Rafael L. Bras

Brief Biography: 

Dr. Bras is the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He is a professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.  He holds the K. Harrison Brown Family ChairPrior to becoming provost, Dr. Bras was Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering of the University of California, Irvine. For 32 years prior to joining UCI he was a professor in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. He is past Chair of the MIT Faculty, former head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department and Director of the Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory at MIT. He has served as advisor to many government and private institutions.  Some of the most significant ones include:  Advisory Board, Engineering Directorate, NSF; Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council; Chairman, Earth Systems Sciences and Applications Committee of NASA and the NASA Advisory Committee; National Academy of Sciences Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection Projects; Advisory to departments at Cornell university, Princeton university, Johns Hopkins, Technion, RPI, University of Puerto Rico; University of California-Irvine; Fundacion Chile; Instituto Veneto; Stockholm Water Foundation and Prize; Clarke prize. He is a director of the American Geophysical Union and a former member of the UCI Foundation.Dr. Bras has been very active in several professional organizations. He is past president of the Hydrology section of AGU and is presently a member of its Board of Directors. Dr. Bras has received many honors and awards.  These include: honorary degree for the University of Perugia, Italy, Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award Hall of Fame member, NASA Public Service Medal, the Macelwane Medal of AGU, John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize, Simon W. Freese Environmental Engineering Award, Honorary Diplomate of Water Resources Engineering of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, Horton Medal of AGU, AGU Hydrology Days Award, and Drexel University’s 2010 Anthony J. Drexel Exceptional Achievement. He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico, and corresponding member of the Mexican National Academy of Engineering. He is ALSO an elected Fellow of AGU, ASCE, AMS and AAAS.Dr. Bras maintains an active international consulting practice. Presently he chairs a panel of experts that supervises the design and construction of a multibillion-dollar project to protect the City of Venice from floods. Dr. Bras has published two textbooks, over 180 refereed journal publications, and several hundred other publications and presentations.

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Niemann, J.D., R.L. Bras, D. Veneziano, “Channel Network Growth and River Basin Morphology”, Report 343, Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory, MIT, Cambridge, MA, 1997.
A. J. Drexel Exceptional Achievement Award, Drexel University, November 2010
National Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico, 2009
James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award, MIT, 2008
Simon W. Freese Environmental Engineering Award and Lecture, ASCE, 2008
Horton Medal, AGU, 2007
AGU Hydrology Days Award, March 2006
MIT Alumni Association highest award, Bronze Beaver Award, September 2005
Corresponding Member, National Academy of Engineering, Mexico, elected 2003, awarded 2004
NASA Public Service Medal, December 2002
Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Mathematics, Science and Engineering Network 2001 Giants in Science Award
MIT Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award, February 2000
Albert Baez Jr. Award and the Outstanding Educator Awards of the
Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, ASCE, 1993
Horton Award, American Geophysical Union, 1981
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Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Water Resources
Academic Faculty
Chaired Professors
Sc.D., (Water Resources and Hydrology), MIT, February 1975
M.S., Civil Engineering, MIT, February 1974
B.S., Civil Engineering, MIT, February 1972
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Publications (Proceedings): 
Epstein, A., B. Mire, T. Ramsey, K. Gareis, E. Davidson, E. Jones, M. Slosberg, and R. L. Bras, “Terrascope Youth Radio: Engaging urban teens in a unique university-community partnership”. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, paper 2010-963. June 2010. American Society for Engineering Education, Washington, DC. Available online at:
Job Title: 
Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, K. Harrison Brown Family Chair
Publications (Articles): 
186. Nieves, V., J. Wang, R.L. Bras, E. Wood, Maximum Entropy Distributions of Scale-Invariant Processes, Physical Review Letters, accepted for publication, 2010
Epstein, A., Mire, B., Ramsey, T., Gareis, K., Davidson, E., Jones, E., Slosberg, M., and Bras, R., 2010. Terrascope Youth Radio: Auniversity-community partnership engaging urban teens and undergraduate engineering students (Poster). 2010 Symposium on Engineering and Liberal Education, June 2010, Union College, Schenectady, NY. Available online at:
Publications (Books): 
Bras, R.L. and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Random Functions and Hydrology, Addison Wesley, 1985; new printing, Dover Publications, New York, 1994.
Bras, R.L., Hydrology: An Introduction to Hydrologic Science, Addison Wesley, 1990.
Bras, R.L., Solutions Manual: Hydrology: An Introduction to Hydrologic Science, Addison Wesley, 1990.
Honorary Diplomate of Water Resources Engineering, American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, 2007
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006
Boussinesq-KNAW (Dutch National Academy of Sciences) Hydrology Lecture, Amsterdam, October 2005
Edward A. Abdun-Nur Professor, MIT, 2004-2008
Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award Hall of Fame, 2003
Lorenz Lecturer, AGU Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 2003
Society of Presidential Fellows Lecturer, MIT, 2002
Kisiel Distinguished Lecturer, The University of Arizona, April 2002
National Academy of Engineering, elected 2001
William Mong Distinguished Lecture, 1999-2000, The University of Hong Kong
Horton Lecturer, American Meteorological Society, 1999
The International Water Academy, elected 1999
Clarke Prize Laureate for Outstanding Achievement in Water Science and Technology, 1998
Named Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics, Hispanic Business, 1997
Bacardi and Stockholm Water Foundations Professor, MIT, 1995-2004
Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1994
Fellow, American Meteorological Society, 1992
Honoris Causa Laurea, Instituto di Idraulica Agraria, Universita Degli Studi di Perugia, Italy, 1992
William E. Leonhard Professorship, MIT, 1989-1995
James B. Macelwane Award, American Geophysical Union, 1982
Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 1982
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 1982
Gilbert Winslow Career Development Chair, MIT, 1979-1982
Tau Beta Pi, Chi Epsilon, Sigma Xi
Graduate Fellowship from Puerto Rico's Economic Development Administration