David Watkins, PE

David Watkins


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  • Distinguished Professor, Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
  • PhD, Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
  • MS, Environmental Health Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
  • BS, Civil Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
  • BS, Engineering and Public Policy, Washington University in St. Louis


Dr. Watkins' teaching interests include hydrologic and hydraulic engineering, water and environmental systems analysis, and international service learning.  He serves as a faculty advisor to the Michigan Tech student chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA and directs an international capstone design program in Panama.  Dr. Watkins’ research interests include sustainable development and the application of decision theory and information technology to environmental and water resources problems in both the developing and industrialized world.  His current research projects include analyzing the drivers and environmental impacts of household food, energy, and water consumption; investigating household behavioral changes and food insecurity associated with the COVID-19 crisis; assess the social, technical, and economic viability of using abandoned mines for pumped energy storage; and providing technical support for climate adaptation by agricultural communities in El Salvador.  Dr. Watkins is active in the ASCE/EWRI Environmental & Water Resources Systems and River Basin, Planning, Policy & Operations technical committees, and he currently serves as Chief Editor of the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.

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Google Scholar Profile

Teaching Interests

  • Water resources planning and management
  • Environmental systems analysis
  • Hydrologic and hydraulic engineering
  • Optimization methods
  • Learning through service

Research Interests

  • Integrated water resources planning
  • Hydrologic modeling and forecasting
  • Flood risk management
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation planning
  • Food-Energy-Water Nexus
  • Systems optimization under uncertainty
  • Sustainable development engineering