The Water Institute of the Gulf welcomes Hugh Roberts as the new Vice President for Engineering

Feb 4, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. (Feb. 4, 2018) – Hugh Roberts, who spent years with Arcadis working on numerical modeling and resilience issues, will be joining The Water Institute of the Gulf in March as Vice President for Engineering. Roberts’ numerical modeling background and experience as the national leader for Urban and Coastal Resilience at Arcadis are exceptional skillsets to support the Institute’s mission to bring an integrated approach to address our state and nation’s most complex challenges for coastal communities. In his role, Roberts will lead the Institute’s team of numerical modelers and resilience experts, with a focus on generating innovative solutions to help communities become more resilient in the face of growing challenges.

“We are so excited to have someone of Hugh’s caliber and with his knowledge of coastal systems and resilient communities join us as we work with partners all over the state and around the world,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, Institute President and CEO. “His experience in coastal modeling, flood risk, and resilience helps grow our abilities and those of our staff as he provides mentorship for our younger engineers, planners, and scientists.”

Roberts earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from The University of Notre Dame. Through his career, Roberts has led numerical modeling based studies throughout Louisiana and the country to assess coastal and fluvial flood risks, support the design of ecosystem restoration and flood protection projects, and evaluate environmental impacts. He has played a leading role in recent studies in the Gulf Coast in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the state of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority including the development of the 2012 and the 2017 Coastal Master Plans.

Beyond the Gulf Coast, Roberts has experience across the country working with municipalities and regions facing climate change driven economic, societal and environmental risks. Roberts has played leading roles in the development of New York City’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency post Hurricane Sandy; Climate Ready Boston, a 2016 initiative to create a systematic and comprehensive framework for combating climate change; HUD funded Rebuild by Design and National Disaster Resilience Competitions projects in Bridgeport (CT) and New York City; and recently the San Francisco Seawall Earthquake Safety and Disaster Prevention Program, planning for the city’s seismic and coastal flooding challenges along its iconic waterfront.

“Following Hurricane Katrina, Coastal Louisiana became my second home. I spent the better part of my first decade in the field working intimately with practitioners and leaders across the state. Louisiana is a place I continue to return to because of the fascinating work and the really great people I’ve gotten to work with,” Roberts said. “Joining the Institute provides a unique opportunity to focus on applying research to tackle issues that impact not only coastal Louisiana, but cities and regions across the U.S.” Roberts and his wife, Amy, have two children Hugh III, 3, and Caroline, 16 months.

Roberts photo available here.