Philip B. Bedient


Dr. Philip B. Bedient is the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University. He teaches and performs research in surface water hydrology, disaster management, and flood modeling and prediction systems.  He has directed 90 research projects over the past 43 years, has written over 200 articles in journals and conference proceedings. He is lead author on a textbook on “Hydrology and Floodplain Analysis” (Prentice Hall, 6th ed., 2018) used in over 75 universities across the U.S. Dr. Bedient received the Herman Brown endowed Chair of Engineering in 2002 at Rice University, and was elected to Fellow ASCE in 2006. He also received the C.V. Theis Award from the American Institute of Hydrology in 2007. He earlier received the Shell Distinguished Chair in Environmental Science (1988 to 1993).


Dr. Bedient has four decades of experience working on flood and flood prediction problems in the U.S. He routinely runs computer models such as HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS, SWMM, and VFLO for advanced hydrologic analysis. He developed one of the first radar-based rainfall flood alert system (FAS-4) in the U.S. for the Texas Medical Center. He currently has several other FAS systems running in Texas.


He formed the Severe Storm Prediction Center (SSPEED) at Rice University in 2997 consisting of a team of seven universities and 15 investigators from Gulf coast universities dedicated to improving storm prediction, education, and evacuation from disaster. The Center has been funded at over $10.0 million for the past 10 years from various sources including the Houston Endowment and the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium. The SSPEED Center has taken a regional approach to developing mitigation strategies and has identified various zones of interest in the Houston-Galveston region: The new approach is called H-GAPS and includes a coastal spine and mid bay option for surge control. (Galveston Bay Park-A Vision for Houston & Galveston Bay, 2018)


He has evaluated flood issues in Texas, California, Florida, Louisiana, and Tennessee since 1990. He has worked on some of the largest and most devastating floods to hit the U.S. including T.S. Allison in 2001, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ike in 2008, from which he formed the SSPEED Center. He is currently involved in the analyzing three major floods in Houston, 2015, 2016, and Harvey in 2017. He is currently working on seven projects related to impacts and future mitigation from Hurricane Harvey. ( Dr Bedient has also headed up major outreach activities as part of the SSPEED Center, leading 6 major conferences at Rice since 2008. In addition he has been involved in technical exchange with the TU Delft over the past 10 years, and recently completed a study abroad program with the Dutch.


B.S. Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 1969

M.S. Environmental Engineering, University of Florida, 1972

Ph.D. Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Florida, 1975

Research Summary

Surface and groundwater hydrology, GIS and radar based flood alert, flood control and water quality strategies, hydrologic modeling, contaminant transport mechanisms in groundwater.