Anand Govindaswamy, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, senior lead consultant, risk/reliability/decision analytics, systems engineering at WSP-Golder, has been named a fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Govindaswamy is a leader whose approach to engineering involves integrating systems thinking, probability and statistics, decision theory, management and strategic planning, and construction engineering to develop risk management solutions for engineered systems including the organizations that build and operate them. He has developed innovative engineering solutions and formulated impactful technical insights on the response of critical infrastructure systems to natural and anthropogenic hazards.
He has also advanced the state-of-practice in applications of risk and reliability to transportation and hurricane protection infrastructure, power generation, transmission and distribution systems, and environmental preservation. His contributions include the development of an enterprise-wide risk management framework for a $10 billion U.S. utility to strategically manage physical access infrastructure servicing critical operations under the threat of natural and anthropogenic hazards, and a risk-based asset management framework for the Federal Highway Administration, among other ventures.
Govindaswamy has made fundament al contributions to the understanding and evaluation of the erosion resistance of soils through his work on bridge scour and overtopping of earth structures. Between 2006 and 2008, he served as a soil erosion expert on two National Science Foundation teams that investigated levee overtopping erosional failures due to overtopping during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the historic flooding in the Midwest U.S. in 2008. This work led to a greatly improved understanding of the erosion resistance of soils subjected to overtopping flows.
His co-authored publications resulting from these volunteer activities have been cited in diverse literature, including those published by ASCE, American Society for Public Administration, Environmental Law Institute, Computing Research Association, California Natural Resources Agency, American Geological Society, and the Safety & Reliability Society. He has also provided critical insights into a key failure mechanism of floodwalls in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina by independently developing complex numerical models to evaluate scour at overtopped floodwalls. This effort, performed in support of the Department of Justice in a multibillion-dollar class action lawsuit, provided valuable insights into plausible floodwall failure modes during the hurricane.
Between 2015 and 2019, Govindaswamy served as program manager of a $6 million seismic consulting contract to evaluate EPA and state regulatory compliance of coal combustion residuals (CCR) disposal facilities at five major power plants in the Southeastern U.S. The program involved significant technical and temporal complexity, requiring solutions without precedent in engineering practice. This necessitated extending the limits of current engineering practice by incrementally stripping down unnecessary overconservatism to optimize options and economy, without compromising safety. This program ensured the $10 billion utility client met critical government deadlines, averting potential power disruptions to an equivalent of approximately 3.5 million homes, and ultimately saved the utility more than $140 million in operations costs.