Photo of Roberto Fernández

Roberto Fernández

Assistant Professor


  • Civil and Environmental Engineering

221A Sackett Building

Research Areas:

Water Resources Engineering




  • Lic., Ingeniería Civil, Universidad de Costa Rica, 2008
  • MSc, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012
  • PhD, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2018


Journal Articles

  • Catherine Russell, Roberto Fernández, Daniel R Parsons and Sarah Gabbott, 2023, "Plastic pollution in riverbeds fundamentally affects natural sand transport processes", Communications Earth & Environment
  • Marijke G.W. de Vet, Roberto Fernández, Jaco H Baas, William D McCaffrey and Robert M Dorrell, 2023, "Streamwise turbulence modulation in non-uniform open-channel clay suspension flows", Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
  • Sojiro Fukuda, Marijke G.W. de Vet, Edward W.G. Skevington, Elena Bastianon, Roberto Fernández, Xuxu Wu, William D McCaffrey, Hajime Naruse, Daniel R Parsons and Robert M Dorrell, 2023, "Inadequacy of fluvial energetics for describing gravity current autosuspension", Nature Communications, 14, (2288)
  • Freija Mendrik, Roberto Fernández, Chris Hackney, Catherine Waller and Daniel R Parsons, 2023, "Non-buoyant microplastic settling velocity varies with biofilm growth and ambient water salinity", Communications Earth & Environment
  • Xuxu Wu, Roberto Fernández, Jaco H Baas, Jonathan Malarkey and Dan R Parsons, 2022, "Discontinuity in Equilibrium Wave-Current Ripple Size and Shape and Deep Cleaning Associated With Cohesive Sand-Clay Beds", Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface, 127, (9)
  • Roberto Fernández and Gary Parker, 2021, "Laboratory observations on meltwater meandering rivulets on ice", Earth Surface Dynamics
  • Roberto Fernández, Alejandro Vitale, Gary Parker and Marcelo H Garcia, 2020, "Hydraulic Resistance in Mixed Bedrock-Alluvial Meandering Channels", Journal of Hydraulic Research
  • Roberto Fernández, Gary Parker and Colin P Stark, 2019, "Experiments on patterns of alluvial cover and bedrock erosion in a meandering channel", Earth Surface Dynamics
  • Roberto Fernández, Marcelo H Garcia and Gary Parker, 2018, "Upper Mississippi River Flow and Sediment Characteristics and Their Effect on a Harbor Siltation Case", Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 144, (10)
  • Roberto Fernández and Marcelo H Garcia, 2017, "Input Variable Sensitivity Assessment for Sediment Transport Relations", Water Resources Research, 53, (9), pp. 8105-8119
  • Roberto Fernández and Alejandro Navas, 2012, "Pervious Concrete: Mixture design to assess its uniaxial compressive strength and permeability [In Spanish]", Road Infrastructure, 13, (24), pp. 40-49
  • Xuxu Wu, Jonathan Malarkey, Roberto Fernández, Jaco H Baas, Ellen Pollard and Daniel R Parsons, , "Influence of cohesive clay on wave–current ripple dynamics captured in a 3D phase diagram", Earth Surface Dynamics

Conference Proceedings

  • Roberto Fernández, H Kassem, X Wu and D Parsons, 2022, "Modultaion of sediment transport rates and hydraulic resistance by increasing mud-to- sand ratios"
  • A Lefebvre, M Stammler, G Goodwin, R Bosch, Roberto Fernández and S W. D. Grieve, 2022, "The initiative for a diamond open access journal in the field of geomorphology: an effort grounded on and guided by EDI concepts"
  • C Russell, Roberto Fernández, D Parsons and S Gabbott, 2022, "Plastic pollution impacts riverbed sand transport processes"
  • Roberto Fernández, 2021, "Meandering channels over ice: Cooler and unique?"
  • F Mendrik, Roberto Fernández, C Hackney, C Waller, R Dorrell, G Vasilopoulos and D Parsons, 2021, "Controls of bio-modulated flocculation on the fate of microplastic pollution in river-estuary transition zones"


  • Roberto Fernández and M H García, 2014, "Update Current Methodologies and Implement New Ones to Estimate Transport of Bed Sediment Loads Into Reservoirs in Tropical Mountain Rivers in Costa Rica", pp. 144
  • Roberto Fernández, S Santacruz, T Tokyay, A R Waratuke, M H García and G Parker, 2012, "Holcim Ste. Genevieve Missouri - Harbor Siltation Study. Civil Engineering Studies", (102), pp. 71
  • Roberto Fernández, D Motta, J D Abad, E J Langendoen, N Oberg and M H García, 2011, "RVR Meander - User's Manual. ArcGIS Version", pp. 27
  • Roberto Fernández, D Motta, J D Abad, E J Langendoen, N Oberg and M H García, 2011, "RVR Meander - Tutorials. ArcGIS Version", pp. 31
  • D Motta, Roberto Fernández, J D Abad, E J Langendoen, N Oberg and M H García, 2011, "RVR Meander - User's Manual. Stand-Alone Version.", pp. 21

Research Projects

Honors and Awards

  • Harry West Teaching Award, Harry West, April 2023 - March 2024
  • Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust, September 2020 - September 2022


Service to Penn State:

  • Committee Work, Committee Member, Faculty Search in Environmental Engineering, December 2023

Service to External Organizations: