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Kazungu Maitaria, Ph.D.

Subject Matter Expert

Kazungu Maitaria, Ph.D., is a Subject Matter Expert for the firm’s water resources group. His responsibilities include coordinating with the engineering team, other divisions and clients on all aspects of project execution. He creates complex hydrologic and hydraulic models and analyses and develops comprehensive watershed master plans to protect communities from flooding, improve water quality, and increase watershed resiliency.

Dr. Maitaria is a Fulbright scholar with over 16 years of engineering experience with expert knowledge of a broad range of environmental issues and is a research scientist, lecturer, civil engineer, student mentor, and published author. Being afforded doctoral training opportunities through the Fulbright Scholarship, National Science Foundation and Swiss-based World Laboratory allowed Dr. Maitaria to pursue cutting-edge doctoral studies in highest-ranked and most renowned graduate departments in the United States and Europe. It was in these laboratories that he learned how to address questions of societal importance from leaders in science, business and engineering. Working in three continents afforded him the splendors of many life experiences and personal interactions that have contributed to his growth as an engineering scientist who appreciates the value of diversity.

Dr. Maitaria’s contributions in addressing complicated and important interdisciplinary questions in hydrology, engineering and oceanography have earned him a significant level of scientific trust among federal agencies. Dr. Maitaria had the great fortune of working at the only U.S. National Water Center—a very distinctive laboratory—where they sought to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts. In addition, Dr. Maitaria performed research and assisted in recommending, developing, and establishing US national policies and techniques for statistical analysis of precipitation data, authored technical reports such as the ATLAS 14 and has presented numerous papers at international scientific meetings in the US, Europe and Africa.

Area of Expertise

Dr. Maitaria is an analytical, highly adaptable engineer and applied scientist with extensive experience in multiple professional capacities as a research scientist, lecturer, civil engineer, student mentor, and published author as enumerated below.

1. Expert level of skill in scientific and technical aspects of surface and subsurface hydrology; is called upon for authoritative advice regarding its science, result interpretation, and updating the US highway design standards in tandem with the non-stationarity characteristics of climatology (has co-authored many ATLAS 14).

2. Advanced knowledge and skills in configuring and deployment of hydrologic, hydraulic, hydrodynamic and watershed models (e.g., HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS, DFlow FM, MODFLOW) for water resources applications.

3. Thorough understanding of the methods and procedures for conducting independent or collaborative scientific research and operation (including knowledge of research instruments, measurements and data quality control procedures).

4. Demonstrated mathematical computer skills, statistical analysis, time series analysis techniques, differential equations, integration, complex numbers, and proficiency in numerical methods.

5. Skill in software development in MATLAB and working knowledge of Python, UNIX, LINUX, and Windows/NT systems and experience in using ArcGIS tools to manage, edit, and analyze geospatial data and to produce report-ready maps.

6. Demonstrated ability to lead and participate in award-winning development of new funding proposals and reviews proposals for US agencies.

7. Demonstrated ability to establish positive and productive collaborations with diverse groups. Additionally, effective written, oral and interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with lay persons and other professionals outside my discipline.

8. Proficiency in languages beyond English (e.g., Swahili, Flemish, Kuria, Luo).

Personal Life

To be able to reach this very special point in my career, I have also been blessed with many amazing things and find it important to retain a healthy work-life balance (a living proof it’s not necessary to be a one-dimensional workaholic to be successful). I am as comfortable on a bicycle or wooden stove as on a keyboard and I make time for my large African family, mentors and friends. But, most of all, I have been blessed by having the most wonderful daughter, Ghati-Kazungu, who’s coming to live with me in the Cajun country.

Professional Memberships

• Lead Expert for National Environment Management Authority – Kenya
• Member of the Institution of Engineers – Kenya
• Fellow America Geophysical Union (AGU) – USA

Achievements

• The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Science and Technology Award (2002 – 2011)
• World Laboratory Scholarship, Switzerland (2002−2003)
• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Grant# NA16GP2002) (2005−2008)
• Royal Kingdom of Belgium grant (ABOS) (1996−1998)

Education

Ph.D. Hydrology; with a minor in Civil Engineering: The University of Arizona, USA; Advisor: Regents’ Professor Jim Shuttleworth, Ph.D. (with co-advisor David Gochis, Ph.D., NCAR)

M.Sc. (Great Distinction) Water Resources Engineering, Institute of Land and Water Resources, The
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven), and Department of Hydrology, Free University of Brussels (VUB), Belgium.

B.Sc. (Honors) Civil Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science, College of Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Community

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF-OCB Nairobi), doctors without borders: improving the infrasture at the clinic in Kibera slum, Kenya