Introduction to Hydraulic and Hydrologic Modeling

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Course Overview

Learn how to apply hydraulic and hydrologic models in civil and environmental engineering scenarios, including rainfall, runoff, rivers, streams, floodplains, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, and combined sewers. You’ll also learn how to calibrate your models, what cost ranges and levels of effort you should expect, and how to avoid common pitfalls. 

Who Should Attend?

Who should attend?

  • Civil and environmental professionals
  • Consulting engineers
  • Stormwater, wastewater, and water resources professionals  
  • Floodplain managers
  • Federal agencies and military bases
  • Dam owners and operators
  • Regulatory staff

Additional Information

Although some familiarity with water related systems and facilities is helpful, the course does not expect that attendees have extensive past experience with hydraulic models.

Course Outline

 Overview of Hydraulic and Hydrologic Modeling

  • History of H&H computer modeling
  • Hydrologic vs. hydraulic models
  • Steady vs. unsteady modeling
  • 1-d modeling vs. 2-d or 3-d
  • Understanding the model calibration process
  • Cost perspectives, required levels of effort
  • Choosing models in today's market

Modeling Rainfall and Runoff

  • Principles and assumptions
  • Duration, probability, and recurrence intervals
  • SCS curve numbers
  • Other abstraction models
  • Types of hydrographs
  • Discussion of models such as HEC-HMS, HEC-GeoHMS, HSPF, others

Modeling Flow in Rivers, Streams, and Floodplains

  • Inflow hydrographs
  • Channel characteristics & routing principles
  • Standard-step and other methods
  • Determination of Manning’s n
  • Discussion of models such as HEC-RAS, HEC-GeoRAS, others

Modeling Flow in Sanitary and Combined Sewer Systems

  • Inflow hydrographs
  • Sewer system characteristics
  • Flow routing through open channels & closed conduits
  • Effects of pumping stations
  • Discussion of models such as MIKE Urban, InfoWorks, EPA-SWMM, others

Modeling Flow in Storm Sewer Systems

  • Storm sewer characteristics
  • Inflow hydrographs
  • Discussion of models such as HydroCad, others

Review, Discussion, Other Topics

  • Questions and review - H&H modeling
  • Discussion of other topics of interest, such as reservoir simulation, erosion, sediment transport, the role of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), other


Charles Melching

Charles S. “Steve” Melching is an environmental consultant from Greenfield, Wis. In his 25+-year career he has been a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Marquette University and Rutgers University and a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He has worked on a wide variety of hydrologic and water quality studies in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Florida, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Belgium, and China. He has received the 2001 ASCE Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize and the 2008 Researcher of the Year Award from Marquette University.

Ned Paschke

Ned Paschke, PE, DEE, is a program director and professor of practice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in analysis and improvement of water and wastewater systems and facilities. Before joining the UW-Madison, he was director of engineering for the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District and a hydraulic engineering consultant for national and international engineering firms.

Dave Perry

David Perry, Ph.D., P.E. is a hydraulic and hydrologic engineering specialist with Brown and Caldwell. He has extensive experience in applying models for sanitary and combined sewer systems across the United States, including analysis of wet weather solutions to reduce infiltration and inflow in public and private systems.

Yiying Xiong

Yiying Xiong, PE, D.WRE, PMP is an independent water resources consultant based in Madison, Wisconsin. Prior to establishing her own consulting firm, she worked as a Senior Project Manager at MWH Global and Project Manager/Water Resources Engineer at Mead & Hunt. She has a broad range of experience in dams, hydropower, river morphology, and municipal engineering, with geographic coverage from the U.S. to Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia. She has received the 2009 ASCE-WI Young Civil Engineer Award and 2011 Mead & Hunt Presentation Award.

Upcoming dates (0)

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Program Director

Ned Paschke


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