Ximing Cai

Colonel Harry F. and Frankie M. Lovell Endowed Professor
Ven Te Chow Faculty Scholar in Water Resources
Donald Biggar Willett Faculty Scholar

"Water management problems are complex; they require interdisciplinary approaches."

2535c Hydrosystems Laboratory
301 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-4935
(217) 333-0687

Professor Ximing Cai is a research pioneer in integrated hydrologic-economic modeling for river basin management and water systems operations. His current research areas include coupled human-natural system analysis with an emphasis on human interferences in hydrological processes, water-energy-food system modeling especially in dry areas, and sustainable water resources management particularly in developing countries. He has authored or co-authored more than 110 peer-reviewed journal papers, three books and several monographs.  He currently serves as Editor for Water Resources Researchthe flagship journal of water resources, published by the American Geophysical Union, and on the editorial board of other major water journals.  He has received several awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER award and best paper awards from Water International and the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.  He has worked as a consultant to the World Bank, the United Nations and other international agencies. 

Cai teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in water resources engineering, surface water hydrology and application of geographic information systems, and river basin management. Before joining the faculty of the University of Illinois in 2002, Cai served as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C. He is the Ven Te Chow Faculty Scholar in Water Resources and the Donald Biggar Willett Faculty Scholar. He holds a B.S. in Water Resources Engineering (1990) and an M.S. in Hydrology and Water Resources (1994) from Tsinghua University, Beijing, and a Ph.D. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering (1999) from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a registered professional engineer in Maryland and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Geophysical Union and the International Water Resources Association. He has served the U.S. Environmental and Water Resources Institute as committee chair and the IRWA as a member of its board of directors.

Research Overview: 

Dr. Cai’s research interests include large-scale system optimization, river basin planning and management, drought management, water resources economics and policy, geographic information system and spatial statistics, and international water resources development.