Friday, November 3, 2017

Senior Hydraulic Engineer Position at WEST Consultants

Fellow HEC-RAS Modelers-

I am looking for a senior water resources engineer to come work in my office for WEST Consultants, Inc.  Specifically I'm looking for someone who is technically sound in hydraulic modeling, preferably with the HEC suite of software, but also can manage teams of hydraulic modelers, has experience and interest in business development (networking and marketing), and can use his or her background and experience to mentor staff. 

This position will be filled for our Portland Oregon office, of which I am the manager.  If you are interested, please send a cover letter and CV to
Read on for more detail...


WEST Consultants, Inc. is seeking qualified applicants for a Mid/Senior Level Water Resources Engineering position in our Portland, Oregon location.  WEST Consultants is a small business firm providing government and private clients with engineering consulting services.  We offer a dynamic work environment where our talented teams are solving some of the most challenging projects in water resources engineering. 
Responsibilities may include:
  • Hydrologic, hydraulic, geomorphic, sediment transport, and water quality analysis
  • Develop numerical models for hydrologic, hydraulic, sediment transport, and water quality studies
  • Hydraulic structure design
  • Flood hazard delineation
  • Design of stormwater management facilities
  • Environmental impact assessment and mitigation
  • Prepare design and construction documents, figures, maps and graphics
  • Prepare technical reports and documents
  • Business development/marketing

Experience Requirements:
Minimum 5-10 years related experience.
Skill Requirements:
In addition to being enthusiastic about working in the field of water resources, the successful candidate should have the following skills:
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work independently & manage time as well as work as part of a team
  • Excellent problem solving abilities
  • Familiarity with HEC numerical models

Educational Requirements:
MS or PhD in Civil or Environmental Engineering or water resources related field is required.
P.E. Registration required.
If you meet the qualifications and requirements listed above, and want to be a part of this respected company, please submit your resume to

WEST Consultants, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we value workplace diversity. We invite resumes from all interested parties. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.

As a federal contractor, WEST Consultants, Inc. participates in E-Verify to validate the employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Having fun with HEC-RAS?

Written by Krey Price  |  Director, Surface Water Solutions
Copyright © The RAS Solution 2017.  All rights reserved. 

I’ve been seeing some cool applications of HEC-RAS from around the world lately. Here are some articles showing a few ways we’ve been putting HEC-RAS to use down under.

Making Middle Zealand
Did you know that the only thing keeping New Zealand’s two main islands from being split into three is a little 2-km wide piece of land just south of Auckland? What do you think would happen if you dug a ditch through this strip? Last time I drove across it, I asked myself that question…and then I let HEC-RAS tell me the answer! This article covers terrain manipulation and tidal boundary conditions in HEC-RAS with the construction of a canal that severs Northland from New Zealand’s North Island. The tides on either side of the island are out of phase with each other, so you get some really cool mixing with the alternating current. Have a read and give it a shot yourself!

Creating Rating Curves in HEC-RAS 2D Models
HEC-RAS does a great job providing you with rating curves for 1D models, but how about 2D? It takes a bit of additional effort, but this article walks you through the process of generating a rating curve from your existing 2D model. You may find – as we did in the example covered in the article – that the uncertainties in your rating curve are greater than you thought. Try it yourself by following along with this example, and see if you find yourself wanting to recalibrate your gauge!

Disappearing Terrain?
Do you get frustrated when your terrain disappears in HEC-RAS? Don’t fret, here are some simple workarounds for getting it back!  
My HEC-RAS Wish List
Speaking of workarounds, the HEC Spring 2017 Newsletter included a preview of what's new in Version 5.1 (see article on Page 20). They'll be adding some handy new features, but here's my HEC-RAS wish list that includes a compilation of suggestions gathered from hundreds of course attendees over the last year and a half since Version 5.0 was released. You may wish to submit your own on the Forum Page of the The RAS Solution.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

1D/2D HEC-RAS Workshop in Brisbane Australia

ICE WaRM joins with internationally respected HEC-RAS authors and mentors to offer training in Version 5.0 of HEC-RAS, a highly regarded global water modelling package, available for free download and support from the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The new HEC-RAS Version includes two-dimensional floodplain modelling, unsteady sediment transport, bank erosion, water quality, and the RAS Mapper GIS interface.

Join us for a hands-on, 1-week overview of this latest version of HEC-RAS 1D+2D.  The week consists of five courses, run consecutively; that's 1 course per day for 5 days.  You can attend any combination of courses with respect to your level of experience and understanding.

WHAT:                 HEC-RAS Water Modelling: 1D+2D Hands-On Workshops
WHEN:                 Mon 11th - Fri 15th Sept 2017
WHERE                 BRISBANE, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
PRESENTERS:     Krey Price, Mark Forest, Rob Keller
REGISTRATION: 20% Discount for Early Bird Registrations by Mon 21st August 2017.
                              To gain another 20% Discount please add to Comments Field: “TP Aug Blog”
FULL DETAILS:    Click here.
FLYER:                  Click here.
CONTACT:            Trevor Pillar:

See examples below:


Friday, June 23, 2017

New Geospatial editing tools coming in HEC-RAS Version 5.1

Written by Chris Goodell  |  WEST Consultants, Inc.
Copyright © The RAS Solution 2017.  All rights reserved

New geospatial editing tools are currently in development for the next version of HEC-RAS-Version 5.1.  While no date has been set for the release of Version 5.1, it is expected sometime within the next year or two.  But no guarantees!  This will be an exciting new addition to HEC-RAS in that users will no longer be reliant on 3rd party software like ArcGIS or AutoCAD to develop geometric features like cross sections, river lines, flow lines, storage and 2D areas, etc.  All of this will be done within the HEC-RAS program environment.  And this will effectively eliminate the need for HEC-GeoRAS.

HEC recently published it's Spring 2017 Newsletter, which has a very nice article by Cameron Ackerman ,P.E., D.WRE on some of the new tools and capabilities that will be available within HEC-RAS Version 5.1 for extracting GIS information from digital terrain models.  The newsletter can be read here:

Cameron's article on new geometric editing features in Version 5.1 starts on page 20.  

The new geospatial editing toolbar will serve as the base point for adding and editing geospatial features in HEC-RAS and will be docked to the RAS Mapper window.  It includes editing tools for adding new features, selecting/editing features, undo and redo, and  plotting terrain profiles.

With these tools, you'll be able to add geospatial features and interact with them directly within HEC-RAS.  Here you see the ability to move stream centerline points in RAS Mapper:

HEC also plans to have interactive help messaging while working in the geospatial environment to help the user identify errors in the geometry setup.  The following figure shows help messages for locations where bank lines do not intersect cross sections, which would result in missing bank stations.

These new features will make it much easier to identify problems with your model construction and fix those problems without having to leave HEC-RAS.  Here we see a poor definition of study limits not allowing for proper mapping of the flood inundation zone.  By quickly adjusting the study limit polygon, a more appropriate inundation map can be drawn.

This is just a brief preview of all of the exciting geospatial editing tools HEC-RAS will include in Version 5.1.  Please read the article by Cameron Ackerman in the HEC Spring 2017 Newsletter for more information.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wormhole Island - "What's the Best Shape for a Wormhole Culvert?"

Written by Krey Price  |  Director, Surface Water Solutions
Copyright © The RAS Solution 2017.  All rights reserved
A recent question was posted on the HEC-RAS blog regarding the optimal shape of the SA/2D Area Connection alignment for a wormhole culvert – in particular, whether a “Z” shape or “S” shape would be preferable. My apologies in advance for the drawn-out response, but I’ve had this question come up a number of times in class and thought I’d post some of my whiteboard sketches along with some random thoughts on the topic:
“Z” or “S”?
If you draw a “Z” shape, the order in which the vertices are entered will determine the direction of flow (always oriented from left to right looking downstream in HEC-RAS). The following image shows four different ways to draw a “Z”-shaped connection along with the associated orientation of flow that will be assumed in HEC-RAS. In the case of a wormhole culvert, flow could enter the “wormhole” at any of the green arrows (or at any point along each of the adjacent faces) and exit along any of the faces indicated by the red arrows. Wormhole culvert inlets and outlets typically wouldn’t be located along the diagonal segment of the “Z”, but directional arrows are shown along those segments to illustrate how the orientation of flow is preserved along the entire shape:

Read more here:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Putting Wormhole Culverts to the Test

Written by Krey Price  |  Director, Surface Water Solutions
Copyright © The RAS Solution 2017.  All rights reserved. 

The original post about “Wormhole Culverts” received thousands of hits, and many HEC-RAS users are now applying this method regularly in their models; but how valid are the hydraulics over the full range of open channel flow, pressure flow, and weir flow? Given the amount of use they are getting, it’s high time to put wormhole culverts to the test!

This test run assesses wormhole culverts against other approaches for modelling hydraulic structures in 1D and 2D model reaches.

The results show very similar water surface profiles between the various methods. The wormhole method provides the ability to correctly display terrain data for roadways and bridge decks in viewing plan and profile results.

While coupled 1D-2D reaches would still be required for detailed bridge designs in HEC-RAS, wormhole culverts appear to be a viable means of accounting for bridges and culverts with substantial terrain detail between the inlet and outlet that is subject to 2-dimensional flood flows.

Read more about the model setup and results here.

Monday, May 8, 2017

European HEC Software Workshop - London July 25-27 2017

JBA Consulting will be hosting another HEC Software Workshop this summer.

Back for 2017

This is the second software workshop in Europe dedicated to the HEC hydraulic and hydrological modelling software – HEC-RAS, HEC-HMS, HEC-DSS and HEC-ResSim.

We are working with the team at Hydrologic Engineering Center plus other leading users of the HEC software bringing you the chance to meet, learn, explore and discover the HEC software which is available for free.
This event will be packed with key-note presentations, master-classes, case studies and time to network with fellow modellers and researchers. The workshops and case studies will feature the latest thinking from some of the leading experts in this area, giving you practical solutions to take away with you. Offering you the flexibility of three ways to attend:
  • One day workshop
  • Two day training course
  • Three day event
There will be particular emphasis on HEC-HMS and the two day training course will focus on its use in flood forecasting, routing methods and rainfall-runoff approaches.

Check the following link for more information: