Distinguished Member Eagerly Shares Hydraulics Expertise With the World


M. Hanif Chaudhry is a global engineer in every sense.

He grew up in Pakistan, studied in Vancouver, and today at the University of South Carolina is associate dean of the College of Engineering and Computing.

Chaudhry’s computational models of hydraulic transients are applied by engineers around the world, and he serves as a consultant to projects on six continents. His work on resonance in pipelines is considered authoritative, and often cited.

Such vast contributions made Chaudhry a deserving addition to the 2016 class of ASCE Distinguished Members.

“I don’t think any one organization can claim they know everything,” said Chaudhry, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE, of his worldly approach. “We have to interact and learn from each other.”

But when Chaudhry was a student, all that ability nearly went toward a different field – literally, a field.

“Originally I wanted to go into agriculture,” Chaudhry said, remembering his teenage days in Pakistan. “You know how small events change your life? I did not receive the application material in time. It came one day before the deadline, so I could not submit. I entered pre-engineering instead. I’m glad it happened the way it happened.”

Chaudhry has published five books, including the popular and influential Hydraulic Transients, which recently was reissued as a third edition and translated into Chinese. He also has served as associate editor of ASCE’s Journal of Hydraulic Engineering for more than 30 years.

He has been a consultant to organizations including the United Nations and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Among the accolades Chaudhry has received for hydraulic engineering are ASCE’s Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award and the Russell Research Award from the University of South Carolina. The Universidad Politecnica de Valencia in Spain bestowed Doctor Honoris Causa status on him, along with two Nobel Laureates, in 1999, even naming a campus street in his honor.

“That kind of experience you don’t go through too many times,” Chaudhry laughed.

Chaudhry has been running a program at the University of South Carolina that sends a group of engineering students each summer to different countries abroad to improve their skills and absorb new cultures. He also continues an intense travel schedule, working and educating around the world.

“People call you and say they have this project and they need some help,” Chaudhry said. “So you feel it’s your professional responsibility. And it’s good for you professionally. You learn more no matter where you go. It’s been good for me and I’m pretty sure it’s been good for them. It’s a mutual, two-way street.”

Distinguished Membership is the highest honor ASCE can bestow. It is reserved for civil engineers who have attained eminence in some branch of engineering or in related arts and sciences, including the fields of engineering education and construction.

The 2016 class of Distinguished Members will receive their honors at the ASCE 2016 Convention, Sept. 28 through Oct. 1, in Portland, OR.

Read about each of the 2016 Distinguished Members.

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