HEC-RAS Training for Non-Modelers


About the Course

Description: This is a unique class offered to people who commonly review or contract-out hydraulic modeling work for river restoration projects such as fish passage and dam removal, but who themselves are not computer modelers, nor plan on becoming computer modelers.  This class will introduce you to the basics of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center’s River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) such as:

  • When do you need to use HEC-RAS?
  • What question can the model answer for you?
  • What are the fundamentals of fluid hydraulics behind the model?
  • What data and input are needed to run the model?
  • How do you open HEC-RAS models that have been prepared for you? 
  • And most importantly: How do you properly review a HEC-RAS model and determine its accuracy based on your field knowledge of the site?  

We will focus on learning to interpret HEC-RAS results and gaining an intuitive insight as to whether the model has been set up and run properly.  Common errors and “red flags” that point to potential errors will be discussed, as well as quick and easy methods to read HEC-RAS results.  All efforts will be made to give visual field examples when discussing critical flow characteristics that are analyzed by the model.  Our goal will be to develop skills such that once you have visited a site in the field you should be able to recognize if a model of the site has been well constructed or not.  Example projects used will relate to fish passage and dam removal projects.

Who should attend: Regulators; municipal, state and federal agency staff; NGO’s; planners; clients who hire out hydraulic modeling work; supervisors; scientists and engineers who are not hydraulic modelers.  Although this course has been developed for non-modelers, beginner and intermediate hydraulic computer modelers may also benefit from the visual and intuitive model assessment approaches discussed.

Goal: Develop skills such that once you have visited a site under a variety of flow conditions you should be able to recognize if a model of the site as been well constructed or not. 

Please note that participants in the short course will need to bring laptops with them and will need to download the free HEC RAS software before the course.

Course Syllabus To view the course agenda (updated June 7th), click here.
Instructors & Course Developers Laura Wildman, PE - Professional Water Resource Engineer with Princeton Hydro, LLC (contact: lwildman@princetonhydro.com)
Michael Chelminski, PE - Principal, Environmental Services, Stantec (contact: michael.chelminski@stantec.com) Michael Chelminski
Date and Time Sunday June 18th, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Location Nash Hall, Oregon State University
Cost $190
Registration Status Open