Hugo A Loaiciga, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, F.ASCE, was named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This is the highest honor to which a civil engineer can aspire; in the Society’s 163-year history only 698 people have been elected to the honor. He will be inducted on Sunday, October 13, 2018 at the Celebration of Leaders Luncheon during ASCE’s 2018 Convention, in Denver, Colo.
Loaiciga is a leader in understanding the effects of climate processes on the recharged and the safe yield of aquifers, and for the improvement of groundwater management. His contributions have advanced environmental hydrology in the areas of watershed analysis, study of hydrologic hazards, sustainable water resources management, regional hydrogeology, stochastic hydrology and global-scale hydrologic processes. His early work on global warming and hydrologic cycle, significantly enhanced today’s grasp of this topic long before there was an appreciation of its impacts.
An expert in developing and applying mathematical tools, techniques and methods, Loaiciga is well known for his work on probabilistic analysis and has applied it to aquifer properties, aquifer recharge, droughts and water resources systems. He also led the development of four ASCE standards for characterizing hydraulic conductivity and has become a leader in the application of probabilistic analyses to the representation of hydraulic conductivity of aquifers.
Loaiciga founded and leads the KSTAT standards committee, which is dedicated to the authoring of standards of practice in groundwater hydrology, particularly soil properties determination. He has served on the City of Santa Barbara’s Board of Water Commissioners and as a hydrologic consultant to various federal agencies and private firms. In addition, he invites different scientists and engineers to serve together in attending the engineering problems he addresses through his committees.
Among his many awards are ASCE’s Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, Arid Lands Hydraulic Engineering Award and Julian Hinds Award. Loaiciga received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Universidad de Costa Rica and earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in civil engineering at the University of California, Davis.