David R. Steward, Ph.D., P.E., P.G., F.ASCE, a professor of civil engineering at Kansas State University, where he holds the endowed position of Thomas and Connie Paulson Civil Engineering Outstanding Faculty Member, has been named Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction. Steward also serves as the ASCE Kansas Section President-Elect.
Steward leads a research program addressing the challenge of water resources for society. He initiated and led the weekly interactions of the Consortium for Global Research on Water-Based Economies at Kansas State, with colleagues across the Colleges of Architecture, Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine. This team pioneered the use of interdisciplinary geospatial data with computational models to analyze and forecast system interactions across water, agricultural production, crop choices and economics, and demographics. These endeavors have been funded by over $15 million in research grants, where Steward serves as lead or co-principal investigator from such funding agencies as the NSF, USDA, and many other local and international agencies and consulting firms.
Results have been broadly disseminated through over 35 journal manuscripts and 120 conference presentations, through hundreds of meetings with stakeholders and agencies, and through development of distance education in water and society with the College of Engineering computer staff. Steward was awarded the 2014 Frankenhoff Outstanding Research Award, a peer-chosen award given to the faculty member who is the best researcher in the College of Engineering at Kansas State.
Steward brings the most recent technological advances to the classroom, and mentors the next generation of engineers and engineering faculty members for the challenges they will face. His courses in groundwater flow and analysis address the problems of water supply, aquifer depletion, water quality, etc. Students in hydraulic engineering learn to design and construct laboratory apparatus to understand emerging issues like tsunamis, water power for energy production, levy failures, and beach erosion. This experiential education prepares engineering students to design solutions for the emerging civil infrastructure needs of society.
He received bachelor and master of science degrees in civil engineering, an M.S. in mathematics, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering all from the University of Minnesota.