Global Institute for Water Security

Steve Chapra presently holds the Louis Berger Chair for Computing and Engineering in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Tufts University. Professor Chapra received engineering degrees from Manhattan College and the University of Michigan and is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In 2013, he was chosen as one of the 5 inaugural Fellows of the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors (AEESP). He has published over 150 papers, reports and software packages, and has authored seven textbooks including Numerical Methods for Engineers, which has been adopted at over 150 universities throughout the world. He has also authored the book Surface Water-Quality Modeling, the standard text in that area.

Before joining the faculty at Tufts, Dr. Chapra worked for EPA, NOAA, Texas A&M University and the University of Colorado. He has also served as the Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Decision Support in Water and Environmental Systems (CADSWES), and has been a visiting professor or scientist at 9 institutions including Duke University, the University of Michigan, Imperial College London, the University of Washington, and the University of Brescia (Italy).

Doctor Chapra’s general research interests focus on surface water-quality modeling and advanced computer applications and decision support in environmental engineering. He has developed several environmentally oriented software packages, including QUAL2K and LAKE2K, which are widely applied for river and lake water-quality modeling. His research has been used in a number of decision-making contexts including the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. He is the recipient of 5 international best paper awards including the 1993 Rudolph Hering Medal, the 2009 Chandler-Misener Award and the 2015 and 2016 Wesley W. Horner Awards. He is the second individual first author to win the Horner Award in 2 consecutive years and is only the 4th 2-time recipient in the award’s 48-year history.

Aside from his activities in environmental engineering, he has written several texts on computing and engineering for which he was awarded the 1987 Meriam-Wiley Distinguished Author Award by the American Society for Engineering Education. He has also taught over 80 workshops on water-quality modeling on all the continents except Antarctica.

He has been recognized as the outstanding teacher at Texas A&M University (1986 Tenneco Award), the University of Colorado (1992 Hutchinson Award), and Tufts University (2011 Professor of the Year Award). He is also the first recipient of the AEESP Wiley Award for Outstanding Contributions to Environmental Engineering and Science Education (2000).

Finally, he was originally drawn to environmental engineering because of his love of the outdoors. He is an avid fly fisherman and hiker. His primary professional goal is to apply engineering, science, mathematics and computing to maintain a high-quality environment in a sustainable and cost-efficient fashion and to share this knowledge with others through his teaching and writings.