Barbara E Minsker, Ph.D, P.E.

Barbara E. Minsker, Ph.D, P.E.

Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering 
Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Professor of Leadership & Global Entrepreneurship

Office Location: Embrey Building 203F


Send Email



  • Ph.D. Cornell University, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 1995.
  • B.S. with Distinction, Cornell University, Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, 1986.


Barbara Minsker, PhD, PE, is the Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Professor of Leadership and Global Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University and a Senior Fellow at the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity. Her research currently focuses on improving urban water and infrastructure sustainability and resilience using systems analysis and data analytics. Dr. Minsker has served as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on $25 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, US Army Research Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Office of Naval Research, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Microsoft, ADM, and John Deere. She has received numerous awards for her research, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, Fellow of the ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI), and the ASCE Margaret S. Petersen Award. Dr. Minsker was previously Professor and Arthur and Virginia Nauman Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She holds a BS in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering with Distinction and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University.

Honors and Awards

  • 1991 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship
  • 1998 NSF CAREER Award
  • 1999-2000 National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Faculty Fellow
  • 2000 Army Young Investigator Award
  • 2000 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers (PECASE)
  • 2001-2002 Center for Advanced Study Fellow
  • 2001-2016 Arthur and Virginia Nauman Faculty Scholar, University of Illinois
  • 2003 Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Invitation Fellowship Program
  • 2003 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize
  • 2005 ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) Outstanding Achievement Award
  • 2006 Xerox Award for Faculty Research
  • 2008-2011 University Scholar
  • 2012 EWRI Service to the Profession Award
  • 2015 Leadership Illinois, Class of 2015
  • 2017 Fellow, ASCE EWRI
  • 2018 Best Paper Award, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC ’18)
  • 2019 ASCE Margaret S. Petersen Award




  • Urban sustainability and resilience

  • Flood prediction and response

  • Green infrastructure and nature-based solutions

  • Infrastructure equity

  • Machine learning

  • Crowd-sourced data

  • Systems analysis

Recent Publications

  • Safaei Moghadam, A., D. Tarboton, B. Minsker “Estimating the likelihood of roadway pluvial flood based on crowdsourced traffic data and depression-based DEM analysis,” Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences,, 23, 1-19, 2022.

  • Li, Z., X. Wang, J. Zarazaga, J. Smith-Colin, B. Minsker “Do Infrastructure Deserts Exist? Measuring and Mapping Infrastructure Equity: A case study in Dallas, Texas, USA,” Cities,, 130, 2022.

  • Heidari, B., A. Schmidt, and B. Minsker, “Cost/benefit assessment of green infrastructure: Spatial scale effects on uncertainty and sensitivity,” Journal of Environmental Management,, 302, 2022.

  • Xu, W., P. Collingsworth, R. Kraus, and B. Minsker, "Spatio-temporal Analysis of Hypoxia in the Central Basin of Lake Erie of North America," Water Resources Research,, 2021.

  • Zhao, T., and B. Minsker, “Efficient Meta-Model Approach to Handling Constraints in Nonlinear Optimization for Drought Management,” Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management,, 147(12), 2021.