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SSPEED Students

Tom Blaney

MS Student

​Research Interests:  I am interested in studying the effects of development on urban watersheds in Houston. I am particularly interested in studying the effects of impervious cover, soil type, and vegetation on infiltration rates, and applying these to hydrologic models to simulate different development conditions.

Current Project:  My current project involves modeling the San Jacinto River watershed with a spatially-distributed hydrologic model and a two-dimensional unsteady hydraulic model in order to predict the flooding impacts of potential future development conditions.

Meera Gadit

MS Student

Research Interests:  My research interest lies in floodplain modelling as well as in understanding rainfall trends using statistical models. Currently, I am focusing on analyzing accessibility of Houston transportation network during extreme rainfall events, employing hydrologic & hydraulic modelling tools. The aim of this study is to provide emergency crew with maps of possible routes that are not inundated during severe flooding.

Current Project:  Developing 1D hydrologic and coupled 1D/2D hydraulic models for Greens Bayou located in northern Houston, for roadway network accessibility analysis.

Matthew Garcia

PhD Student

Research Interests: Working on the integration of hydrologic and hydraulic modeling with other frameworks (reservoir operations, land use prediction, machine learning, and weather prediction) for the developing the next generation of real-time flood warning systems and flood management models.


Current Project: Developing a modular surrogate modeling framework for distributed hydrodynamic models to compute inundation maps in real-time.

Toby Li

MS Student

Research interests: My research interests are in sustainable flood mitigation strategies that help Houston become a resilient city as it grows. I am particularly interested in innovative solutions (both structural and non-structural) to riverine and local flooding.


Current Project: I am working on upgrading the FAS4 (Flood Alert System) for Texas Medical Center. As the Brays Bayou watershed and the TMC area develops, and as more advanced hydrology/hydraulics modeling tools come out, needs and opportunities emerge for an upgraded flood warning system.

Morgan Garner

MS Student

​Research Interests: My research interests revolve around human health and the environment. I’m interested in the intersection between water quality and natural or engineered flood mitigation strategies as related to urban development.


Current Project: My current research incorporates hydraulic and hydrologic modeling to analyze the impact of varying land-cover on runoff retention under low rainfall scenarios and large flood events.

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