The Environmental Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering (EHHE) research group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is part of the top-ranked Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Hydrologic and hydraulic engineers are responsible for the planning, design, operation, and management of surface and ground water systems, preservation and enhancement of the natural river and watershed environment, design and construction of water control facilities, and conservation of water resources. Areas of expertise include:

  • Systems for freshwater supplies for urban, industrial, and agricultural use
  • Flood control and water hazard mitigation
  • Conventional and ‘green’ infrastructure for stormwater drainage of cities, highways, airports, and catchments
  • Wastewater collection
  • Preservation, conservation, and utilization of surface water and wetlands
  • Erosion and sediment control
  • Eco-morphodynamics: Biota-sediment-flow interactions
  • Stream ecology and ecohydraulics
  • River meandering and streambank erosion
  • Meandering bedrock streams and cutoffs
  • Erosion, transport and fate of contaminated sediments
  • Transport and fate of Asian carp eggs
  • Accidental oil spills in freshwater systems
  • Canoe and fish passages for recreation
  • Mechanics of scour and erosion
  • Oscillatory boundary layer flows
  • Movable bed modeling of river bifurcations
  • Gravity current phenomena: turbidity currents
  • Delta and reservoir sedimentation
  • Groundwater utilization, management, and remediation
  • Vadose zone experimentation and modeling
  • Navigation in inland waters and in coastal areas
  • Operation of reservoirs and lakes
  • Planning and management of the hydrologic environment in response to human impact and potential global climate changes
  • Complex systems involving interaction between water, climate, vegetation, soils and anthropogenic processes
  • Renewable energies and water-energy nexus: Hydropower, thermoelectric power generation, tidal, ocean surface waves, wind, and biofuels
  • Coastal harbors and offshore structures.
  • Terrestrial remote sensing and field measurements
  • High performance hydrologic modeling
  • CyberInfrastructure for sustainable development


Major structural components of water projects may include canals, pipelines, urban and rural drainage networks, dams, levees, diversion works, spillways, reservoirs, flood walls, revetments, highway culverts, pumping stations, navigation locks, harbor piers, sea walls, jetties and groins, offshore platforms, ship moorings, and hydroelectric power plants.

The EHHE Graduate Program includes instruction and research in various aspects of transport, distribution, and storage of water in the global environment.