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Daniel L. and Irma Evans Lecture

The Daniel L. and Irma Evans Endowed Lectureship provides an opportunity to deepen the understanding of engineering by exposing students and practicing engineers to the concepts, challenges, concerns and methods they will interact with throughout their careers.

Dan, Roger and Robert Evans established the endowed lecture in 1983 to memorialize and honor the human and broad societal outlook of their parents.

Watch the 2020 Daniel L. and Irma Evans Lecture

Daniel L. and Irma Evans Lecture 2020

Jay R. Lund

The success of societies: Engineering’s role

Featuring Dr. Jay R. Lund

Co-Director, Center for Watershed Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California, Davis

Dr. Jay Lund is Co-Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences and a Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California – Davis. He has long enjoyed teaching, research, and engagement on many aspects of theory and practice for water management and policy, usually trying to integrating economics and operations research with traditional engineering. He has become particularly engaged in working on the wide range of water problems in California with many collaborators, and remains enthusiastic about the potential of system analysis and optimization to provide understanding and insights for management and policy.

In California he was on the Advisory Committee for the 1998 and 2005 California Water Plan Updates, and has served as Convenor of the California Water and Environment Modeling Forum and Chair of California’s Delta Independent Science Board. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He has long been involved in applying economic and optimization ideas to provide insights on California’s water problems, including the development and use of the CALVIN model of California’s water supply system. He is a lead author of Comparing Futures for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (UC Press 2010) and Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation (PPIC 2011).

Dr. Lund has a B.A. in International Relations and Regional Planning from the University of Delaware (1979) and a BS in Civil Engineering, MA in Geography, and PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington (Seattle). He has advised over 140 graduate students, including 15 who are faculty at research universities globally, and has over 400 publications and reports.

Engineering is successful or unsuccessful within a social context. This talk reflects on the role of civil engineering in the success of societies, as well as current and future challenges. The development and evolution of the engineering profession in the service of societies will be reviewed from its origins to the present.

Infrastructure, the specialty of civil and environmental engineers, supports public health and prosperity for large-scale urban civilizations. Globally, every urban civilization has elaborate infrastructure systems that provide safety, shelter and water, which support relative health and prosperity. This infrastructure, and the institutions and behaviors which support it, both reflects and reinforces the social structures of these civilizations and enables them to further develop and change.

Some major challenges for engineering today include preserving its practical effectiveness on traditional problems while addressing current challenges such as social justice, public health, ecosystem health, and serving a changing economic structure.

View past lectures