December 19, 2022
Fun fact: This faculty member was inspired to study engineering by a long train ride with a lot of flooding
Can you tell us more about the long train ride that inspired you to be a hydrologist?
I was heading home from college in northern India. The journey east to a small town called Rajshahi in Bangladesh usually takes two days at most. In one particular year there was a lot of flooding in the area. Back in the day, we did not have cellphones and didn’t have access to weather and flood forecasts at our fingertips. So I had no idea what train routes were functional at the time. As soon as I got on the train, my journey stalled due to the rail tracks being under water. I had to keep changing my travel route continuously in the hope of finding a dry route that would take me home. In the end, the journey took two extra days mainly because I wasn’t making decisions based on where the flooding was and where the storm was happening.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The teaching that affords interaction with students of all backgrounds and experiences is what I enjoy most about this job. I also like the flexibility we have to pursue high-risk, high-payoff creative ideas on research and education. I’ve worked on projects ranging from creating a new satellite-based irrigation advisory system to writing children’s books.
What makes CEE unique?
CEE is a program that brings a world of diverse expertise and experiences together at a confluence to solve problems facing society. Few programs can boast of this much diversity. What makes CEE unique is that it’s the only program that puts the word Civil in Civilization — our work truly helps advance society by creating livable cities and healthy environments.