David T. Ford, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE, is the recipient of the Julian Hinds Award for outstanding contributions and leadership in water resources engineering, planning, and management – including application of risk-based analysis for flood damage mitigation and real-time flood response decision making – pioneering research, and exemplary mentoring and training of young engineers.
Owner and president of David Ford Consulting Engineers Inc., a water resources engineering firm in Sacramento, California, Ford is an internationally recognized expert in water resources engineering, planning, and management. His 35 years of experience also includes working as a senior engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC), an adjunct professor at the University of California, Davis, and a lecturer at California State University, Sacramento.
Recipient of ASCE’s Employer Recognition Award for encouraging our young engineers to grow professionally through the society, David Ford Consulting Engineers provides analysis and consultation for watershed engineering, river hydraulics, reservoir systems, project benefit/risks, real-time forecasting, flood warning systems, decision support systems, training, and hydroinformatics.
Throughout his distinguished career, Ford has infused major real-world water resource planning and management problems with system analysis methods and tools, including operation research methods, risk analysis procedures, and information technology advances. That skill was on display when, as a senior engineer at the HEC in the late 1970s, one of Ford’s first tasks involved bringing operations research methods to the reservoir operation decision making, directly leading to the Center’s HEC-PRM (Prescriptive Reservoir Model program).
As owner and president of David Ford Consulting Engineers, Ford has continued on that path, applying optimization models to support dredged material management, creating flood warning decision support systems that couple basin runoff and routing models with complex databases and geographic information systems for mapping, and estimating life risk throughout California’s Central Valley with innovative risk analysis procedures. His work has yielded improved decision making in planning and operating water resources projects, and improved public safety.