Witold Krajewski elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Breanna Shea
Iowa Now

University of Iowa Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Iowa Flood Center (IFC) Director Witold Krajewski has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest honors conferred in the field of engineering.

Krajewski, who was elected for his advances in flood prediction and flood risk reduction, also is a faculty research engineer at the UI’s IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, a world-renowned center with more than 100 years of experience in education, research, and public service focusing on hydraulic engineering and fluid mechanics. Krajewski’s research expertise and vision have transformed Iowa into a more flood-resilient state that is serving as model for others, including Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

“Election to NAE is a well-deserved recognition of Witold’s groundbreaking flood research and dedicated outreach to communities across Iowa,” says Harriet Nembhard, dean of the UI College of Engineering. “Because flooding is a nationwide issue, Witold’s work and the work of the Iowa Flood Center is sought after by governments and agencies from across the country who know that this expertise can benefit their communities and protect their local economies.”

Krajewski has served as director of the UI’s Iowa Flood Center since its establishment by the Iowa Legislature in 2009. The center is well known for pioneering the development of the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS), a Google Maps-based online tool that communicates real-time information about stream levels, flood alerts and forecasts, and hydrologic conditions for the entire state. IFIS is used by emergency responders, community leaders and decision-makers, state and federal agencies, and home and business owners. To date, it has been accessed by more than 3.5 million users. Under Krajewski’s leadership, IFC’s technical expertise has helped bring more than $100 million of external funding to the state of Iowa to address flooding and water resource concerns at the watershed scale.

“The environment at the University of Iowa and within IIHR nurtures independent thought and creative ideas. This is a special place,” says Krajewski. “Membership into NAE is an honor and a responsibility.”

Krajewski holds the Rose and Joseph Summers Chair in Water Resources Engineering. He is one of the world’s most respected experts in rainfall monitoring and forecasting using radar and satellite remote-sensing. His research in hydrometeorology, remote-sensing, and water resources engineering has resulted in more than 250 journal publications and has enriched the education of the dozens of UI graduate students with whom he has worked and collaborated. Communicating accurate, scientific information about floods to all Iowans is one of Krajewski’s priorities, with the goal of protecting lives and enhancing Iowa’s economic vitality and quality of life.

witold speaking to group