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Alexander R. Horner-Devine

Faculty Photo

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Associate Chair for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Civil & Environmental Engineering


Alex Horner-Devine grew up canoeing on the rivers and lakes of Ontario, Canada before starting his career in fluid mechanics as a whitewater kayaking instructor on the Ottawa River. He then studied fluid mechanics in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. Seeking to return closer to his roots, he entered graduate studies in Environmental Fluid Mechanics at Stanford University, where he completed his MS and PhD degrees. Alex joined the Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty at the University of Washington in Fall 2004. He was a visiting scholar at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands from 2012 to 2013.


  • Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 2003
  • M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 1998
  • B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 1995

Previous appointments

  • Visiting scholar, Delft University of Technology, 2012-2013
  • Assistant professor, UW CEE, 2004-2011

Research Statement

Horner-Devine's research group studies fluid mechanics at and near the river-ocean interface. They use field observations, laboratory experiments and numerical models to better understand the mixing and transport processes that determine the fate of sediment, nutrients and contaminants in rivers, estuaries and the coastal ocean.

Current projects

Sediment transport in the Rhine River plume, the Netherlands (STW)

Dynamics of wave-supported gravity currents (NSF)

Intensification and impact of wave-breaking in river plumes (NSF)

River discharge and estuary dynamics inferred from sea surface height Measurements (NASA)

Sediment re-suspension and transport in the Duwamish River estuary

Honors & awards

  • CEE Outstanding Teacher 2011, 2015
  • Allan and Inger Osberg Professorship