Civil Engineering

Water Resources/Environmental Engineering Research Activities

Dr. Ashok Pandit ( and Dr. Howell H. Heck (

Dr. Pandit and Dr. Heck have worked together in several projects. While Dr. Pandit is an expert modeler, Dr. Heck’s expertise lies in laboratory and field data collection. Dr. Pandit has developed two finite-element ground water models, GROSEEP (Groundwater Seepage) and SOLTRA (Solute Transport), and two non-point source models CALSIM (Continuous Annual Load Simulation Model) and WEANES (Wet Pond Annual Efficiency Simulation). The research areas of interest of the faculty members in the Water Resources/Environmental Engineering area are listed below. Students are encouraged to directly contact faculty via e-mail if they have questions or are interested in a particular area of research.

  • Numerical modeling of contaminant transport in subsurface media: We have recently conducted field, laboratory and numerical experiments to estimate the transport of groundwater seepages and nutrient loadings into a coastal estuary known as the Indian River lagoon from the adjacent watershed. Two of the numerical models used for this study are MODFLOW and SEAWAT. This research is part of a more comprehensive effort to determine nutrient loads into the Indian River Lagoon from various sources such as surface water flowing through canals, septic tanks and “muck”. Links to our recent publications and presentations are provided below: (Links 1 to 4)

  • Unstable flows using physical models: There are many real-world situations where a mass of relatively heavier fluid overlies a porous media containing a lighter fluid. For example, this is fairly common at landfills and waste dump sites, saline disposal basins, seawater inundation along coastal aquifers, and in estuaries. We have conducted laboratory and numerical experiments to study the transport mechanisms of overlying, heavier saltwater into underlying freshwater under various conditions. Links to a presentation we recently made is provided below. (Link 5)

  • Stormwater management: Our main areas of interest in Stormwater Management are in predicting non-point source nutrient loads from watersheds and in understanding the removal efficiencies of best management practices used to remove pollutants generated by non-point sources. Links to our publications are provided below. (Link 6)

  • Numerical modeling to understand the effect of seawater rise on saltwater intrusion

Recent Publications and Presentations

Pandit, A., Ali, N. Heck, H. H., and K. Mamoua. 2016. “Estimation of Submarine Groundwater Discharge into the Indian River Lagoon” Austin Journal of Irrigation. Vol. 1, No. 1,

Pandit, A., Jansen, J., Ali., N., Heck, H. H., Mamoua, K., and Al-Taliby, W. 2016 “Groundwater Nutrient Loads from a Watershed to a Coastal Estuary” Building a Sustainable Structure in the Asia Pacific Region, Civil Engineering Conference in the Asia Region CECAR 7, August 30 to September 2, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.

Al-Taliby, W., Pandit, A., Heck, H. H., and Ali, N. 2016 “Numerical Modeling of Groundwater Flow Below an Estuary Using MODFLOW and SEAWAT – Comparison of Results” EWRI World Environmental & Water Resources Congress, May 22-26, West Palm Beach, USA.

Mamoua, K., Pandit, A., Heck, H. H., Araujo, D. S. A. and Berber, A. 2016 “Physical and Numerical Modeling of Unstable Flow Due to Heavier Saltwater Overlying Freshwater” EWRI World Environmental & Water Resources Congress, May 22-26, West Palm Beach, USA.

Berber, A., Pandit, A., Heck, H. H., Mamoua, K., Al-Taliby, W. and Araujo, D. S. A. 2016 “Submarine Groundwater Seepage Estimations Into a Coastal Estuary Using SEAWAT” EWRI World Environmental & Water Resources Congress, May 22-26, West Palm Beach, USA.