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Associate Professor

Department of Civil Engineering

The University of Memphis

Engineering Science Building

Memphis, TN 38152 (USA)

Areas of Expertise

My research is interdisciplinary, centered on fluvial processes, environmental change in rivers, and rainfall analysis. I try to focus on topics that are both scientifically relevant and applicable, always recognizing the scarcity and uncertainty of the available data. I stress the observation of the natural systems and a sound qualitative understanding of the physical processes, before the application of complicated mathematical methods. Most typically, my work is a combination of theory, field observations and rigorous laboratory/outdoor experiments, which attempts to elucidate the interactions between hydraulics, vegetation, hydrology, sediment transport, hyporheic flows and river landforms, over a range of scales, but focusing at the bar scale. I have generated novel, significant concepts and methodologies in the topics of vegetation establishment in riparian environments, underestimation of extreme rainfall intensities, hyporheic exchange flows, interannual variability of precipitation, environmental impacts of hydropower, and spatial variability in gravel-bed rivers. I have also conducted research on the hydraulics of gutter flows, large outburst floods in Patagonia, temperature regimes in rivers, and urban flooding.

My current research interests are in:

  • Fluvial processes in gravel-bed rivers:
    1. Early establishment of riparian trees
    2. Spatial variability of the surficial and subsurficial texture in bars
    3. Dynamics of the water table and piezometric gradients within bars
    4. Hyporheic exchange flows under river bars
    5. Effects of invasive plants in fluvial systems
    6. Methods for better describing the spatial variability in gravel-bed rivers
  • Rainfall analysis:
    1. Interannual variability of rainfall with derived distributions
    2. Negative biases in extreme precipitation events

Brief Bio

Dr. Claudio was appointed Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Memphis in 2015. He previously held the same position at the University of Concepción, in Chile. He is a water resources engineer specializing in ecohydrology and ecohydraulics. He obtained both a B.Sc. and Professional Diploma in Civil Engineering from the University of Concepción, a M.Sc. in Civil Engineering (hydraulic engineering) from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in Biology (river ecology) from the University of Montana. His main interests are the science and sustainable management of river systems, and hydrological science and engineering.

He has 25 years of experience teaching water engineering and environmental science courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. He is also a professional engineer in Chile, with a broad consulting experience in river engineering, hydrologic/hydraulic design of civil works, and environmental studies for water projects. He is a Board Member of the Ecohydraulics Committee in the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR), a Voting Board Member of the International Society for River Science (ISRS), a Member of the Steering Committee for the Andong River Experiment Forum (Korea), and an associate member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is also in the Editorial Board of the International Journal of River Basin Management, and has reviewed manuscripts for the Journal of Hydrology, Journal of Applied Water Engineering and Research, Freshwater Biology, River Research and Applications, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, two book chapters, and a book.

Publications (Weblink only), if any:

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