Dr. Vijay Singh’s work encompasses many phases of irrigation design and erosion control
By: Robert Burns
COLLEGE STATION — Dr. Vijay P. Singh, professor and Caroline and William N. Lehrer Distinguished Chair in Water Engineering with the department of biological and agricultural engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station, has been appointed as a University Distinguished Professor, effective Sept. 1, 2013.
“University Distinguished Professors represent the highest level of achievement for our faculty,” said Dr. Karan L. Watson, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “They are recognized as pre-eminent authorities in their fields, and their accomplishments are exemplified by outstanding teaching, mentoring, discovery and service. They demonstrate to the world the high quality of scholarship under way at Texas A&M University.”
In his nomination letter for Singh, Dr. Steve Searcy, head of the department of biological and agricultural engineering, said “Dr. Singh is a leading authority in hydrologic engineering, an area of specialization that encompasses professionals estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands, and researchers estimated at tens of thousands worldwide.”
Searcy said Dr. Singh’s standing in the field, nationally and internationally, is best documented by fellow researchers in hydrologic engineering.
“He (Singh) is in the top 0.01 percent of researchers in hydrology,” said Graham Weir, Fellow, Royal Society and New Zealand Mathematical Society.
“There is no question in my mind regarding Dr. Singh as the premier researcher and developer of the mathematical bases, throughout the world, in this area,” wrote Edward A. McBean, Canada National Research Council Chair at University of Guelph, Canada.
“Dr. Singh is arguably the top scholar in the field of hydrologic engineering in the world today, said M. Levent Kavvas, distinguished professor at University of California, Davis.
“In my opinion, professor Singh is the leading American academic working in the field of water resources engineering and is highly respected around the world for his many seminal academic contributions. I would easily rank him in the top 1 percent of active researchers working in the area of hydrologic engineering,” wrote Keith W. Hipel, University of Waterloo, Canada, president of the Royal Society of Canada, Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Singh’s specialty, kinematic wave theory, is used to describe many things besides the behavior of water in irrigation channels. It has been used to describe: the movement of flood waves in rivers; overland flow; runoff from snow melting; movement of glaciers; erosion from upland areas; movement of water in soils; pollutants in surface and subsurface waters; surface irrigation design; design of erosion control structures; flood planning; and hydrologic design, according to Searcy.
The theory has also been employed to describe flow of traffic on long interstate highways, Singh said.
Searcy said research and engineering groups that have used his solutions include the Water Problems Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Hydrogeological Protection of the Italian National Research Council, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and the Hydrologic Research Laboratory of the University of California, Davis.
Dr. Singh received his bachelor’s of science in engineering from U.P Agricultural University, India, in 1967, his master’s in engineering from the University of Guelph, Canada, 1970; and his doctorate in civil engineering from Colorado State University in 1974 and doctorate of science from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1998.