IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor Christopher Duffy

Professor Christopher Duffy1 August 2014 - 31 January 2015

Christopher J. Duffy is a world leader in the development of a new generation of fully coupled and integrated process models that simulate flow and transport processes in the environment. Over the last 10 years he has established his modeling framework as the leading modeling environment of this type. He has also been fundamental in working with computer scientists to establish workflows that allow for the use of open environmental data for modeling in much more direct and efficient ways than previously possible (as part of the Earth Cube initiative).

He is a Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of Penn State University (1989-present). He presently holds a research appointment with the Penn State Institutes of the Environment and is an affiliated faculty with the Earth System Science Center.  From 1981-89 he held a joint appointment with the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and The Utah Water Research Laboratory, Utah State University. Duffy has held visiting appointments with Los Alamos National lab (1998-99), Cornell University (1987-88), Ecole Polytechnic Lausanne (2006-07) and was a Senior Fellow with the Smithsonian Institution in residence at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (2007).

Professor Duffy's early research dealt with the application of frequency-domain (spectral) methods of time series analysis and modeling applied to the hydrology and hydrochemistry of groundwater and surface water systems. In recent years Duffy and his team have focused on developing the spatially-distributed, physics-based modeling code PIHM (The Penn State Integrated Hydrologic Model) for multi-scale, multi-process applications (http://www.pihm.psu.edu/), which is also available on Source-Forge (http://sourceforge.net/projects/pihmmodel/). This research was funded by NSF, EPA (http://www.wetlands.psu.edu/climate/) and NOAA. The model itself is "tightly-coupled" with PIHMgis, an open-source Geographical Information System designed for PIHM. PIHMgis provides the interface to PIHM, access to the digital data sets (terrain, vegetation, forcing and parameters) and tools necessary to drive the model, as well as a collection of GIS-based pre- and post-processing tools. A hydrodynamic code for 2-D river flow, sediment/solute transport, and bedform evolution has also recently been added.  Current work involves the addition of parameter estimation tools, a new direct method for simulating the “age” and residence time for all elements in a watershed. The near future will couple PIHM to WRF “large-eddy” simulator from NOAA with partners from meteorology.

During his visit Professor Duffy will give a talk about The Age of Water in the Terrestrial Water Cycle (Wednesday 21 January 2015). Watch the lecture here.

For further information regarding Professor Duffy's visit, please contact Professor Thorsten Wagener.