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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.


2018 Evans lecture

Global Water Resource Assessments: Models vs. Satellites 

Thursday, May 3, 3:30pm
Kane Hall, Room 220

Reception to follow in Kane Hall, Walker Ames Room- 225
Free and open to the public. No RSVP required.

Featuring Dr. Bridget Scanlon, Senior Research Scientist, The University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences

Although we increasingly rely on models and satellites to evaluate global water resources, their reliability is questionable. Unlike past research that compared modeled river discharges with monitored discharges, our work focuses on comparing modeled land water storage (snow, surface water, soil moisture and groundwater) trends to storage trends from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites.

Likened to giant weighing scales in the sky, GRACE satellites have monitored monthly changes in land water storage globally since their launch in 2002. The satellites show that global land water storage, summed over 186 river basins, increased over the past decade, although models show decreasing global water storage. This suggests opposing contributions to global mean sea level, with GRACE indicating a negative contribution to sea level and models indicating a positive contribution.

While there is considerable interest in global scale analyses, water management generally occurs at the river basin scale, with models underestimating large decadal (2002–2014) trends in water storage relative to GRACE satellites. Comparing models with GRACE highlights potential areas of future model development, particularly simulated water storage. The inability of models to capture large decadal water storage trends based on GRACE indicates that model projections of climate and human induced water storage changes may be underestimated.

Dr. Bridget Scanlon leads the Sustainable Water Resources Program at The University of Texas at Austin. A hydrologist and senior research scientist, Scanlon was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2016.


Past lectures


Daniel Sperling

Daniel Sperling
Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy and founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis
Thursday, April 14, 4pm
William H. Gates Hall, Room 138
The Three Transportation Revolutions… as seen by an academic, regulator, and policy wonk.
Watch the video


Suzzane Lacasse

Dr. Suzanne Lacasse
Technical Director at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute
Thursday, May 14, 2015, 4:30pm
Kane Hall, Room 110
Hazard, Risk and Reliability in Geotechnical Practice
Lacasse Biography | Lecture Synopsis | Video | Event photos


Mark Z. Jacobson

Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program, Stanford University
May 15, 2014
Roadmaps for transitioning Washington State and all other 49 U.S. states to wind, water, and solar power for all purposes
View Flyer | Watch Video


Dr. Bernard Amedei
Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Colorado - Boulder
May 30, 2013
Engineering in Sustainable Human Development: Challenges and Opportunities


Clark Brockman
Director, SERA Architects' Sustainability Resources Group
May 10, 2012
Imagining Tomorrow's High-Performance Neighborhoods, Today


Dr. Gail H. Marcus
Independent Consultant on Nuclear Power Technology and Policy
May 19, 2011
Nuclear Power: Past, Present and Future


Roger Garratt
Director of Resource Acquisition and Emerging Technologies, Puget Sound Energy
May 20, 2010
Renewable Energy: Seems Like Old Times


Peter Head
Director of Arup UK, Head of Global Planning
April 30, 2009
Entering the Ecological Age: The Engineer's Role


William K. Reilly
Senior Adviser to TPG, Founder of Aqua International Partners
April 9, 2007
The Water Age