Community Colloquium: Rafael Bras

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



Rafael R. Bras
Professor and Dean

Henry Samueli School of Engineering,

University of California, Irvine

Wednesday, April 28
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414

"Protecting Venice from Tidal Flooding "

Hosted by Professor Jeff Dozier



The frequency and magnitude of tidal flooding of the lagoon and city of Venice have increased dramatically over the past one hundred years. This trend can be attributed to past periods of accelerated subsidence and present sea-level rise. This flooding disturbs commerce and life and seriously damages the infrastructure of the region. The solution to the problem is a series of gates across the three inlets of the lagoon of Venice. These gates will separate the Adriatic from the lagoon in periods of very high meteorological tides, stopping all flooding. The construction of the multi-billion-dollar system is 60-percent completed and progressing well. This talk presents the problem, discusses the solution, and illustrates the elements of the system.


Rafael R. Bras is Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine. He was previously faculty chair at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the former head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at MIT. He has served as advisor to many government and private institutions.

Dr. Bras has been active in several professional organizations. He is past president of the Hydrology section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and is presently a member of its board of directors. His many honors and awards include the NASA Public Service Medal, the Macelwane and Horton Medals from AGU, the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize, andthe Simon W. Freese Environmental Engineering Award. He is an Honorary Diplomat of Water Resources Engineering of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, The U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the Mexican National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico. He is an elected Fellow of AGU, ASCE, AMS and AAAS.

Dr. Bras maintains an active international consulting practice. Presently, he chairs a panel of experts that is supervising the design and construction of a multibillion-dollar project to protect the City of Venice from floods.
He has published two textbooks, more than 180 refereed journal publications, and several hundred other publications and presentations.


NOTE: Research colloquia are hosted by Bren faculty members and are generally high-level talks about research in a particular area of environmental science and management.


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