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Research Distinguished Lecture Series

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Research Distinguished Lecture Series

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships is pleased to announce the OU Research Distinguished Lecture Series. The University of Oklahoma will welcome two to three highly distinguished speakers each semester who are preeminent in their field of expertise who will speak to OU faculty and students about prominent global issues. Speakers will be selected who embody the spirit of innovation, boldness, and interdisciplinarity that characterize the OU research enterprise. Their lectures will focus on contemporary research and innovation topics within the fields of Natural Sciences, Engineering, Technology, the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Fine Arts. These lectures will be accessible to an advanced yet non-specialist audience.

In order to launch the Research Distinguished Lecture Series (RDLS), I am soliciting input from Deans and their faculty across the campus for names of potential speakers whom the OVPRP could invite for the fall and spring semesters of the current academic year. Please provide your input to Melany Dickens-Ray (


CEES 4373/5373 Water Resources Management

Hydrologic forecasting and the relative role of its three pillars: models, observations and parameterization

Featuring Dr. Soroosh Sorooshian

Monday  February 24, 2020  4:00 - 5:00 P.M.

National Weather Center Atrium 1st Floor
Open to the public

To be responsive to the need for more effective management of water resources, engineers and scientists must utilize more sophisticated hydrologic prediction tools.  Depending on the problems, the hydrologic information needed may range from hourly forecasts (i.e., in the case of flash floods) to seasonal to inter-annual (i.e., in the case of water resources systems such as reservoir operation), and to decadal to century (i.e., in the case of long range water supply planning and structural designs). While good progress has been reported related to both, “weather-scale” and “climate-scale” hydrologic predictions, many challenges face the research community attempting to extend the forecast lead time and accuracy.

Over the past half century and with the advent of digital computers, hydrologic models of various levels of complexity have been developed and continually refined and proposed. Progress towards development of more sophisticated and efficient parameter estimation methods have also been made and extensively reported in the literature. More recent advances we are witnessing are related to both space-based and in-situ observation tools to measure hydrologic fluxes at space-time resolutions required by the new generation of models.

However, despite of the progress in each of these three pillars of hydrologic forecasting, the improvements in the overall forecast quality is yet to reach the users expectations. Some recent results from a number of reported evaluation studies will be presented. Personal reflections based on over 3 decades of research and experience will be shared with the goal of encouraging further discussion about the recent proposed strategies to advance hydrologic sciences.

Dr. Soroosh Sorooshian is the Director of the Center for Hydrometeorology & Remote Sensing (CHRS) and Distinguished Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Earth System Science Departments at UC Irvine. Prior to 2003 he was a faculty at the University of Arizona for 20 years. His area of expertise is Hydrometeorology, water resources systems, climate studies and application of remote sensing to earth science problems with special focus on the hydrologic cycle and water resources issues of arid and semi-arid zones. He also consults on problems related to surface hydrology and urban flooding.

He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE); Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA); Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Board of Directors for Geophysical Union (AGU), Fellow,  American Meteorological Society (AMS);

He is a Fellow, International Water Resources Association (IWRA); Member, Joint Scientific Committee, (JSC) of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP); Past Chair, Science Steering Group (SSG) of Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP); Past-President of AGU’s Hydrology Section; member of five editorial boards and former editor of AGU’s Water Resources Research.

Dr. Soroosh Sorooshian

Dr. Soroosh Sorooshian

Research Lecture Seminar Series

The Energy Corridor along the US-Mexico Border: Changing the Conversation

Featuring Luciano Castillo, PhD

Friday February 21, 2020  2:00 - 3:00 P.M.

Valero Lecture Hall, Gallogy 127
Open to the public

Major advances in technology offer unprecedented opportunities to bring the world together. However, recent mass migrations due to violence, lack of economic opportunity and war have left many countries unprepared, and raised geopolitical tensions that led toman-made border dividers. About one-third of the countries around the world have built some type of border fencehysical barriers also generate internal disagreement in many countries and exacerbate the rhetoric of “us” versus “them”. Moreover, Such issues call for alternatives that generate partisan-free, sustainable solutions capable of addressing the pressing socio-economic challenges of the border, along the Southwest states and of Central America.

In this seminar, we detail the rationale for leveraging natural resources to produce renewable energy and water to create an economic corridor along the USA/Mexico (see figure 1) border that will stimulate the economy and develop infrastructure that mitigates migration while also offering border protection.

Moreover, a common, worldwide atmospheric phenomenon characterized by a relatively low- tropospheric maximum in the vertical profile of the horizontal winds, known as low-level jet (LLJ), may offer unexplored benefits to wind energy, specifically in Texas and New Mexico. Despite that this phenomenon may be used to increase the capacity factor of wind farms, the intrinsic processes modulating the interaction between LLJs and wind farms remain obscure; these include the role of the positive and negative mean shear around the velocity peak. By producing a synthetic LLJ under well-controlled laboratory conditions, we show that this phenomenon may enhance energy entrainment in the wake of wind turbines, and bring unique energy production in states along the USA/Mexico border.




Prior to joining Purdue University as the Kenninger Chair Professor of Renewable Energy & Power Systems, Luciano was the inaugural Center Director of the National Wind Resource Center and the Don-Kay-Clay Cash Distinguished Engineering Chair in Wind Energy at Texas Tech University.  For many years he was Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the Mechanical & Aerospace Department. His areas of research interest include: turbulence, renewable energy and bioengineering. He has published over 100 publications, edited several books on renewable energy and co-authored several patents.

Some of his awards include: Fellow ASME, Fellow APS, the NASA Faculty Fellowship, the Martin Luther King Faculty Award, the Robert T. Knapp Award Best Paper Award from the ASME, the Best Paper Award from the Journal of Renewable Energy, the Best Paper Award from IEEE, and the Rensselaer Faculty Award. He gave several keynotes lectures, plenary lecture, and distinguished lectures on wind energy. Currently, he serves as Associate Editor of Wind Engineering & Science, and serves in various scientific committees on renewable energy in Europe.

He is passionate about inclusiveness and mentoring students and young faculty, and founded and organized two summer research institutes on renewable energy & medicine, which included students, faculty and K-12 teachers.  For his contributions and impacts on inclusiveness he received in 2016 the McDonald Mentoring Award from ASME, and was recently appointed in the School of Engineering as a Dean’s Faculty Fellow for Hispanic Engagement.

Luciano Castillo PhD

Luciano Castillo PhD