Warren Distinguished Lecture Series Home

We are pleased to announce the fall 2023 Warren Distinguished Lecture Series!

Banners that illustrate CEGE's mission and vision hang in the Charles Fairhurst Rotunda

The Warren Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible by a generous, renewing gift by Alice Warren Gaarden in 1961. Since 1989, we have been bringing in accomplished researchers and speakers from around the world to share their work with students, faculty, and friends of CEGE. Please join us for these lectures!

Upcoming Warren Lectures


  • September 15  Michael Levin, University of Minnesota
  • September 22  TWO SPECIAL EVENTS
    • Graduate Students 3 Minute Thesis Contest at 10:10 a.m.
    • Sehlin LecturePatrick Alexander Ray, University of Cincinnati, *Special time, 3:30 p.m.*
  • September 29  Vardoulakis Lecture,  Nadia Lapusta, Cal Tech
  • October 6  Garrett McKay, Texas A&M
  • October 13  Daniel Zielinski, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Michigan State University
  • October 20  No lecture
  • October 27  Andreas Malikopoulos, University of Delaware
  • November 3  Roberto Ballarini, University of Houston
  • November 10  Lili Du, University of Florida
  • November 17  Nicos Makris, Southern Methodist University
  • December 1  Jinhui Yan, University of Illinois
  • December 8  Susan Brantley, Pennsylvania State University

There are no upcoming events matching your criteria.

Past Warren Lectures

Spring 2023 Warren Distinguished Lecture Series Speakers

Sehlin Lecture: Multidimensional Risk Management for the Water Sector

Patrick Ray
Multidimensional Risk Management for the Water Sector

Friday, Sept. 22, 2023
3:30 p.m. (Central) - Lecture (capacity 80 people)
4:30 p.m. (Central) - Reception

Abstract. Adaptation to climate change is expensive and benefits are not guaranteed. We do not know what amount of greenhouse gases will be emitted by the current generation, nor the impacts the resultant warming will have on our water, agricultural, energy, ecological, and urban systems. We have difficult decisions to make and must not allow uncertainty to paralyze progress toward a better world. Patrick Ray applies concepts of deep uncertainty to example challenges. His aim is to improve decision confidence built on cost-effectiveness, sustainability, equity, and resilience through the critical tool of trade-off analysis. The product must be decision-relevant and interpretable by those who must implement the findings. We have never before had such an opportunity to derive insights from global observations, nor a bigger challenge of complex multidimensionality. Ray shares incremental victories in the realm of water resources decision science and offers a vision for the next decade of needed research. 

Speaker. Ray is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati and currently serves as a 2023 J.S. Braun/Braun Intertec Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in the development and application of numerical models of the integrated human-hydrologic system for risk management under the uncertainty of climate (and other) change. Ray was the lead author of the World Bank’s 2015 Decision Tree for Confronting Climate Uncertainty in Water Resources Planning and Project Design, and a primary scientific contributor to the International Hydropower Association’s 2019 Climate Resilience Guide and the California Department of Water Resources’ 2019 Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment. In 2022, Ray served as the Climate Resilience Lead for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He has been a Fulbright Fellow, an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and was recognized in 2018 as the American Water Resources Association’s A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Young Professional.

Max-pressure traffic signal timing: integrating theory and practice

Traffic signals are major bottlenecks for urban networks, and traffic signal timing has been studied for decades. However, in 2013, a new paradigm of max-pressure signal timing was introduced, which uses a Markov chain store-and-forward queueing model of traffic flow to mathematically prove that max-pressure control achieves maximum throughput of vehicles. This throughput optimality is shown for a network of max-pressure intersections, not just for individual intersections. 

Sustainable Travel through Smart and Engaged Communities

a Warren Distinguished Lecture with Srinivas PeetaCivil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

This talk will discuss ongoing work related to developing a systematic framework and associated innovative methods and models to provide formal pathways for communities to achieve their sustainable travel goals. Solutions to achieve sustainability objectives related to enhancing travel mobility, safety, equity, and access will be discussed using the City of Peachtree Corners (GA) as an immersive living lab.

Reaction-Induced Fracturing Under Subsurface Conditions

a Warren Distinguished Lecture with Wen-lu Zhu, Geology, University of Maryland

The rate and extent of serpentinization and carbonation of ultramafic rocks are a subject of debate. Zhu and team conducted dynamic microtomography experiments to investigate the effects of confinement and pore fluid pressure on hydration of periclase MgO to brucite Mg(OH)2 at subsurface conditions. Their experimental results have important implications in understanding microseismicity in the serpentinization of oceanic crust.

Data-Driven Computational Design of Engineered Material Systems

a Warren Distinguished Lecture with Wei Chen, Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University

Design of advanced material systems requires integrating knowledge and representation from multiple domains such as materials, manufacturing, structural mechanics, and design optimization. Chen discusses the challenges and opportunities in designing engineered material systems.

Replacing the Dale Street Bridge over I-94

a Warren Distinguished Lecture with Matthew J. Christensen, P.E., Vice President of the Surface Transportation Division, TKDA

Matthew Christensen will discuss the replacement of the Dale Street bridge over I-94 in St. Paul and working with citizens from the historic Rondo neighborhood on the project.

Net-Zero Cement Industry by 2050? Potential Pathways Forward

a Warren Distinguished Lecture with Claire White, Princeton University

White provides an overview of the main approaches being pursued to reach a net zero cement industry by 2050 and will touch upon the various opportunities and challenges of these cement decarbonization approaches and technologies. White also presents her group’s recent research on alternative cements.

Formation of Elevated Temperatures in Municipal Solid Waste Landfills: These are not your typical Smokey hill tops or mountains!

a Warren Distinguished Lecture with Joel Ducoste, Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University

Research has been performed to help quantify the contributing factors that may lead to the formation of elevated temperature landfills (ETLFs). In this presentation, Ducoste discusses a numerical model that was used to predict heat generation, transport, and accumulation from biological and chemical reactions that occur in landfills.

Biofilm Based Bioremediation of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Sediment and Stormwater

a Warren Distinguished Lecture with Birthe V. Kjellerup, Civil and Environmental Engineering & Bioengineering, University of Maryland

Kjellerup’s research group has developed a novel approach to address PCB contamination. They co-localize PCB-degrading microbes onto surfaces of sorp­tive particles as biofilms, which  can be used as a delivery system. This approach can also be modified for treatment of contaminated stormwater and wastewater effluent prior to discharge. The effect of stormwater containing PCBs on sediment quality was evaluated for multiple locations in Baltimore Harbor. Sediment core samples were evaluated and compared to historical PCB concentrations. Kjellerup discusses these experiments along with current strategies for bioremediation of PCBs in stormwater retention cells and in sediment.

Plastics, Particles and Additives: An abrasive relationship

a Warren Distinguished Lecture with Mark R. Wiesner, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University 

Wiesner reviews some recent work examining the release of nanomaterials from plastic composites, methods for evaluating plastic abrasion, calculations of non-nano additive release and possible consequences of plastic fragmentation for human health and the environment.