Colorado State University Engineering Professor Receives the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water

Note to Editors: A photo of Professor Ted Yang is available with the news release at

Saudi Arabia this week honored Chih Ted Yang, a civil engineering professor at Colorado State University, with an international prize for water engineering – one of most prestigious awards for water-related subjects in the world.

Yang is the recipient of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, Surface Water Branch: Sedimentation Control in Surface Water Systems. The honor comes with a personal award of 500,000 Saudi Riyals, or about $133,000.

Yang accepted his award and presented the keynote address on Nov. 16 at the Third International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Yang is the Borland Professor of Water Resources and director of the Hydroscience and Training Center in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. He is a world-renowned expert in sediment transport and river morphology. He developed and published two fundamental laws governing the formation and evolution processes of river systems due to erosion and sedimentation.

While working for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, he developed the Generalized Sediment Transport model for Alluvial River Simulation, or GSTARS, a series of computer models that have been applied in many countries for solving a wide range of river and reservoir sedimentation problems. Yang’s dimensionless unit stream power formula for sediment transport has been ranked by the American Society of Civil Engineers, among others, as the most accurate formula in the world for predicting sediment transport rate and concentration in rivers.

Yang has published three books, five computer model programs and user’s manuals, and more than 100 technical papers. He has received numerous honors and awards for his accomplishments in research and engineering practice from professional societies, universities and government agencies in the United States and in other countries.

"Professor Yang is an example of the kind of faculty member we have at Colorado State University – enterprising, innovative and willing to apply his research and knowledge to real-world problems," said Bill Farland, vice president for Research. "This award is a tremendous honor for him, the College of Engineering and for the university."

"Dr. Yang is unique in that he has been able to develop the basic theory behind erosion and sedimentation as well as apply it," said Luis Garcia, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State. "He has also been able to make significant contributions by writing several books on these subjects that are now widely used throughout the world."

Prior to joining the university in 2004, Yang served as manager of the Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group, Technical Service Center, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, from 1994-2003. Previously he had served as the International and Technical Assistance Program manager for the Bureau and as a hydraulic engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Central Division.

Yang teaches graduate courses in fluvial hydraulics, computer modeling, river morphology and river restoration. He has also developed and conducted technology transfer courses in the United States and other countries.