William W-G. Yeh, Ph.D.

Richard G. Newman AECOM Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering
Member, National Academy of Engineering
Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering

5732B Boelter Hall
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1593

Phone: (310) 825-2300
Fax: (310) 825-7581


Ph.D., (1967), Stanford University
M.S., (1964), New Mexico State University
B.S., (1961), National Chen-Kung University, Taiwan

Research Interests

My research interests include groundwater modeling, conjunctive use planning of surface water and groundwater, and the development of methodologies and models for optimizing large-scale water resources systems.

I have been involved in the development of computer models for optimal operations of large-scale hydropower and water supply systems. The optimization models are based on mathematical programming techniques, such as Linear Programming, Nonlinear Programming, Dynamic Programming, and Stochastic Programming with Recourse.

My research in groundwater hydrology focuses on the inverse problems of parameter structure identification, experimental design, model reduction, and data assimilation. Nonlinear parameter estimation procedures are developed for solving inverse problems. Parameter structure identification includes the determination of the optimum parameter dimension, its corresponding pattern and parameter values.

I am also involved in the development of methodologies for optimizing conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater for sustainable management of water resources in the semi-arid regions.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, UCLA Engineering Alumni Association, 1975
  • Engineering Foundation Fellowship Award, 1981
  • Robert E. Horton Award, American Geophysical Union, 1989
  • Elected Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 1993
  • Outstanding Journal Paper Award, Water Resources Planning and Management Division, ASCE, 1994
  • Julian Hinds Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1994
  • Elected Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1994
  • Elected Honorary Member, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1996
  • Centennial Distinguished Alum, New Mexico State University, 1996
  • Warren A. Hall Medal, Universities Council on Water Resources, 1999
  • Outstanding Alumni Award, National Cheng Kung University North American Alumni Foundation, 2003
  • Elected Member, National Academy of Engineering, 2008
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, 2008
  • Elected Honorary Diplomate, American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, 2008
  • Appointed Inaugural Richard G. Newman AECOM Endowed Chair in Civil Engineering, 2010
  • Elected AAAS Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011
  • Received a Lifetime Achievement Award, EWRI/ASCE, 2012
  • AGU Hydrology Days Award, 2014
  • Received the 6th Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water for Water Management and Protection, 2014


Water Resources Systems Analysis: The Contributions of William Yeh

In December 2008, a symposium was held at UCLA to honor the career achievements of William W-G. Yeh, Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The two-day gathering featured addresses by internationally renowned scholars from the hydrology and water resources engineering disciplines, including five members of the National Academy of Engineering.

Click HERE for a slideshow of the event.

Professional Affiliations and Service

  • Fellow and Honorary Member, ASCE
  • Fellow, AGU
  • Member, AWRA
  • Member, IWRA
  • Associate Editor, Water Resources Research, AGU, 1984-1988
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, ASCE, 1984-1988
  • Editor, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, ASCE, 1988-1993