Rafael L. Bras
A native of Puerto Rico, Rafael L. Bras is a professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He holds the K. Harrison Brown Family Chair.
Dr. Bras is a hydrologist, with particular research interest in land-atmosphere interactions, ecohydrology and fluvial geomorphology. His on-going research involves the use of satellite remote sensing in global scale hydrology; the impact of large-scale deforestation in places like the Amazon and in turn their impact on regional and global climate; the resilience of tropical rain forests to hurricane disturbances and climate change; and precision agriculture. Another interest is the future of higher education and strategies educational institutions can use to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. He speaks, writes, and consults on that subject. As a consultant, Dr. Bras chaired a panel of experts that supervised the design and construction of a multibillion-dollar project to protect the City of Venice from floods. He is a Senior Advisor to Elsevier.
Dr. Bras has published two textbooks, over 245 refereed journal publications, and several hundred other publications and presentations.
Dr. Bras was provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to becoming provost, Dr. Bras was Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering of the University of California, Irvine (UCI). For 32 years prior to joining UCI he was a professor in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. He is past Chair of the MIT Faculty, former head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department and Director of the Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory at MIT. He has served as advisor to government and private institutions, including Advisory Board, Engineering Directorate, NSF; Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, NRC; Chairman, Earth Systems Sciences and Applications Committee and the NASA Advisory Committee as well as departments at Cornell University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins, Technion, RPI, and the University of Puerto Rico.