February 27, 2019

AAWRE proudly announce Dr. Raymond Walton, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, F.ASCE as the recipient of the AAWRE 2019 Outstanding Practitioner in Water Resources Engineering Award, for his significant contributions in water resources engineering and his work to advance the practice in the water resources profession.

The AAWRE Outstanding Practitioner in Water Resources Engineering Award was established in 2014 to recognize a Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE) who has demonstrated a significant contribution to the engineering practice based on either a single outstanding achievement or through a body of work related to the practice of environmental or water resources engineering.

Dr. Walton has over 40 years of professional experience directing water resources studies throughout the U.S. and abroad and is currently the Vice President at WEST Consultants in the Bellevue, Washington office. He is a nationally-recognized expert in multi-dimensional modeling of surfacewater, groundwater, and water quality systems. In 2010, he was awarded the WSPE Professional Engineer of the Year award by the Puget Sound Engineering Council.

Dr. Walton developed coupled surface water-groundwater models to simulate wetland hydrology and hydrodynamics and managed the scientific review of a coupled model, ISGW (linking MODFLOW and HSPF) for Tampa Bay Water in Florida. He has conducted river hydraulics, water quality and ecological modeling studies, including water quality modeling on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest; ecological modeling of the entire Missouri River; the application of FastTABS and SMS; ice and temperature studies of the Platte and Snake Rivers; and salt water intrusion studies in several eastern river estuaries. He has applied CE-QUAL-W2 to reservoirs in West Virginia, Washington, and Oregon; QUAL2E to the Okanogan River in Washington and the Charges River in Boston; and applied MIKE11 to rivers in Florida, Oregon, and California. He has studied erosion and sedimentation for various rivers and coastal areas, including the Elwha River in Washington State, and has evaluated bridge scour potential at numerous sites in Washington and Oregon.

Prior to joining WEST, he worked at the Hydraulics Research Station in the U.K., taught at North Carolina State University, and spent 15 years with nationwide consulting engineering firms. Dr. Walton has written over 50 professional papers in the fields of hydraulics, environmental engineering, groundwater and surface water hydrology, and instructs HEC-RAS nationwide. He has worked with ASCE and ASTM committees on Environmental Software and wetlands monitoring developments, and reviews technical papers for several ASCE journals. Dr. Walton chaired ASCE’s International Water Resources Conference in Seattle in August 1999, served as Technical Chair for the 2005 ASCE Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) Congress in Anchorage, and served as Chair of the 2014 EWRI Congress in Portland, Oregon.

Ray stated the following:

"To say I am pleased to receive this award doesn’t come close to the honor that I feel to be recognized by my peers and to be nominated by colleagues I consider to be amongst the best water resources engineers of our time.  I would like to say that this award is the culmination of a master plan for my career carefully conceived so many years ago.  However, the truth is that it has been a series of unplanned moves; a series of “OK, what’s next?”  And I am very grateful to the many mentors and colleagues with whom I have worked along the way.

My career really started in high school, where my step-father, Ernie Makin, was head of mathematics, and probably the best teacher I ever had.  Later, I worked with Roland Price at the (then named) Hydraulics Research Station in the U.K. where we worked on flood routing models.  At the University of Florida, I worked with Bent Christensen and Bob Snyder on improving the principles for designing ecologically friendly coastal residential canals.  At Camp, Dresser & McKee, I first worked with Bob Shubinski on modeling the circulation of Chesapeake Bay, and later worked on Boston Harbor Cleanup studies.  Finally, after moving to the Seattle area, I worked with Lon Hachmeister at Ebasco Environmental on the Missouri River Master Manual update and the Columbia River System Operation Review, before spending the past 25 years with Jeff Bradley at WEST Consultants, where we are currently working on Columbia River Treaty studies.

Throughout my career, I have had a great time and have worked with some amazing people.  As my older son noted when I received my Life Membership from ASCE, “Even a blind squirrel is right twice a day”.  I have no idea what this means, beyond a reference to a video game I have never played, but it seems to describe my career.  George Box (like me, a University College London mathematician) is believed to have said “All models are wrong.  Some are useful.”  In my career, I have strived to be “useful”.  Again, thank you to the Academy for this amazing and completely unexpected award."

Dr. Walton will be presented with the award during the 15th annual AAWRE Diplomate Induction & Awards Ceremony at the 20th anniversary EWRI Congress in Pittsburgh on May 20.


>To send a congratulatory note to Ray