William H. Espey, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE, is honored for his exemplary 50-year career as a researcher, consultant, educator, and mentor in the field of water resources engineering, having contributed notable advancements in urban watershed analysis, storm-water management, and hydraulic modeling. Principal advisor for RPS Espey, which is part of the RPS Group plc, Espey is a leading technical expert who developed new techniques of analyzing and solving water resources challenges. An eminent practitioner, Espey has served on many boards, committees, and workgroups to craft policy, implement new laws, develop solutions to complex environmental impacts of public works projects, and guide engineering programs at institutions of higher learning. Instrumental in founding ASCE’s Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI), his work and teaching in the areas of water resources and oceanography demonstrate an overall understanding and high level of expertise in nutrient loading, stream gaging, flood-water runoff, tidal effect, biology in estuarine environs, and freshwater inflow requirements to bay systems. The associated statistical analysis expertise has been applied to many projects that form the base for regulatory rule-making. In partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Espey’s work has been instrumental in directing the waterways of Texas, including the Galveston Bay System with its converging rivers, the Houston Ship Channel, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and the Highland Lakes. The impact can be seen along the Louisiana and Texas coasts, the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and the Great Lakes. As a testament to his labor with the federal government, Espey was awarded the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal in 2007, the third-highest honor within the Department of the Army given to individuals not employed by the military. Because of his eminence in water resources, Espey holds appointments to several important committees, including the Lake Michigan Diversion Technical Committee, for which he was the committee’s first chair, a role that he continues to this day. He also serves on the independent Technical Review panel for the USACE/FEMA Joint Texas Coastal Hurricane Surge Project, is chair of the Basin and Bay Expert Science Team (BBEST) mandated by Texas Senate Bill 3, and served on ASCE’s External Review Panel reviewing the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Espey Elected to the Grade of Distinguished Member
April 1, 2014