R. Edward Beighley

COE Distinguished Professor and Associate Chair for Faculty,  Civil and Environmental Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Marine and Environmental Sciences


Social Media


  • 401 Snell Engineering Center
  • 617.373.3368

Related Links

Research Focus

Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling; remote sensing of the hydrologic cycle; hydrologic impacts of climate and/or land use change; flood hazard and risk assessment


  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland, 2001
  • M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 1996
  • B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 1995

Honors & Awards

  • 2024 Distinguished Faculty Award
  • 2019 Fostering Engineering Innovation in Education Award
  • 2017 COE Faculty Fellow
  • 2014 selected as U.S. Hydrology Applications Lead for the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Satellite Mission
  • 2013 Team Award for advancing worldwide understand of flood hazards, FM Global, Research Division
  • 2009 San Diego State University President’s Top-25 Award for excellent contributions to the University
  • 2006 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, New Investigator Award in Earth-Sun System Science
  • SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing Rising Researcher

Professional Affiliations

  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Environmental and Water Resources Institute

Research Overview

Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling; remote sensing of the hydrologic cycle; hydrologic impacts of climate and/or land use change; flood hazard and risk assessment

The Beighley Lab

Our work links remote sensing, hydrologic modeling, and field work, in order to study the storage, fluxes, and changing quality of the earth’s terrestrial waters. We work at a local, regional, and global scale in order to understand and address anthropogenic eutrophication, assess flood risks, and model the impact of changes in land use and climate.  The goal of our work is to support the sustainable and resilient management of water resources and wet infrastructure.

The Beighley Lab

Selected Research Projects

Selected Publications

  • E. O’Loughlin, J. Neal, G.J.P. Schumann, E. Beighley, P.D. Bates, A LISFLOOD-FP Hydraulic Model of the Middle Reach of the Congo, Journal of Hydrology, 24, 2020, 2253–2267
  • Feng, R.E. Beighley, Identifying Uncertainties in Simulated Streamflow from Hydrologic Model Components for Climate Change Impact Assessments, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 24, 2020, 2253–2267
  • Hossain, M. Bonnema, M. Srinivasan, E. Beighley, et al. The Early Adopter Program for the Surface Water Ocean Topography Satellite Mission: Lessons Learned in Building User Engagement during the Pre-launch Era, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 101(3), 2020, E259–E264


Feb 01, 2024

Faculty and Staff Awards 2024

The College of Engineering recognized faculty and staff at the annual faculty and staff awards event and thanked everyone for their hard work and dedication in support of our students, college, and university during the 2023-2024 academic year. View award recipients and photo gallery.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches with the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) spacecraft onboard, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Jointly developed by NASA and Centre National D'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and United Kingdom Space Agency, SWOT is the first satellite mission that will observe nearly all water on Earth’s surface, measuring the height of water in the planet’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and the ocean. Credits: NASA/Keegan Barber


Dec 17, 2022

First-Ever Global Survey of Earth’s Surface Water

NASA has launched a Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite that will support global water applications led by CEE Professor Edward Beighley. Launched on December 16, 2022, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite will, for the first time, simultaneously measure elevations and extents of the Earth’s surface waters at high resolution. The […]

Spotlight Story

Oct 14, 2022

PhD Spotlight: Sadia Khan, PhD’22 – Civil and Environmental Engineering

Originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sadia Khan graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and served as a lecturer at the University of Asia Pacific in Dhaka. She joined the civil and environmental engineering PhD program at Northeastern in 2017. Under the guidance of Professor Edward Beighley, civil […]

Samuel Munoz, Ed Beighley, and Aron Stubbins


Jul 14, 2022

Investigating the Accumulation of Microplastics in the Environment

MES/CEE Assistant Professor Samuel Munoz, CEE Professor Edward Beighley, and MES/COS/CEE Professor Aron Stubbins were awarded a $530K NSF grant for “Evaluating Patterns and Controls on Microplastic Accumulation in Floodplains.”

Cassie Nickles

Spotlight Story

Oct 01, 2021

PhD Spotlight: Cassie Nickles, PhD’21 – Civil Engineering

Cassie Nickles’ research focused on large-scale river networks and hydrologic applications enabled by NASA’s upcoming Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. In the four years of her PhD, she published four articles in top journals: Remote Sensing, Water Resources Research, and Geophysical Research Letters. She also presented her findings at ten conferences, nationally and internationally. From connections made at these conferences, she had the opportunity to intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the summer of 2020.


Apr 20, 2021

FY22 TIER 1 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 17 COE faculty and affiliates who were recipients of FY22 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 11 different projects.


Feb 25, 2021

Improving Flood Monitoring Methods

ECE Assistant Professor Pau Closas, Professor Deniz Erdogmus, CEE Professor Edward Beighley, and ECE Postdoc Tales Imbiriba were awarded a $98K grant from the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration for “Spaceborne Multispectral Image Fusion for Water Mapping and Flood Management”.

charles river research collage of photos


Jul 20, 2020

Floating Wetlands: Cleaning Up the Charles River

CEE PhD student Max Rome, his advisor Professor Ed Beighley, and the Charles River Conservancy created about 700 square feet of man-made wetland floats near the Longfellow Bridge to provide shelter to algae-eating zooplankton which can prevent algae bloom.

two female students in suits posing with blurred glass interior building in background


May 07, 2019

CEE PhD Students Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Two Northeastern Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD students, Cassandra Nickles and Katherine Vilardi, received 2019 Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This highly prestigious and selective program has historically awarded only 10% of applicants. According to the NSF, “Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations […]


Apr 29, 2019

Faculty and Staff Awards 2019

Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2018-2019 academic school year. See Photo Gallery Faculty Fellow Matthew Eckelman, CEE Yongmin Liu, MIE Outstanding Teacher of First Year Engineering Students Joseph Depasquale, Chemistry Brian O’Connell, FYE Sumi Seo, Mathematics Matthew Webber, […]

View All Related News