Jery Russell Stedinger

Jery Russell Stedinger

Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Emeritus
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Hollister Hall, Room 403


Jery received a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1972, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Systems Engineering from Harvard University in 1977. Since that time he has been a professor in Cornell's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He spent his 1983-84 sabbatical at the U.S. Geological Survey's national headquarters in Reston, Virginia, and his 1999 sabbatical at the US Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. He spent his 2005 sabbatical at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) in Davis, California, and his 2010 sabbatical again with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia. His Fall 2017 sabbatical was with the Technische Universität Wien in Austria.  

Dr. Stedinger's research has focused on statistical issues in hydrology and optimal operation of water resource systems. Research projects have addressed the value of historical and paleoflood data in flood frequency analysis, regional hydrologic regression and network analyses, risk and uncertainty analysis of flood-risk reduction projects, calibration and uncertainty analysis for rainfall-runoff models, stochastic simulation of water resource systems, and efficient multiple-reservoir and hydropower system operation considering dynamic energy markets and stochastic inflows and forecasts. Other efforts address statistical issues associated with characterization of geothermal resources as part of the planning and risk assessment for such renewable energy projects.

Jery was a 1984-89 NSF Presidential Young Investigator, a 1989 ASCE Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize winner, the 1997 winner of the ASCE Julian Hinds Award. In 2004 he received the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water for the Surface Water Branch. In 2011 he received the Warren Hall medal for contributions to Water Resources by the Universities Council on Water Resources. He became a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2013. In 2014 he received the ASCE Ven Te Chow Award for contributions to hydrology, and the ASCE-EWRI Lifetime Achievement Award. Since 2014 he has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering .

He is fellow of the Amer. Geophysical Union, and a member of the International Water Academy, Oslo, Norway. Jery was lead author of the frequency analysis chapter in the 1993 McGraw-Hill Handbook of Hydrology and an author of the 1981 textbook Water Resource Systems Planning and Analysis. He is an author of over one hundred and forty professional papers. Jery has served on National Research Council Committees on Dam Safety, Water Resources Research, and Flood Risk Management and the American River, and USACE Risk-Based Analyses; and advisory committees on flood frequency analysis for the US Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE), and for all federal agencies.

Research Interests

Statistics in hydrology, optimization and systems engineering, and risk analysis.

Teaching Interests

I teach CEE 3040 Uncertainty Analysis in the fall; it focuses on giving undergraduates the background they need in probability and statistics to address data issues, interpretation of data, and uncertainty analyses in engineering. My other big effort is CEE 5970/CEE 6970 Risk Analysis and Management, taught in the spring. The course serves Systems Engineering, MEng Engineering Managment, EWRS masters students, Toxicology, and undergraduate engineering students.

Service Interests

Co-Chair, Environmental Engineering Program Committee (responsible for management of B.S. EnvE.) ;Chair, Faculty advisory committee for New York State Water Resources Institute Faculty; Advisor ASCE Student Chapter-Cornell University.

Selected Publications

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Elected, National Academy of Engineering 2014
  • ASCE Ven Te Chow Award for exceptional professional achievement 2014
  • ASCE Distinguished Member 2013
  • Universities Council on Water Resources, Warren A. Hall Medal 2011
  • Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water for Surface Water Branch 2004


  • BA (Applied Mathematics), University of California- Berkeley, 1972
  • MA (Applied Mathematics), Harvard University, 1974
  • Ph D (Engineering), Harvard University, 1977