Senior Research Scientist
Senior Research Scientist


Dr. Prasad has over 20 years of experience in applying surface water hydrology concepts, developing conceptual and simulation models, assessing impacts of climate change, and applying simulation models to address issues related to flood hazard assessments, flood forecasting, water resources planning, and environmental analyses. He has led natural phenomena hazards analyses’ reviews and contributed to environmental impact assessments for new and operating commercial nuclear power reactors for the last 17 years. Dr. Prasad led the revision of the hydrologic engineering safety review guidance including those for precipitation and riverine flooding, dam breach flooding, tsunamis, storm surges, and channel diversions. He also led the development of technical bases to perform probabilistic flood hazard analyses. Dr. Prasad led a team of staff at PNNL that performed the reviews of post-Fukushima Near-Term Task Force recommended reevaluated flood hazards and flooding walkdowns at operating nuclear power plants. Dr. Prasad led a team of interdisciplinary PNNL scientists in compiling a report describing the effects of environmental conditions on human performance for manual actions related to flood protection and mitigation. He also led the development of an ecosystem services simulation-valuation framework for the U.S. Department of Defense to assist in improved land management at DoD installations.

Currently, Dr. Prasad is leading the development of a probabilistic flood hazard assessment methodology focused on estimation of rare (low-frequency) but costly (high-consequence) floods. Dr. Prasad is the technical lead for PNNL’s Framework for Assessment of Complex Environmental Trade-offs that supports transparent, equitable decision-making in complex environmental systems involving a diverse range of stakeholders. He is also leading the development of technical bases for a next-generation human performance and reliability model for nuclear power plants.

Disciplines and Skills

  • Complex environmental analysis
  • Climate change diagnosis and impacts on water resources systems
  • Multi-scale modeling of hydrologic systems
  • Estimation of low-frequency, high-consequence floods
  • Human performance and reliability
  • Integrated operations of water and energy systems


  • PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
  • MS, Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India
  • BS, Engineering, Regional Engineering College, Durgapur, India

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Review Editor, Frontiers Media SA

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2007, 2011, 2012 – Outstanding Performance Award



  • Prasad R. 2021. “Assessing Environmental Impacts in the Context of Dynamic Baselines.” Upcoming presentation at the National Association of Environmental Professionals Annual Conference, May 17-19.


  • Coles GA, AC Dalton, KM Branch, R Prasad, NP Kohn, and AC Bittner. 2017. "Framework for Evaluating the Impact of Environmental Conditions on Manual Actions." In Advances in Human Factors in Energy: Oil, Gas, Nuclear and Electric Power Industries: Proceedings of the AHFE 2016 International Conference on Human Factors in Energy: Oil, Gas, Nuclear and Electric Power Industries, July 27-31, 2016, Orlando, FL, edited by SM Cetiner, P Fechtelkotter and M Legatt, 495, 157-169. Cham:Springer International Publishing. PNNL-SA-116565. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-41950-3_14.



  • Wigmosta MS, MK Gill, AM Coleman, R Prasad, and LW Vail. 2007. “A Distributed Modeling System for Short-Term to Seasonal Ensemble Streamflow Forecasting in Snowmelt Dominated Basins.” In Proceedings of the 75th Annual Western Snow Conference, April 16-19, 2007, Kona, HI, edited by R Julander, 187-194. Soda Springs, California:Western Snow Conference. PNNL-SA-56074.


  • Wigmosta MS and R Prasad. 2006. “Upscaling and Downscaling - Dynamic Models.” In Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences, edited by MG Anderson, et al. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. PNNL-SA-44511. doi:10.1002/0470848944.hsa010.