James A. Liggett

James A. Liggett

Professor Emeritus
Civil and Environmental Engineering


Liggett worked at Chance Vought Aircraft in Dallas, Texas after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in 1956.  He attended Stanford University where he obtained a M.S. degree in 1957 and a Ph.D. in 1959 in Civil Engineering.   Liggett served on the University of Wisconsin, Madison, faculty for one year, before coming to Cornell in 1961 where he served as a faculty member in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering for 35 years. 

Research Interests

Liggett’s area of expertise and research is in Environmental Engineering, specifically in hydraulics and fluid mechanics.  After retirement from Cornell in 1996, Liggett moved to Arizona, where he grew up, to continue to work on his research and write books.  In 1998, he co-authored a book with Professor David Caughey (mechanical engineering, Cornell University) entitled Fluid Mechanics: An Interactive Text. In addition, he has written four books and over 100 publications, including 81 refereed journal articles in prestigious international journals.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Best editor award of ASCEs Journal of Hydraulic Engineering from 1990 to 1995
  • Hunter Rouse award for lifetime achievement from ASCE


B.S. Texas Tech University, 1956
M.S. Stanford University, 1957
Ph.D. (Civil Engineering), Stanford University, 1959