ASCE has honored Michael D. Dukes, Ph.D., P.E., F.EWRI, with the 2023 Royce J. Tipton Award for work contributing to improving irrigation efficiency.

Dukes is a renowned scientist/educator who is nationally and internationally recognized for his significant contributions to soil and water resources engineering, irrigation systems engineering, and agricultural  and urban water management that focuses on maximizing irrigation efficiency. His research and extension/outreach program has resulted in the successful development, promotion, and significant adoption of durable, economical, and accurate newer tools and technologies in the area of irrigation engineering to conserve water and energy consumption, and this includes “smart” irrigation controllers such as soil moisture sensor and evapotranspiration-based irrigation controllers. Dukes’ team has shown that the use of these devices can reduce irrigation by as much as 60% in real-world settings while maintaining good landscape quality.

His other contributions lay in the application of engineering and research-based information to educate citizens, state and federal water-related-agency personnel, graduate students, USDA-NRCS field engineers, undergraduate students, and other professionals in enhancing the efficiency of irrigation systems to minimize losses and reduce water and energy use in agricultural and urban settings.  

The Royce J. Tipton Award recognizes contributions to the advancement of irrigation and drainage engineering in teaching, research, planning, design, construction, or management.