Robert B. Sowby, M.Eng., P.E., M.ASCE, ENV SP

Rob Sowby

Combining research and consulting experience, Rob Sowby has contributed to over 100 engineering projects throughout North America. He is a water resources engineer with particular expertise in hydroinformatics, the water–energy nexus, hydraulic modeling, geospatial analysis, and infrastructure planning. With strong writing and presentation skills, Sowby has published and lectured nationally on these and other topics. He studied civil and environmental engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brigham Young University and is now a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Utah’s Urban Water Group. Sowby’s other interests include classical music, mountaineering, business, German literature, and travel (50 states + 27 countries and counting).

Professional Experience

Hansen, Allen & Luce, Inc. (present)
Water Resources Engineer

Salt Lake Community College
Adjunct Faculty, Natural Sciences

Brigham Young University
Research Assistant, Hydrology

Applied Geotechnical Engineering Consultants, Inc.
Laboratory Technician


University of Utah
Ph.D. Candidate, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Urban Water Group
Dissertation: “New Techniques to Analyze Energy Use and Inform Sustainable Planning, Design, and Operation of Public Water Systems”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M.Eng., Civil and Environmental Engineering
Thesis: “Hydrologic and Hydraulic Assessment of Artificial Recharge in the Sparta Aquifer of Union County, Arkansas”

Harvard University
Graduate studies, environmental and ecological sciences

Brigham Young University
B.S., Civil Engineering
B.A., German Studies (secondary major)
Minor, Mathematics

Selected Publications

Learn to Launch: A Guide to Starting New Projects
Book, 2017

Discussion of “Systems Analysis and Optimization of Local Water Supplies in Los Angeles”
Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, in press

Jordan Valley Water Redefines Sustainable Water Supply Through Energy Management
Journal AWWA, October 2017

Survey of Energy Requirements for Public Water Supply in the United States
Journal AWWA, July 2017
Accompanying dataset: Energy Intensity Data for Public Water Supply in the United States

Hydraulic Modeling Finds, Fixes Chlorine Residual Gaps
Opflow, June 2017

Energy Management in the Water Sector: A Major Sustainability Opportunity
ECWS-1, November 2016

Mapping Salt Lake City’s Variable Water Use: A Case Study in Resource Management
Directions Magazine, March 2016

The Water Storage Trio: Planning Equalization, Fire Suppression, and Emergency Storage
Water Efficiency, March/April 2016

Drought-Proof Design: Desalination Offers Alternative Water Supply
Water Efficiency, November/December 2015

Logan, Utah: A Case Study in Water and Energy Efficiency
Journal AWWA, August 2015

From the Ground Up: LiDAR Technology Helps Manage Water Resources
Water Efficiency, June 2015

Rethinking Stream Crossings for Humans and Animals: Four Examples from New England
NEWEA Journal, Summer 2015

Five Years Later: A Comparison of Flow Measurement Techniques during the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill
EWRI Currents, Winter 2015

Water System Optimization: Aligning Energy Efficiency, System Performance, and Water Quality
Journal AWWA, June 2014

Master Planning Your Water System: Five Benefits and a Case Study
WE&T, May 2014

The Urban Water Cycle: Sustaining Our Modern Cities
National Geographic Water Currents, March 2014


Selected Presentations

“Water Resources Engineering: A 21st Century Challenge,” invited lecture, Salt Lake Community College, 2015

“Public Water Supply: How Much Energy Does It Take?” invited lecture, Geofluids Seminar, Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), 2016

“Public Water Supply: How Much Energy Does It Take?” invited lecture, Spatio-Temporal Isotope Analytics Lab, University of Utah, 2017

“Energy and Public Water Supply,” invited lecture, Sustainable Urban Water Engineering class, University of Utah, 2017

“Energy Requirements for Public Water Services in the United States,” World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, 2017


Wasatch Water Review
American Society of Civil Engineers
American Water Works Association
National Geographic Society
Utah Geographic Information Council


Professional Engineer: Utah, Massachusetts