its spatial change determines how fast the bed elevation changes which in turn affects the change of the bed-material composition. There is then a relationship between the bed-material composition and its change, the shear stress on the bed and the upstream sediment supply are being studied in this research.