Brian P. Bledsoe, a scholar with more than 25 years of experience as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist in the private and public sectors, has been appointed the inaugural Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor in Resilient Infrastructure in the University of Georgia College of Engineering.
The board of regents made the special appointment at its January meeting. Bledsoe will join the engineering faculty this month.
“Dr. Bledsoe brings a tremendous record of accomplishment to the University of Georgia College of Engineering, and he will play a major role in the continuing growth of our academic program and our research enterprise,” said Donald J. Leo, dean of the college. “I sincerely thank our partners in the Athletic Association for supporting our mission to educate the next generation of engineers.”
Bledsoe’s research is focused on the interface of hydrology, ecology and urban water sustainability with an emphasis on the sustainability and resiliency of green infrastructure including streams, floodplains and stormwater systems. His work is currently funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.
“On the most fundamental level, our research is about understanding how rivers and watersheds work—their physical and biological interconnections,” Bledsoe said. “Ultimately, we translate that understanding into engineering strategies and designs that provide resilient water and transportation infrastructure for people while conserving the services and functions of ecosystems.”
Bledsoe earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, his master’s in restoration ecology, forestry and hydrology from North Carolina State University and his doctorate in civil engineering from Colorado State University.
Bledsoe joins UGA from Colorado State, where he was a professor of civil and environmental engineering. He joined the CSU engineering faculty in 2000 as an assistant professor and served as an associate professor from 2007 to 2013. Among his accomplishments at CSU, Bledsoe designed and established an ecological engineering program for undergraduates in environmental engineering.
Before joining CSU, Bledsoe worked in the private sector as a surveyor and consulting engineer and for the state of North Carolina as a watershed restoration specialist and state nonpoint source program coordinator. Bledsoe is a licensed professional civil engineer in North Carolina and Colorado.
The National Science Foundation presented Bledsoe with a CAREER Award in 2006 to examine the efficacy of stream restoration for improving water quality. He served as a Fulbright Scholar in Chile where he worked on hydropower and river sustainability in 2008. In addition, Bledsoe has served as an expert peer reviewer on the Platte River and San Juan River Recovery Implementation Programs, the Everglades and Louisiana Coastal Area restoration efforts and the U.S. EPA Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program.
Bledsoe has served as principal investigator on more than $4 million in sponsored research. He currently serves as a co-principal investigator on a $12 million project funded by the National Science Foundation that seeks to create sustainable urban water systems. Bledsoe has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.
“UGA provides a great context for developing innovative curricula that integrate engineering problem solving and creativity with a well-rounded liberal arts education,” Bledsoe said. “I’m also looking forward to collaborating in water resources research with world-class scholars within the college and across campus. I’m from northwest Georgia, so it’s a homecoming and a great opportunity to serve my home state.”