Mark French


Professor Mark N. French, PhD, PE, is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Louisville and served as Department Chair from 2002-2004.
Current areas of research focus is sustainable water treatment for drinking water to meet needs of people in developing areas and industry while limiting adverse environmental impacts. His teaching research is in Project-Based Learning for competency based student evaluation and Online Learning course development methods.
Prof. French's research includes real-time rainfall-runoff, forecasting and managing water quality in reservoirs, sustainable water supply and wastewater treatment systems, waterway transportation logistics, and methods of effective teaching and learning in engineering.
Dr. French teaches courses in mechanics, hydraulics, surface hydrology, water treatment, groundwater flow (classroom and online), and international service learning for engineering students (with travel to the Philippines).
Prof. French serves as Faculty Advisor for the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Prof. French serves as Faculty Advisor for Chi Epsilon (XE) the Civil Engineering National Honor Society (
Prof. French was as faculty mentor for the Brown Fellows Scholar program class of 2018 at the University of Louisville, and was an engineering faculty in the Kentucky Governor's Scholar Program in 2012-2013.
Mark is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Kentucky, and has a PhD from the University of Iowa, Iowa Institute for Hydraulic Research, MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and MEng and BS from the University of Louisville.

Professional Administrative and Management Experience

Demonstrated skills, knowledge and ability in civil engineering disciplines:

My skills are focused on Civil and Environmental Engineering with specialization in water resources, surface water and groundwater hydrology, hydraulics, and engineering mechanics.  A summary of my experience, skills, and knowledge includes my educational qualifications, PE licensure, and professional consulting experience.  I have written and published technical engineering articles in peer reviewed journals describing the details of complex research studies and explaining the procedures and mathematical methods required to complete the work.  I have made many technical presentations to the public and at professional research conferences.

Demonstrated skills, knowledge and ability in analyzing and compliance matters related to design, construction, inspection, remediation, operation and environmental impacts of civil engineering projects:

My experience includes research studies addressing the hydrologic hazards for stream flooding and reservoir water levels associated with severe and extreme hydrologic events such as flash-flooding and rare catastrophic heavy rainfall.  My inspection and environmental impact experience includes forensic engineering analysis associated with flooding and severe runoff events that resulted in impacts to the safety of the public and damage to property.  This includes flooding from large rivers, flooding due to runoff from detention ponds, and runoff from construction sites.

Demonstrated skills, knowledge and ability in preparing clear, concise, and well organized engineering reports:

I have published over 30 technical articles in peer-reviewed engineering journals.  My course teaching includes both undergraduate and graduate courses and involves preparation of presentation notes and electronic documents for use in teaching.  I have delivered complete graduate-level engineering courses online (asynchronous) and professional development courses such as a part of the PE review course offered by ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) using synchronous audio narration webinar format.  I’ve prepared and delivered more than 15 presentations of technical engineering research findings at professional conferences to audiences including research faculty, professional engineers and the public.  I have developed research proposals for funding requests submitted to funding agencies such as National Science Foundation, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA.  These proposals include technical description of the work, time-line project schedules, deliverable list of products, budget details and narrative, and quality assurance and control summary.

Supervisory Roles

  • Leadership, supervision, and management experience focused within the research and educational programs at the University of Louisville
  • Faculty member in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering since 1987 (30+ years)
  • Served as Department Chair in Civil & Environmental Engineering 2002-2004
  • As CEE Department Chair:
  • Supervised 3 staff positions and 12 faculty positions
  • Managed department budget and related operational aspects
  • Held recruitment meetings with high school students and parents searching for colleges, graduate students interested in graduate engineering programs
  • Maintained faculty contacts with research agency representatives at National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other local and state level agency technical staff
  • Presented CEE educational and research activity to J.B. Speed School of Engineering, Industrial Board of Advisors (IBA) at 2002 annual meeting

Academic Advising

Undergraduate advisor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), 1996-2002

Undergraduate students are admitted to CEE after the first year of engineering school and are advised by a faculty member every semester prior to course enrollment.  This serves to both mentor individual student progress and provide the student with an opportunity to know a faculty member in their major area of study outside the classroom setting.

Honors and Awards

2016 Celebration of Teaching and Learning, 2014-15 “Top 4” Faculty Favorites Award, Delphi Center for Teaching & Learning, University of Louisville, February 2016

2015 Outstanding Contribution to Education, Louisville Chapter, Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers

2010-2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019 Faculty favorite recognition, University of Louisville, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning

2013 Recognition award, Southern Star Baptist Church, Parking project, Dr. Barry Johnson, Pastor

2012 Kentucky Colonel, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Governor Steven L. Beshear              

2017 Certificate of recognition, University of Louisville, 30-year service

1999 Achievement in Education, Louisville Chapter, Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers

1997 Certificate of Appreciation, Comprehensive Partnership for Minority Student Achievement (CPMSA), Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, Kentucky

1995 Outstanding Young Engineer Award, Speed Scientific School, University of Louisville

1993 Outstanding Dissertation in Engineering and Physical Sciences, Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR)

1988–1990 Parsons Fellowship, Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1987 Speed School Alumni Award, University of Louisville

1986 American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter Award, University of Louisville

1985 Tau Beta Pi Honor Society member, University of Louisville

1985 Mortar Board Honor Society Charter member, University of Louisville

1985 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Charter member, University of Louisville

1985 Chi Epsilon Honor Society member (chapter President 1986), University of Louisville

University Service

Cardinal Core/General Education Curriculum Committee, University-wide, 2008-2011, 2017-present

Faculty Advisor - Chi Epsilon Honor Society, 2002-2004, 2017-present

Faculty Advisor - American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter, 1994-1999, 2017-present

Celebration of Teaching and Learning, Planning and Organizing Committee, Delphi Center for Teaching & Learning University of Louisville, 2015-2016

Envirome Institute & Kentucky Institute for the Environment and Sustainable Development (KIESD), Director for Center of Environmental Engineering, University of Louisville, 1995-present

Undergraduate Education Committee, J.B. Speed Engineering School, member, 2015-present

Brown Fellows Class of 2018, Faculty Mentor – Brown Fellow Scholarship Program, 2014-2018

International Service Learning Program & Advisory Committee, University of Louisville, 2012-present

21st Century Initiatives Committee, University of Louisville, 2012-2014

Environmental Engineering Certificate Program Director, 1998-2018

Faculty Advisor - Student Chapter of G.E.C.K., Gaming Enthusiasts Club Kontinuum, 2012-2018

Ideas to Action, J.B. Speed Engineering School committee, 2013-2014

Ideas to Action, Accreditation Committee and Assessment Sub-committee, 2011-2013

ASCE Body of Knowledge Task Force & ABET Accreditation Training, 2002-2004

ASCE Southeast Region Department Heads Conference, 2002-2004

Director of Graduate Studies and Online Master of Engineering Degree program, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Louisville, 2000-2013

J.B. School of Engineering Fellowship Award Committee, 1999-2012

Ph.D. degree program in Civil Engineering proposal director, 1998-2000

Academic Advisor – Undergraduate Civil Engineering Department, 1999-2002

Faculty Advisor - Student Chapter of Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers, 1998-2002

President's Faculty Service Awards Selection Committee, Univ. Louisville, 1997-2001

Academic Programs Committee, Univ. Louisville, 1998-2000

BSES Committee (evening degree program)-Environmental Engineering Representative, 1999-2002

SECME, Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering, 1994-1999

M.S. Environmental Engineering degree program proposal development, 2001


  • B.S. in Applied Science, University of Louisville, 1985
  • ME in Civil Engineering, University of Louisville, 1987
  • M.S. in Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Inst of Tech, 1990
  • Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engr, University of Iowa, 1992


Characterization of Flash Floods in Eastern Kentucky- 2000
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