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P.C.D. (Chris) Milly Elected to National Academy of Engineering

June 4th, 2024

P.C.D. (Chris) Milly, Ph.D.

P.C.D. (Chris) Milly, a Research Hydrologist at GFDL from 1988 to 2022, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering for “advances in the understanding of global and continental hydrology and their interactions with a changing climate.” This prestigious recognition places Dr. Milly among 114 new members elected this year for their contributions to engineering research, practice, or education.

Dr. Milly’s election acknowledges his seminal work in hydrology and climate science, especially his insights into the impacts of climate change on freshwater availability. His model development efforts significantly advanced the integration of hydrological processes into global climate models, thereby improving predictions of hydrological extremes such as droughts and floods.

Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Milly was instrumental in leading the development of the land hydrology component of GFDL’s climate models. These models are renowned for their contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports and have aided in shaping global water resource management policies.

Dr. V. Ramaswamy, director of GFDL, remarked, “Chris’s contributions have not only propelled our scientific understanding, but also continuously informed critical water management policies worldwide. His election to the National Academy of Engineering is well-deserved recognition of his impact on hydrology and climate science.” His Science paper, “Stationarity is Dead: Whither Water Management” (2008) has become a declarative statement on the changing climate.

Dr. Milly’s work not only aligns with GFDL’s mission to predict and understand the Earth’s climate system but also highlights his leadership in advancing sustainable water management practices amid a changing climate. He holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Currently, he is a Scientist Emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey.

This year’s election highlights Dr. Milly’s significant contributions within a class of peers who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.” He will be formally inducted on September 29, 2024.