March 28, 2022

The American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE) proudly announce Vijay P. Singh, Ph.D., Sc.D., P.E., P.H., Hon.D.WRE, NAE, Dist.M.ASCE as the recipient of the AAWRE 2022 Outstanding Research & Innovation Award for his groundbreaking research in water resources and seminal contributions in hydrology, watershed modeling, and surface irrigation. Specifically, Dr. Singh is recognized for his groundbreaking research, outstanding innovation and education, and indelible contributions that have impacted areas of hydrology and water resources engineering.

Dr. Singh's contributions on the error analysis of kinematic and diffusion wave models for overland flow are groundbreaking. His book Elementary Hydrology has been used as the prescribed text for hydrology courses at universities and similarly his books Rainfall-Runoff Modeling; Kinematic-Wave Modeling in Water Resources: Surface Water Hydrology; and Kinematic Wave Modeling in Water Resources: Environmental Hydrology have served as highly referenced books for graduate level courses on advanced hydrology. Prof. Singh’s contributions stand out in the area of use of computer models as his efforts to compile these models and present the information in an easy-to-understand manner in the forms of books. Dr. Singh’s contributions in entropy theory have helped engineers and researchers deal with parameter estimation for hydrologic problems using principles of entropy. He has organized and prepared a special issue on this subject in the ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering. An impactful contribution has been the utility of copulas to characterize joint distributions, thus return periods are easily computed for multivariate cases. This has revolutionized hydrologic design that has classically relied on univariate distributions for computing risks. Due to Prof. Singh’s pioneering efforts that copulas are now a popular tool used by hydrologists. His Google citations are 74,430; h-index of 121; and i-10 index of 1044, and serve as further testimony to the impact of his scholarly work.

Dr. Singh holds the position of University Distinguished Professor, Regents Professor, and is the inaugural holder of Caroline and William N. Lehrer Distinguished Chair in Water Engineering  at Texas A&M University after years of incomparable service as faculty in several departments. He is the author or co-author of over 32 textbooks, 75 edited reference volumes, numerous book chapters, over 1,370 journal articles, hundreds of conference papers, and many technical reports. Dr. Singh is editor in chief of two book series and three highly prestigious journals. He has served on numerous expert panels and professional committees in the U.S. and abroad. He has been president and senior vice president of the American Institute of Hydrology, president of American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, and vice president of Global Groundwater Scientists.

Dr. Singh is also a seasoned visiting researcher, with positions and professorships that have taken him to Norway, Australia, Austria, China, Sweden, Canada, and Turkey among others. Of the almost 40 courses he has taught at undergraduate and graduate levels, most of them he created and developed by himself. His courses and research encompass watershed modeling, streamflow forecasting, landfill hydrology, hydrodynamics of surface irrigation, dam break analysis, hydraulic geometry, hydrologic impacts of climate change, food-water energy nexus,  and a multiplicity of other topics.

In India, in his native village near Agra, he established a school for imparting quality education virtually free of cost, and the school now has four campuses for graduated levels and a current enrollment of 1,800 students. It is financed entirely through his own funds. In addition, he set up the Foundation of Aggrandizement of Rural Areas (FARA), advancing the causes of afforestation, civil hygiene, protection/management of water resources, and other issues, including women’s emancipation.

Among Singh’s awards are ASCE (Arid Lands Hydraulic Engineering Award, Ven Te Chow Award, Royce J. Tipton Award, Richard R. Torrens Award, Norman Medal, Lifetime Achievement Award, EWRI), the Ray K. Linsley Award (AIH), Crystal Drop Award and Chow Memorial Award (IWRA), Merriam Improved Irrigation Award (USCID), ADS/Hancor Soil & Water Engineering Award (ASABE), and three honorary doctorates. He is a fellow of nine organizations, and a member of 14 professional societies/associations, and belongs to 11 international science or engineering academies. He was elected as an ASCE Distinguished Member in 2015 and also is the recipient of ASCE's 2022 Outstanding Projects and Leaders Award in education.

Dr. Singh directed the Water Resources Program at Louisiana State University for over 22 years, and the Louisiana Water Resources Research Institute from 2003 to 2006. He has supervised 30 doctoral and 33 master’s theses.

Vijay stated: "Thank you AAWRE President Barton so much for your letter of March 22, 2022, informing me of my selection as the recipient of the AAWRE 2022 Outstanding Research & Innovation Award. I am very grateful to you, the executive board of American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE), AAWRE Awards Committee, the nominator, and the referees who provided support letters. It is an honor and a privilege for me to be recognized by AAWRE- a great academy headed by a team of outstanding and dedicated professionals who constitute the board. This award takes on an added significance for me, because I have long been associated with the Academy and I have known over the years a number of board members and almost all AAWRE presidents. The AAWRE is a model academy within ASCE and it is greatly contributing in raising the bar of water resources practice.  I will also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to AAWRE staff and the many committee volunteers, whose dedication and diligence help the academy keep going.

When I look at my colleagues who have received this award, I feel humbled and honored to join their ranks. While I am being recognized by the academy, in reality this award should as much belong to a lot of people and several institutions and organizations as much as it does to me.

I have worked at five institutions, including New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, George Washington University, Mississippi State University, Louisiana State University, and  Texas A&M University, and each institution has significantly contributed to my career. Over the years I have received support for doing research from National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Agency for International Development, North Atlantic Treaty organization, UNESCO, and state agencies. I am thankful to these organizations and through to them to the American tax-payers. 

I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the numerous teachers from primary school to graduate school who have, besides imparting knowledge, taught me a sense of duty not only toward my profession but also toward the society. My students, graduate advisees, post-doctoral fellows, research scholars, and collaborators have taught me to be patient and persistent, learn from mistakes and keep going however difficult the times may be. My colleagues, friends and relatives over the years have taught me to be kind, humble, tolerant and giving. Their example and association have meant more than they would ever realize. 

I would not have been able to achieve this recognition without the unconditional support of my family, in particular, my late wife Anita, daughter Arti, son Vinay, daughter-in-law Sonali, son-in-law Vamsi, grandchildren Ronin, Kayden, and Davin, and my sisters and brothers.  My family has indeed made my life worthwhile and meaningful.  I will be remiss if I don’t remember and acknowledge my late parents who would have been delighted to see me receive this honor.  They taught me a sense of purpose in life and inculcated in me a sense of duty and responsibility not only toward my family but also toward my profession and society.

Once again, my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in my selection."

>To send a congratulatory note to Vijay