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Philip B. Bedient


Dr. Philip B. Bedient is the Chair and Herman Brown Professor of Engineering in the Department 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 45 years, has written over 200 articles in journals and conference proceedings. He is lead author on a textbook on “Hydrology and Floodplain Analysis” (Pearson, 6th ed., 2018) used in over 60 universities across the Unites States. Dr. Bedient received the Herman Brown Endowed Chair of Engineering in 2002 at Rice University, and received Fellow ASCE in 2006. He also received the C.V. Theis Award from the American Institute of Hydrology in 2007. In 2021, Bedient was awarded for the prestigious Ray K. Linsley Award in honor of outstanding contributions in surface water hydrology.


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, ADCIRC, and Vflo® for advanced hydrologic analysis, flood prediction, and coastal surge. He developed one of the first radar-based rainfall flood alert systems (FAS5) in the U.S. for the TMC in Houston. The system has successfully run for over twenty years and predicted over 60 storm events.


He formed the Severe Storm Prediction, Education, & Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center at Rice University in 2009 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. Learn more about the Galveston Bay Park Plan Project here.


Dr. Bedient is currently involved in the analyzing major floods in Houston, 2015, 2016, and Harvey in 2017. He is currently working on several watershed 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 9 major conferences at Rice since 2008. Finally, he has been involved in technical exchange with the TU Delft over the past 10 years including Study Abroad Programs with Rice and LSU. He has received funding from agencies that include US EPA, NSF, TX Medical Center, GHFMC, TAMU, and GLO. Dr. Bedient has graduated 8 PHD students and 17 MS students since 2008.

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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.

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