Dr. Molinas is the president of Hydrau-Tech, Inc. He has over 30 years of experience in the fields of river mechanics, open channel hydraulics and sedimentation, and has been the principal engineer of numerous projects ranging from physical and numerical modeling of rivers and watersheds to analytical studies of river behavior. Dr. Molinas has conducted the analysis, design, and laboratory testing of water resources projects, including reservoirs and dams, spillways, stream-environment structures, water supply and distribution systems, irrigation channels and control structures, hydro-electric facilities, and modeling of both water and sediment flows. He has been the principal investigator in numerous projects both at Colorado State University where he served as a professor since 1983, and at Hydrau-Tech, Inc., which he founded at 1986. Dr. Molinas’ projects ranged from laboratory and numerical modeling to analytical studies of river and reservoir behavior, from geographic information systems to stream-classification expert systems.
For the past 30 years, Dr. Molinas has been involved in numerical sediment modeling studies for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the World Bank. Through the NCHRP and the ensuing FHWA project, he developed the FHWA’s Bridge Stream Tube model for Alluvial River Simulation (BRI-STARS) which utilizes existing bridge scour equations and the stream tube approach to predict aggradation/degradation for highway encroachments. This study included extensive literature searches, identification of potential sources of bridge scour data, and comparison and analysis of various bridge scour equations as well as state-of-the-art modeling approaches for channel stability. Two of his models, STARS and GSTARS, which were developed for the Bureau of Reclamation were among the “Twelve Selected Alluvial System Models in The United States” by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Dr. Molinas’ models have been, and are currently in use by various government agencies such as the Bureau of Reclamation, USGS, FWA, and various state DOTs as well as private agencies and foreign governments (China, Taiwan, Korea, France, Switzerland, and Venezuela).
Dr. Molinas was also the principal investigator of the FHWA study “Effects of Gradation and Cohesion on Scour.” This 7-year experimental study (1991–1998) was conducted through the Colorado State University Hydraulics laboratory and involved the use of large-scale modeling facilities. As a result of this research project, Dr. Molinas directed seven Ph.D. studies on bridge scour in cohesive materials and graded materials based on over 1,000 experimental points using large-scale experimental facilities. His experience on cohesive material scour uniquely contributes to the sediment transport modeling of cohesive material. Dr. Molinas authored/coauthored over 120 scientific journal articles and reports in his field expertise.
Dr. Molinas is the coauthor of Colorado Department of Transportation’s Drainage Design Manual. He is currently the Co-Principal Engineer for developing Plan of Actions (POAs) for more than 120 Scour Critical Bridges and 19 Bridges with Unknown Foundations for Colorado. Dr. Molinas is the developer of the CDOT’s Detour Drainage Design Procedure and is currently developing New Corrosion/Abrasion Guidelines for the Selection of Culvert Pipe Materials for CDOT. Through these projects, Dr. Molinas became very familiar with CDOT installations across the state. This knowledge will be very valuable in the proposed study.