David Ford
David Ford

David T. Ford, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE


Special Recognition Award

The following is the text found on the Special Recognition Award presented to David T. Ford, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, President of David Ford Consulting Engineers, at the 2017 California Extreme Precipitation Symposium held at the University of California, Davis on July 11, 2017.

Special Recognition Award

Presented To

David T. Ford, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE

Presented by your friends and colleagues in appreciation and recognition of your contributions and leadership in water resources engineering, planning, and management. Your pioneering work in flood warning systems, real-time forecasting and decision-making, reservoir operations, flood-risk assessment, river hydraulics, and flood system planning represent just a portion of your many contributions.

Your early work with the Hydrologic Engineering Center and consulting role as President of David Ford Consulting Engineers has advanced the state-of-the-science in hydrologic modeling and flood analysis throughout the US. Your support to the Corps of Engineers in developing engineering manuals, technical references, and applications guides produced clear guidance for hydrologic analysis and how to use HEC hydrologic models.

Your support to the National Weather Service, California Department of Water Resources, and state and local agencies nationwide has enabled all levels of government to implement improved approaches to flood management. You have been a key partner with other engineering firms throughout the world, strengthening teams that work on complex water resources problems both nationally and internationally.

You have served on National Research Council committees including hydrologic science, levee treatment within the National Flood Insurance Program, risk-based methods for insurance premiums in the NFIP, and many others.

Your support of young engineers is especially noteworthy, having taught over 2,000 civil engineers and scientists, in classes, workshops, and conferences. You have taught at UC Davis and CSU, Sacramento, and continue to develop the next generation of water resources engineers. You lead by example, showing the importance of professionalism and integrity. You have been a key long-time supporter of this symposium.

We honor your lifetime contributions to water resources engineering and the many people you encouraged along the way. Your special blend of technical expertise and people skills have served your profession and the public well.

With sincere admiration and respect, it is our great pleasure to present you with this award.

California Extreme Precipitation Symposium
July 11, 2017

At the Event

David was invited to say a few words at this symposium.

In the portion of David's comments where he introduces a Special Recognition Award for Gary Estes, David refers to a "word cloud". Download the file [PDF, .1 MB] containing the referenced word cloud slides.

Biographical Sketch

David Ford is a civil engineer who specializes in blending specialized expertise in hydrologic engineering, 40 years of on-the-ground experience, and knowledge of local conditions to develop and implement practical solutions to water management problems.

David's subject-matter expertise includes precipitation-runoff analysis; flood forecasting, warning, and preparedness planning; hydrologic statistics; flood risk assessment; reservoir system analysis; and decision support system designand implementation.

David's experience includes 28 years as a principal engineer at David Ford Consulting Engineers, Inc. in Sacramento, CA, and 12 years as a hydraulic engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC). He is a registered professional engineer in 12 states. David has provided consulting services to the Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service, United Nations, World Bank, and U.S. Agency for International Development; to government agencies in India, Portugal, Indonesia, Romania, and Korea; to state and local government agencies throughout the U.S.; and to engineering firms worldwide. In addition to his consulting work, David served on the University of California and California State University faculties.


David's graduate education was at the University of Texas. He is a member of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering's Academy of Distinguished Alumni there.

Recognition Highlights

David is a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resource Engineers. In 2014, he received ASCE's Sacramento Section David N. Kennedy Water Resources Award. In 2015, he received ASCE's Julian Hinds Award, acknowledging his outstanding contributions and leadership in water resources engineering, planning, and management.