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Introduction to HEC-RAS

8 PDHs | Thursday, March 25 and Friday, March 26


*Should one of the above instructors be unavailable to teach, a qualified WEST Consultants instructor will be appointed to replace them.

The instructors did a great job explaining the concepts and used real-world examples. — Adam Baines, Environmental Engineer, Tetra Tech, Seattle, WA

This is a hands-on seminar. You must bring your own laptop.

Purpose and Background

This intensive two-day seminar and computer workshop will provide the engineer and water resource professional with a basic overview of the HEC-RAS computer program and how to apply it to real-world situations. Led by experts with experience in hydraulic modeling, participants learn how to compute water surface profiles, basic bridge hydraulics, and flood plain information studies using the steady flow capabilities of HEC-RAS. 

The HEC-RAS modeling system was developed as part of the Hydrologic Engineering Center's Next- Generation software and replaces several existing Corps of Engineers programs, including the HEC-2 water surface profile program. 

HEC-RAS offers advanced capability in hydraulic analysis. This seminar will focus on the following components: 

  • The basics of hydraulic model development 
  • Analysis of steady-state water surface profiles 
  • Simple bridge and culvert analyses 
  • Modeling of inline structures, lateral structures, and levees 

HEC-RAS is user-friendly, computationally efficient, and runs within the Microsoft Windows environment. It uses the latest graphical user interface (GUI) technology for data entry, graphics, and display of model results. Complete context-sensitive help screens are available for the majority of program features and options. Software includes the following functions: file management, data entry and editing, hydraulic analyses, tabulation and graphical displays of input and output data, reporting facilities, and on-line help. 

HEC-RAS is one of the most extensively-tested civil engineering computer programs ever developed. In addition to extensive in-house testing at the USACE Hydrologic Engineering Center, the program has been through multiple full beta releases, during which the program was tested by thousands of engineers in the private and public sectors. 

Interactive Elements

Following the first day of lectures, the seminar will provide fully-developed interactive workshops designed to allow workshop participants the opportunity to apply their new skills to real-world modeling scenarios. Solutions will be provided on the second day for both workshops. The first workshop will also be reviewed at the beginning of the second day. The second workshop will be introduced and participants can do on their own after class and email any questions to the instructor.

Seminar Benefits

  • Learn how to use the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers HEC-RAS (River Analysis System) computer program 
  • Gain hands-on HEC-RAS experience by participating in practical computer workshops 
  • Obtain an overview of basic hydraulic principles for rivers and simple bridges 
  • Collect valuable insights in model development and tips for various modeling applications

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Understand the basic modeling principles for developing steady state hydraulic models. Assessment Criteria: You will gain hands-on experience with HEC-RAS and apply the basic modeling principles. 
  • Utilize HEC-RAS to review, tabulate, and plot basic hydraulic modeling results. Assessment Criteria: You will learn to generate tabular and graphical output from a successful model analysis. 
  • Develop a steady state HEC-RAS model for analyzing simple bridge crossings. Assessment Criteria: You will develop a HEC-RAS model of a basic bridge structure.

Assessment of Learning Outcomes

Instructor(s) will observe student performance during multiple computer workshop problems, and you will take a test at the end of the class with questions addressing these items.

Who Should Attend?

Consulting engineers, water resource planners, engineers employed by local, state, or federal government agencies. Participants should have some experience in flood plain hydrology and/or hydraulics, and should be familiar with the Windows operating system.

Seminar Outline

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET each day

Day 1

  • Introductions 
  • Working with HEC-RAS: An Overview 
  • Basic Input Data Requirements 
  • Workshop #1 Introduction (Developing a Hydraulic Model)

Day 2

  • Workshop #1 Review 
  • Cross Sections and Ineffective Areas for Bridges 
  • Modeling Basic Bridges 
  • Modeling Culverts and Multiple Openings 
  • Workshop #2 Introduction (Modeling Basic Bridges)

Decided on your courses? Register now!

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