Colorado State University Professor Receives Fulbright Appointment to Help Chileans Rebuild

Note to Reporters: A photo of Larry Roesner is available with the news release at

Soon after the 8.8-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunamis hit his native Chile, Colorado State University graduate Jorge Gironas began assembling a team to assist with the development of a strategy for rebuilding towns and water infrastructure.

One of his first calls was to a former mentor, Colorado State University Professor Larry Roesner. This fall, Roesner, a renowned urban water management expert, will travel to Chile as a Senior Fulbright Scholar to help business and university officials develop a manual for state-of-the-art water and wastewater treatment design practices.

“Chileans are forward-thinking people, but they are stuck with these old systems like we have in our cities in the United States,” Roesner said. “I’ll work with them to explore a wiser use of water and to develop an integrated approach to water, wastewater and stormwater management. There better ways to deal with these systems by looking at them as an integrated unit. This results in systems that are more environmentally responsible and cost effective.

“We’ll also adopt sustainable strategies and design of methodologies to assess and minimize environmental impacts associated with the development of natural areas,” Roesner said.

Gironas, who obtained his doctoral degree at Colorado State University, is now an assistant professor in the Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile.

“A key issue is to have experienced people involved in this project, and I cannot think of people better qualified than Dr. Roesner and his team,” Gironas said. “The Chilean experience in terms of developing sustainability measures into water projects, such as the use of graywater, is almost zero. Together, we can have a deep social impact not only in the short term by means of helping these people but also in the longer term so that the entire country can obtain benefits from this reconstruction experience.”

Roesner has more than 40 years of experience in water resources and water quality engineering and management. He is a nationally recognized expert in the development and application of hydrologic, hydraulic and water quality simulation models. He presently holds the endowed Harold H. Short Chair of Civil Engineering Infrastructure Systems at Colorado State University. He has taught undergraduate Senior Design and currently teaches graduate courses on Urban Stormwater Management, Analysis of Urban Water Systems, and Water Quality Modeling.

Roesner’s current research addresses integrated urban water management systems in terms of cost-effective ways to maximize the use of water within an urban system, minimizing potable water demand, and wastewater output through water reuse and excess runoff capture and reuse.

Graywater reuse for residential landscape irrigation and toilet flushing is a major part of his research. Another area of specialization is the development of improved methods of urban runoff management so that urban drainage systems can be turned into urban water resources that are a community amenity and also provide aquatic ecosystem protection/enhancement.