Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Civiil Engineering, University of Colorado, Denver, 2017
  • M.Sc., Civil Engineering, Power and Water University of Technology, 2006
  • B.Sc., Civil Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, 2004
Licenses & Certifications
  • Professional Engineer Civil, Texas, #137336
  • Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM)
Additional Education & Training
  • HAZWOPER 40-Hour Training, June 2022
Academic Appointments
  • Affiliate Faculty, Global Water Concerns, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department, Metropolitan State University of Denver, 2017-2018.
  • Lecturer, “Engineering and Science Informatics” and “Fundamentals of Sustainability and Climate Change,” Civil Engineering Department, University of Colorado Denver, 2016-2018.
  • Research Assistant, Streamflow Droughts in Major Watershed Regions of the Conterminous US, Civil Engineering Department, University of Colorado Denver, 2013-2017.
Professional Honors
  • Outstanding Graduate Student, University of Colorado Denver, Civil Engineering Department, Denver, CO, 2017.
  • German Academic Exchange Service Scholarship, Summer school on Computer Applications in Civil Engineering, Wuppertal, Germany, 2003.
Professional Affiliations
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • American Meteorological Society (AMS)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFM)
  • Colorado Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Managers (CASFM)

Dr. Pournasiri's expertise includes surface water hydrology and hydraulics, flood control and river engineering, and hydro-climate science. Her expertise in civil and river engineering encompasses both consulting and construction in multiple project phases including planning, designing, developing project documents, and performing site inspections.

Her expertise includes:

  • Forensic hydrology analysis and evaluation
  • Flood control and river engineering
  • Hydrology and watershed analysis (i.e., HEC-HMS)
  • River system analysis and modeling (i.e., HEC-RAS)
  • Characterizing extreme hydro-climate events (i.e., flood, drought) and their land-atmosphere interaction
  • Hydrologic and climate data analysis and evaluation
  • Civil infrastructure cost analysis
  • Computational statistics and data analysis

Dr. Pournasiri has multidisciplinary expertise in fields of the forensic engineering, consulting, and construction. Her consulting experience includes the planning and design of flood control structures, erosion control and river training measures, and surface drainage systems. She also has expertise evaluating water damages including flooding, erosion, and drainage problems using field measurements, engineering analysis, and FEMA base flood elevation and documents. In addition, she has experience estimating construction costs, analyzing delays and loss of productivity, reviewing design drawings and technical reports, and construction site inspections.

Dr. Pournasiri has conducted research on hydro-climatology, human (or anthropogenic) impact, and sustainability. Her doctoral research focused on understanding the multi-faceted nature of streamflow and hydrological drought across US river basins and their association with climate drivers and land-atmosphere interactions. She developed streamflow drought indicators for the major watershed regions across the US and identified regional changes and decadal shifts in hydrological drought, echoing local climatic changes, soil moisture trends, changes in cropping and irrigation practices, and creation of forest plantations. She investigated the spatio-temporal variability of river intermittency indicators across the U.S. and their association with regional and large-scale climate anomalies. In addition, Dr. Pournasiri collaborated with national scientists and regional hydrologists to develop a framework for capturing hydrologic extremes and supporting local water supply planning and management in the southwest US. She used statistical methods to determine how understanding changes in precipitation patterns could potentially help mitigate decreasing regional water supply and how understanding the connection between large-scale weather patterns and local streamflow conditions can support the effective use of non-snow-derived water supplies from extreme precipitation events within southwest basins.