Water Resource Engineering

Water Resources

Research Areas

The water resource engineering, program's research areas include:

  • Modeling land-atmosphere interaction and boundary layer processes
  • Earth remote sensing
  • Data assimilation: techniques, development and applications
  • Large scale fluid dynamics
  • Hydrology
  • Hydraulics and computational hydrodynamics

Research Projects

Recent water resource engineering research projects include:

  • Estimation of land surface water and energy balance parameters and closure relationship using conditional sampling of surface states.
  • Variational estimation of land surface parameters and surface heat fluxes over a wide range of hydrological conditions.
  • Investigating the closure relationship between water and energy cycle, over a wide range of vegetation and hydrological conditions using field site information.
  • Development of a land data assimilation system to assimilate the remotely sensed freeze/thaw index of soil into the NASA Catchment land surface model.
  • Coupling land surface water balance, energy balance and carbon uptake and developing new algorithms for more accurate estimation of fluxes at different scales.
  • Numerical modeling of irregular free surface flow and transport of sediment and pollutants, using lagrangian meshless methods.


Dr. Leila Farhadi is a professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She received her Ph.D. in Water Resources and Hydrology from Massachusetts Institute. Prior to joining GWU she held a research scientist position at the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office of NASA Goddard and currently holds a science collaborator position with this office. 

Dr. Farhadi is interested in understanding and modeling land surface and land-atmosphere interaction and exchange processes, through utilizing innovative remote sensing, optimization and numerical modeling techniques.  Her background is in Hydrology and Hydraulics and her work is presented and published in a number of reputable conferences and journals. Learn more about Dr. Farhadi.


Students and faculty conduct research in the Hydraulic Laboratory and Computer labs. Field site experiments will be conducted using GW’s owned Flux tower.