Lianwu Liu, 51, passed away due to a tragedy in Davis on May 06, 2018. Lianwu was a loving husband, a dedicated father of three sons, an attentive son, a beloved brother and a caring friend.
Lianwu was born on September 14, 1966 in Tianjin, China. After growing up in his hometown and attending Tianjin University for the bachelor and master degree in Mechanics major, Lianwu came to US and obtained a PhD in Clarkson University under his advisor Professor Hung Tao Shen.
Lianwu is an accomplished scientist and scholar. During his PhD research on the dynamics of ice transport and jamming in rivers, Lianwu accomplished in the area of the ice dynamics model which has been applied to rivers in the U.S. and around the world. The model was and still is the only existing model capable of simulating river ice dynamics and ice jam processes. Lianwu’s outstanding work resulted in the award of R. Larry Gerard Medal for best paper by the Canadian Geophysical Union, Hydrology Section – CRIPE. Because of his exceptional background in the field of hydraulic, he was invited back to research group in Clarkson by Professor Hung Tao Shen to continue on river ice research from 2002 to 2005. During that period, Lianwu was responsible for the development of the comprehensive river ice simulation system which is still the only general river ice simulating system in the world. The success of this modeling system was largely attribute to Lianwu’s strong analytical and computer modeling ability.
In 2008, Lianwu joined in the Department of Water Resources (DWR) in California state and had been an important part of the DWR for almost nine and a half years. One of Lianwu’s major focuses was the Delta Simulation Model 2 (DSM2), a hydrodynamic and water quality model of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which is the primary Delta model utilized by DWR and is also used by several other state, federal and local agencies in California to support decisions balancing water supply for California cities, farms and the environment. Lianwu’s work on DSM2 provided the necessary foundation for utilizing the model to inform important decisions in times of crisis (drought) and for longer term water operations planning. Lianwu also worked on developing an application of flood flow modeling using a more complex model SCHISM. His work will aid in determining the flooding risk to lands behind Delta levees when higher river flows occur. Additionally Lianwu provided modeling support for the California WaterFix, a $15 billion project to move flows through large tunnels under the Delta while also providing flows and habitat for various fish species. Lianwu mentored others and provided his expertise to support other projects including modeling and understanding water use by farmers in the Delta. Lianwu utilized his expertise in hydrodynamics and modeling to help California better understand and balance uses of its water resources.
Lianwu was an honest and caring friend. He was tenacious in his work. He will be missed.