Patrick M. Reid

Joseph C. Ford Professor of Engineering
Environmental Engineering


Dr. Reed received his Bachelors of Science in Geological Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla in 1997. He then continued his graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At graduation in 2002, the University of Illinois honored Dr. Reed with the Ross J. Martin Award for Outstanding Research Achievement. This award is given to one graduating doctoral candidate selected across the departments that compose the University of Illinois’s College of Engineering. After graduating with his PhD from Illinois in 2002, Dr. Reed was on the faculty in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) from 2002-2013. During his time at Penn State, he received the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Career award in 2007. In 2008, Dr. Reed was a visiting scholar in the School of Engineering, Computing, and Mathematics at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and also received the ASCE/EWRI Outstanding Achievement Award. Dr. Reed’s research group members while at Penn State garnered a broad range of national and international honors including EPA STAR and NSF fellowships, paper awards, speaking awards and dissertation honors. In 2012, he was honored with the ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize for his work in multiobjective systems analysis. Dr. Reed joined Cornell University as a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2013.

Research Interests

Dr. Reed’s primary research interests relate to sustainable water management given conflicting demands from renewable energy systems, ecosystem services, expanding populations, and climate change. The tools developed in Dr. Reed’s group bridge sustainability science, risk management, economics, multiobjective decision making, operations research, computer science, and high performance computing. Engineering design and decision support software developed by Dr. Reed has been used broadly in governmental and industrial application areas (e.g., civil infrastructure planning and management, airline logistics, and US satellite constellation design and management). His open source and free academic software related to multiobjective optimization has thousands of users across the world. (Open source framework for multiobjective optimization) (Top benchmark algorithm for solving challenging applications)

Additionally, Dr. Reed has licensed DecisionVis, LLC to distribute and support commercial licensing of his research group’s decision support tools. (free academic licensing for visualization tools)

He also coordinates Water Programming: A Collaborative Research Blog for detailing key tips and tricks for using his decision support tools in practice.

The above resources are meant to advance design and management of complex engineered systems.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Reed has taught a broad range of courses over the past decade focused on fluid mechanics, groundwater hydrology, water resources engineering, decision making under uncertainty, and systems optimization using evolutionary computation. At Cornell, Dr. Reed’s teaching portfolio will encompass water resources systems analysis, decision analysis, and multiobjective design of complex engineered systems.

Service Interests

Dr. Reed has been very active within the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI). His early EWRI service from 2002-2008 strongly focused on the Groundwater Management Technical Committee and aiding in the establishment of the Groundwater Council. He chaired the Groundwater Symposia from 2006-2008 and helped to establish the Pioneers in Groundwater Award. In 2007 as the array of application areas for Dr. Reed’s many-objective visual analytics and model diagnostics research broadened, he transitioned to taking a leadership role in the Environmental and Water Resources Systems (EWRS) Technical Committee as well as the Planning and Management Council within EWRI. Dr. Reed also is also on the editorial boards of Water Resources Research, the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning & Management, Advances in Water Resources, as well as Environmental Modelling and Software.

Selected Publications

  • Zeff, H B., J D. Herman, P M. Reed, G W Characklis.  2016. “Cooperative drought adaptation: Integrating infrastructure development, conservation, and water transfers into adaptive policy pathways.”  Water Resources Research 52 (9): 7327-7346.
  • Herman, J D., H B. Zeff, J R. Lamontagne, P M. Reed, G W Characklis.  2016. “Synthetic Drought Scenario Generation to Support Bottom-Up Water Supply Vulnerability Assessments.”  Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 142 (11): 04016050-04016050.
  • Zatarain Salazar, J., P M. Reed, J D. Herman, M. Giuliani, A Castelletti.  2016. “A Diagnostic Assessment of Evolutionary Algorithms for Multi-Objective Surface Water Reservoir Control.”  Advances in Water Resources 92: 172-185.
  • Garner, G., P. Reed, K Keller.  2016. “Climate risk management requires explicit representation of societal trade-offs.”  Climatic Change134 (4): 713-723.
  • Kasprzyk, J R., P M. Reed, D M Hadka.  2016. “Battling Arrow’s Paradox to Discover Robust Water Management Alternatives.”  Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 142 (2): 04015053-04015053.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Biennial Medalist and Society Fellow for Exceptional Research Contributions to Environmental Modeling and Software, International Environmental Modelling & Software Society 2016
  • Quentin Martin Best Practice Paper for the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning & Management 2016
  • Doctoral student Joseph Kasprzyk awarded Best Dissertation in Science and Engineering (Universities Council on Water Resources)2014
  • Quentin Martin Best Practice Paper for the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning & Management 2014
  • ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize 2012


  • BS (Geological Engineering), University of Missouri, 1997
  • MS (Civil and Environmental Engineering), University of Illinois, 1999
  • Ph D (Civil and Environmental Engineering), University of Illinois, 2002