A seasoned hydrologic and hydraulic engineer, Hu has cultivated relationships with numerous HNTB clients, including the Washington State Department of Transportation, King County, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other municipal and county agencies. Most recently overseeing the activities of dozens of engineers, fish biologists, and others, he has specialized in watershed-scale hydrologic modeling and one-, two- and three-dimensional hydrodynamic and sediment transport modeling for rivers and estuaries in Washington, Oregon, and other U.S. locations.
“Dr. Hu is a leading hydrologic and hydraulic engineer in the country, and we’re thrilled to have him aboard,” said Kevin Collins, PE, HNTB Seattle Office Leader and Senior Vice President. “His expertise in water resources will be a critical asset as HNTB continues our immediate work improving fish passage in Washington state. We look forward to supporting Dr. Hu and his team as they work to meet the needs of our clients and community partners in Washington and throughout the U.S.”
In previous roles, Hu has been responsible for delivering complex solutions for water resources, reservoir operational flood forecasting, flood risk analysis, stream restoration and design, and floodplain analysis. His other responsibilities included building relationships with clients, managing and mentoring staff, and pursuing new business. He has led culvert and bridge replacement projects for the transportation departments in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California, including the WSDOT.
Hu recently adapted a hybrid regression method for new flood-frequency equations, a response to the effects of sporadic thunderstorms over eastern Washington and north-central Oregon. He applied the same approach to the deserts of California, and the California Department of Transportation adopted his equations for use in its highway design manual.
Other notable work includes Hu’s technical leadership on hydrologic and hydraulic studies concerning flood risk management and reservoir system operations for the Corps on several major river systems in the nation, including the Columbia, Missouri, Mississippi, Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint, and Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa Rivers. He also led numerous studies surrounding flood reduction, floodplains, and flood insurance rate maps. His map revisions in Los Angeles County, California, for instance, helped save 50,000 property owners up to $33 million in flood insurance costs.
“We are committed to making sure we’re addressing our clients’ top challenges when it comes to waterways and water resources,” Hu said. “With the changing climate, protecting water and natural resources is critically important. There is considerable opportunity for HNTB to make a meaningful difference in our communities now and in the years to come, and I look forward to working with clients and community partners in doing this important work.”
Hu earned his doctorate in hydraulics at the University of Houston, a bachelor’s degree in river dynamics and sedimentation engineering, and his master’s degree in hydraulics and river dynamics from Wuhan University. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Military Engineers, and was a past Chair of the Northwest Regional Floodplain Management Association.