Skip to main content

Kao named fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers’ Environmental & Water Resources Institute

ORNL’s Shih-Chieh Kao has been named a 2023 fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Environmental & Water Resources Institute. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Shih-Chieh Kao, manager of the Water Power program at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Environmental & Water Resources Institute, or EWRI.

Fellows of the institute are senior members recognized as leaders in significantly advancing water resources or environmental engineering, science and technology; mentoring students or junior engineers and scientists or conducting significant public outreach to advance the EWRI mission; and have been actively involved in the institute through committee participation, conferences or journals.

In addition to managing the Water Power program, Kao is group lead for Water Resources Science & Engineering in the Environmental Sciences Division and a senior scientist at ORNL. He oversees dozens of research projects supported by DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office, or WPTO. Kao’s research focuses on high-performance computing, hydrologic modeling, flood simulation, hydroclimate impact assessment and hydropower resource valuation.

Kao is principal investigator for a series of reports for the DOE WPTO assessing the potential impacts of climate change on the nation’s federal hydropower resources, with projections for 132 facilities representing nearly half of the nation’s hydropower fleet. He also co-developed the TRITON inundation model, an open source, high-performance flood simulation tool, and the Dayflow dataset that provides historical streamflow analysis for U.S. waterways. Kao was recently appointed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to a study committee that is considering approaches to modernize probable maximum precipitation estimates in a changing climate.

“Shih-Chieh’s contributions in hydrology, civil engineering and program management directly support an essential source of clean, renewable power,” said Eric Pierce, director of the Environmental Sciences Division at ORNL. “The tools and technologies developed under his stewardship aids operators as they optimize hydropower resources and also informs projections for the nation’s long-term water and energy security.”

Kao’s research has been cited more than 4,500 times, achieving an h-index of 35, according to Google Scholar, and he has been a frequent reviewer for more than 20 scientific or engineering journals. Kao earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from National Taiwan University, and a doctorate in civil engineering with a focus on hydraulic and hydrologic engineering from Purdue University.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit—Stephanie Seay