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Villanova University Selects Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor As Recipient of 2016 Outstanding Faculty Research Award

Robert Traver, PhD Honored for Research in Stormwater Management and Sustainable Engineering 

Robert Traver, PhD

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has selected Robert Traver, PhD, Civil and Environmental Professor of Engineering in the College of Engineering, as the recipient of its 2016 Outstanding Faculty Research Award for his scholarship in stormwater management and sustainable engineering. The award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates the highest standards of excellence in research, scholarship and contributions to their field.

Dr. Traver currently serves as Director of both the Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering (VCASE) and the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership (VUSP), which he founded to enable continuing long-term stormwater research. He has conducted research on topics including modeling of stream hydraulics, urban hydrology, water quality and measures to mitigate stormwater effects of urbanization. Dr. Traver was also the main force in creating a Stormwater Green Infrastructure Demonstration and Research Park on the Villanova campus.

In 2007, Dr. Traver received the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal from the Commanding General of the United States Corps of Engineers for his role on the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) External Review Panel, charged with determining the cause of New Orleans’ levee system failure during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Dr. Traver was honored in 2014 with the ASCE William H. Wisley American Civil Engineer Award, which recognized his leadership of ASCE’s Task Committee on Flood Safety Policies and Practices. He serves as an associate editor of the ASCE Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment, which he helped to create. Dr. Traver served for several years as a member of ASCE’s Water Policy Committee, and sits on Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Resources Advisory Committee.

“I am extremely pleased that this year’s Outstanding Faculty Award will be given to Professor Rob Traver. Dr. Traver not only is one of our most accomplished scholars through his renowned work in storm water management, but his reputation has also made him one of Villanova’s true scholar ambassadors to the world,” said Dr. Alfonso Ortega, associate vice president for Research and Graduate Programs. “His participation in the American Society of Civil Engineers External Panel (ERP) investigating the failure of storm infrastructure during Hurricane Katrina not only speaks to Dr. Travers’s stature in his field, but it also speaks to the quality of Villanova research. I am really proud of that.”

A member of Villanova’s Water Resources and Environmental Engineering program at Villanova since 1988, Dr. Traver earned his master’s degree at Villanova and his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the Virginia Military Institute. He holds a doctoral degree from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Traver is also a Desert Storm veteran and is a Lieutenant Colonel (ret.), U.S. Army Reserves.

“It is both gratifying and humbling to be recognized by Villanova. I have been fortunate to be able to work with many outstanding students, colleagues, staff and partners who should all share in this award,” said Dr. Traver. “The focus of our sustainable green infrastructure research is to enable us to preserve and restore our waters from the impact of urbanization. We are fortunate to be able to use the Villanova campus and work with innovative partners such as the Philadelphia Water Department.”

“Through hard work, Dr. Traver has established a national and international reputation as one of the leading scholars in storm water management,” said Gary Gabriele, Drosdick Dean of the Villanova University College of Engineering. “His work addresses some of the most important problems we face in achieving a sustainable planet. He has developed an outstanding team of faculty that are addressing not only the fundamental issues but are also working to develop practical, implementable solutions that can help communities both in Philadelphia and around the world to better manage their storm water problems.”

In order to be eligible for the Outstanding Faculty Research Award candidates must have an established national and international scholarly reputation in their field; be full-time, tenured full professors; have held a tenure track faculty position at Villanova for at least 10 years; and be formally nominated by full-time Villanova faculty members.

Dr. Traver will be honored at a Faculty Scholars Dinner April 6 at The Villanova Conference Center. The Outstanding Faculty Research Award will be formally conferred at the University’s May 13 Commencement ceremony.

See “Dr. Traver Joins Elite List of Distinguished Villanova Faculty” from the Villanova Engineering Update, 2016.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit