University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering

Water Resources
Engineering and Science



Paul Block
Steve Loheide 
Ken Potter
Chin Wu

Affiliated Faculty

Trina McMahon
Dante Fratta

Professors of Pracitce

Rich Beilfuss
Tom Jenkins

Post-doctoral students
and researchers

Evren Soylu
Eric Booth

Research groups

Hydroecology Group
Ecological Fluid Mechanics Program
Water Systems & Society

Related Programs

Water Resources Management
Freshwater and Marine Sciences Program
Geological Engineering
UW Water Resources Institute



Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota, UW-Madison.

The campus community enjoys a warm spring day at the UW-Madison Memorial Union Terrace. Photo: Bryce Richter.

The two primary foci of the water resources engineering & science group are hydrology and environmental/ecological fluid mechanics with particular strengths in water sustainability; computational fluid mechanics; flow, mixing and thermal structure of lakes; stochastic hydrology; groundwater hydrology; engineering hydraulics; stream and wetland restoration; stormwater management; and hydroecology.  The group investigates applied and theoretical problems in both the built and natural environments.  Field methods, laboratory experiments, remote-sensing techniques, numerical modeling, statistical modeling, and analytic approaches are combined to address scientific and engineering questions leading to better water resource management, a better interface between the built and natural environments, and more sustainable use of water resources.

Current research projects


Changing soil characteristics of Tuolumne Meadows:
Increased vulnerability and implications for meadow restoration

Principal Investigator: Steve Loheide
Sponsor: National Park Service (Yosemite National Park)

Innovative approaches to treating stormwater
Principal Investigators: Steve Loheide, Joy Zedler, Anita Thompson
Sponsor: Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

WSC Cat-2: Climate change, shifting land use, and urbanization in a midwestern agricultural landscape: challenges for water quality and quantity
Principal Investigators: Chris Kucharik, Steve Loheide, Adena Rissman, Steve Carpenter, Monica Turner
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Water Sustainability & Climate Program

CAREER: Improving the science and practice of restoration with hydroecologic observatories
Principal Investigator: Steve Loheide
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Environmental Sustainability & Hydrologic Sciences Program

Adapting the Design and Management of Storm Water-Related Infrastructure
Principal Investigator: Ken Potter
Sponsor: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Determining and Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change
on Stormwater Hydrology and Management for Great Lakes Coastal Communities
Principal Investigator: Ken Potter
Funding Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Use of Highly Treated Wastewater for Groundwater Recharge
Principal Investigator: Ken Potter
Sponsor: Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District

Collaborative Research:
New knowledge from the global lake ecological observatory network
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu and Paul Hanson
Sponsor: National Science Foundation

Characterization of the water environment at the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu
2/1/11 – 1/31/13
Sponsor: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, UW-Sea Grant

Physical and biological processes associated with resuspension of contaminated sediments in the Sheboygan river estuary
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu
2/1/10 – 1/31/13
Sponsor: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, UW-Sea Grant

Response of ice cover, lake level and thermal structure to climate change in Wisconsin lakes
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu
03/01/11 – 2/28/13
Sponsor: Wisconsin Water Resources Institute

Development of an integrated nowcasting and forecasting operational system for Yahara Waters (INFOS-Yahara Waters)
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu
Sponsor: City of Madison and Dane County, Wisconsin, NSF

Great Lakes Consortium for Ocean and Human Health (OHH) Training
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu and Trina McMahon
Sponsor: NOAA-Ocean and Human Health:

Application and Demonstration of Floating Bog Interceptors (FBIs) for Cherokee Marsh Restoration
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu
Sponsor: Dane County, Wisconsin

Outreach and Education at Meyers Beach using RTWOS for Assisting Kayak Safety in Sea Caves, Apostle Islands (Phase III)
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu and Gene Clark
Sponsor: Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Friends of Apostle Island National Lakeshore

Yahara Clean Water Intiatives
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu
Sponsor: Dane County, Wisconsin

INFOS for WINgra Best Management Plan (WIN-BMP)
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu
Sponsor: City of Madison

Understanding and Forecasting Meteotsunami in Great Lakes
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu, Paul Roebber, Eric Anderson, David Schwab
Sponsors: UW-Madison/UW-Milwaukee Intercampus Research Incentrive Grants Program, Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER), NSF

Development of Regional Integrated Bluff Management (IBM) for Coastal Planning in Lake Michigan
Principal Investigator: Chin Wu
Sponsor: Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Ozaukee Planning and Parks Department, City of Port Washington Department of Planning and Development

Development of an Innovative In Situ Imaging-based Diagnostic System (IDS) to Quantify Interfacial Gas Exchange in Aquatic Wetlands
Principal Investigator: Qiao Liao and Chin Wu
Sponsor: UW-Madison/UW-Milwaukee Intercampus Research Incentrive Grants Program