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HEC-RAS Computer Workshop

February 11–12, 2019


Chris D. Bahner, P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE
James Heyen, P.E., CFM, M.ASCE
Martin J. Teal, P.E., P.H., D.WRE, F.ASCE
Brian Wahlin, Ph.D., P.E., D. WRE, M.ASCE
*Should one of the above instructors be unavailable to teach, a qualified WEST Consultants instructor will be appointed to replace him.

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, hands-on, two- day seminar and computer workshop will prepare the engineer and water resource professional to use the HEC-RAS computer program in real world situations. Led by experts with experience in hydraulic modeling, participants learn how to conduct water surface profiles, bridge hydraulics, and flood plain information studies using the steady flow capabilities of HEC-RAS. Unsteady flow capabilities are taught in a separate companion class HEC-RAS Computer Workshop for Unsteady Flow Applications.

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 incorporates various aspects of hydraulic modeling, including water surface profile computations and bridge hydraulics.

HEC-RAS advances in open channel hydraulic analysis include:

  • Automatic analysis of sub-critical and super-critical flow regimes in a single analysis
  • Availability of all widely used methods for bridge and culvert hydraulic analysis
  • Ability to perform bridge scour analysis including pier contraction and abutment scour
  • Many other capabilities developed from years of experience with HEC-2 and other major hydraulic analysis computer programs

While offering these advanced capabilities, HEC-RAS remains compatible with HEC-2 and will import almost any correctly-assembled HEC-2 input data file, perform hydraulic analysis, and will yield essentially the same results as HEC-2 for the same input data. All major HEC-2 program features and options have been incorporated in HEC-RAS, including bridge and culvert analysis, and floodway computations.

HEC-RAS is user friendly, computationally efficient, and runs within, and fully supports, the Microsoft Windows environment. It uses the latest graphical user interface (GUI) technology for data entry, graphics, and display of program results. Complete context-sensitive help screens are available for every program feature and option. 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 Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center offices, the program has been through two full beta releases, during which the program was tested by thousands of engineers in the private and public sectors.

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
  • Get an overview of hydraulic principles for rivers, waterway bridges, and culverts
  • Optimize the effectiveness of your next flood control or drainage projects
  • Obtain valuable insights in model development for FEMA flood insurance studies

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 work in pairs to gain hands-on experience with HEC-RAS and apply the basic modeling principles.
  • Identify the three main components of a steady flow HEC-RAS model. Assessment Criteria: You will work in pairs to create several steady flow models that use the three components.
  • Understand the theoretical basis of HEC-RAS model. Assessment Criteria: You will work in pairs to answer questions that require a basic understanding of the theoretical basis of HEC-RAS.
  • Develop steady state HEC-RAS models for analyzing confluences and bridge/culvert structures. Assessment Criteria: You will work in pairs to develop HEC-RAS models of bridge and culvert structures.

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. The test will be graded in class by your classmates as the instructor goes over each question and answer.

Special Features

Via email, approximately 5 days prior, workshop participants will receive links to websites/FTP containing the HEC-RAS software, the manuals in PDF format (User's Manual, Hydraulic Reference Manual, and Applications Guide), input files for the workshops, as well as workshop solution files.Workshop participants receive the following publications and software:

  • HEC-RAS Course Notes and Workshop Problems
  • HEC-RAS user Manual (digital copy)
  • HEC-RAS Hydraulic Reference Manual (digital copy)
  • HEC-RAS Application Guide (digital copy)• HEC-RAS Example Problems (digital copy)

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. They should also be familiar with the Windows operating system.

Seminar Outline | 1.6 CEUs

TIME: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Day 1

  • Overview of HEC-RAS Capabilities
  • Basic Hydraulic Model Development
  • Computer Workshop on Basic Model Development
  • Modeling Tributary Junctions• Computer Workshop on Modeling Tributaries and Junctions
  • Basic Hydraulic Theory

Day 2

  • Modeling Ineffective Flow Areas and Levees
  • Modeling Bridges
  • Computer Workshop on Modeling Bridges
  • Modeling Culverts and Multiple Openings
  • Computer Workshop on Culverts
  • Modeling Inline and Lateral Structures
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