Upmanu Lall, Alan and Carol Silberstein

Professor of Engineering, Columbia University & Director of the Columbia Water Center

Dr. Upmanu Lall is the Director of the Columbia Water Center and the Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Engineering at Columbia University. He has broad interests in hydrology, climate dynamics, water resource systems analysis, risk management and sustainability. He is motivated by challenging questions at the intersection of these fields, especially where they have relevance to societal outcomes or to the advancement of science towards innovative application. His current research covers five major initiatives that are developed through the Columbia Water Center; The Global Flood Initiative, America’s, Data Science and Multi-Scale Predictions, Risk and Financial Instruments and Water-Food-Energy Nexus. These programmatic initiatives are backed by research on systems level modeling of hydrology, climate, agronomy and economics.

Dr. Lall has pioneered the application of techniques from (a) nonlinear dynamical systems, (b) nonparametric methods of function estimation and their application to spatio-temporal dynamical systems, (c) Hierarchical Bayesian models, (d) systems optimization and simulation and (e) the study of multi-scale climate variability and change as an integral component of hydrologic systems. He has published in journals that focus on hydrology, water resources, climate, physics, applied mathematics and statistics, development, policy and management science. He has been engaged in high level public and scientific discussion through the media, the World Economic Forum, and with governments, foundations, development banks, and corporations interested in sustainability. He has served on several national and international panels. He was one of the originators of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, and is currently the President-Elect of the Natural Hazards Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union.