Posted October 3, 2010 Atlanta, GA
Communications & Marketing
Georgia Tech Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Rafael L. Bras, a leading authority on soil-vegetation-atmosphere system modeling, has been named the recipient of Drexel University’s 2010 Anthony J. Drexel Exceptional Achievement Award. Named for the University founder, the award was created to recognize collaborative, multidisciplinary research focused on real-world solutions that change society.
Bras’s research in the civil engineering subfields of hydrology and hydroclimatology has contributed to solving important societal problems by describing and forecasting floods and precipitation. He has also made major contributions to the study of deforestation’s impact on the hydrologic cycle and on the evolution of landscapes under different climatic forcings and climatic disturbances.
“Dr. Bras exemplifies the translational researcher, applying theoretical models to real-world situations. His focus is not only toward intellectual pursuits but also toward developing solutions,” said Drexel University Provost Mark Greenberg
Dr. Bras has served as advisor to many government and private institutions including: the Engineering Directorate, National Science Foundation (NSF); Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council; Earth Systems Sciences and Applications Committee of NASA and the NASA Advisory Committee; and National Academy of Sciences Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection Projects. He is past president of the hydrology section of American Geophysical Union (AGU) and is presently a member of its board of directors.
Bras holds three degrees from MIT: a bachelor's in civil engineering (1972), a master’s in civil engineering (1974) and a science doctorate in water resources and hydrology (1975). His academic career began as a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, and he joined the MIT faculty in July 1976.
Bras, a native of Puerto Rico, 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 flooding during unusually high tides. The project is scheduled for completion in 2014.