Skip to content.

Research Leadership Highlights

As leader in the Consortium for Global Research on Water Based Economies, we collectively learned to overcome the challenges of differences in perspectives, nomenclature and methods to achieve broader approaches for addressing societal needs. The transdisciplinary nature of this research is evidenced on the $1.5M NSF grant from the Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems in the crosscutting Biocomplexity in the Environment priority area. For this, I served as PI, with PI/senior personnel faculty members in: agricultural economics, agronomy, civil engineering, computer and information sciences, landscape architecture, political science, and sociology. An example of our synergistic activities is found in our 2013 paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where we quantified the role of groundwater depletion on agricultural production. I am recognized internationally for pioneering advances in computational methods in engineering and science, which are gathered comprehensively in my 2020 book, “Analytic Element Method: Complex Interactions of Boundaries and Interfaces” at Oxford University Press.

Leading Methodology to Advance Transdisciplinary Engineering

  • Wrote a book that formulates, for the first time, the methods of the Analytic Element Method to comprehensively solve problems in flow and conduction, waves, and elasticity. Developing instructional code for all examples in freely available computer software.
  • Pioneered methods to study groundwater depletion, and the critical role of water resources in irrigated agricultural production, and associated economic and societal relevance.
  • Published findings in first quartile journals.
  • Established productive agency/industry collaborations for in-kind support, groundtruthing, and communicating findings with a wide range of water stakeholders
  • Developed foundation for a new interdisciplinary graduate program in water resources, with the first course being GRAD 740: Water and Society.

Securing Significant Support

  • Lead or Co-Principal Investigator for $18 million in research grants, from funding agencies such as NSF, USDA, US EPA, international agencies and consulting firms.
  • For example, as PI, I led our $1.5M NSF/CNH grant: Hyper-Extractive Economies and Sustainability: Policy Scenarios for Sustainable Water Use in the High Plains Aquifer
  • Recently, I served as Co-PI for the $3M NSF/NRT-INFEWS grant: Preparing future leaders: Rural resource resiliency (R3), to lead PhD studies of the Food/Energy/Water (FEWS) nexus.
  • Led hydrologic science portion of USDA/ARS Ogallala Aquifer Project for Kansas.
  • International collaborations including writing modeling software for The Netherland’s National Groundwater Model (NAGROM), and sabbatical studies at Deltares.

Growing Collaborative Center Level Research Strengths

  •  Promoted departmental faculty-led research synergies (shared competencies and understanding gained while facilitating global research and education endeavors):
    • High Performance Computing and Cancer Testbed Center (department faculty serving as lead/co-PIs and senior personnel in recent multi-million dollar NSF EPSCoR grants).
    • Covid Rapid Response (faculty led ND wastewater sampling to detect community transmission)
    • Pipeline Safety (grants and submission of congressional initiative)
    • Construction Research Center (building synergies and proposals)
  • Connected faculty to collaborative opportunities at NDSU and abroad.
  • Met regularly with tenure track faculty members to coach/mentor.
  • Led bi-weekly faculty meetings to coordinated departmental activities and record votes.
  • Established fair, equitable and transparent accounting towards departmental needs (e.g., incentivized grant writing by indirect returns to faculty). Leveraged departmental resources with college, central and foundation/advisory board support
  • Chaired and charged successful Search Committees

Promoting a Culture of Laboratory Safety

  • Dealt with significant safety problems through interactions and discussions to raise awareness and explain expectations.
  • Led faculty towards development of a new faculty written departmental safety document, which is now implemented within the department.
  • Advocated for technician positions to advance equipment maintenance and promote safety.

This Web page represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of North Dakota State University.
NDSU is not responsible or liable for its contents.