Dr. Yang’s research interests are water resources management, water-energy-food nexus, agent-based modeling, coupled natural and human complex systems, climate change risk assessment, international rivers, transboundary water policy, hydro-ecology and urban stormwater management. Dr. Yang has extensive experiences in water management in the Great Himalayan, Sub-Saharan Africa region and the Western US. He leads more than 12 research projects (more than $3 million) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, the Work Bank, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and the Research Triangle Institute. Most of these projects evaluated climate change risk and social development influence on the water-energy-food-environment nexus for large river basins such as the Colorado, Columbia, Brahmaputra, Indus, Ayeyarwady, Mekong, Amu Darya, Yellow and Niger. Along with the system modeling skill, Dr. Yang’s research can answer difficult questions of uncertain climate change impact and anthropogenic influence on water-energy-food-environment nexus quantitatively.

Prior to joining Lehigh’s faculty, Dr. Yang was a research assistant professor in the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is an author and co-author of 40 peer-reviewed journal papers and 35 conference papers. Dr. Yang received the NSF CAREER Award in 2020. Dr. Yang is a regular reviewer for top-ranking journals in the water resources management and he serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management – ASCE. He is also the Chair of the Water and Society Task Committee in the American Geographical Union.


Teaching and Service

Dr. Yang is teaching Fluid Mechanics (CEE122), Engineering Hydrology (CEE320) and GIS for Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE326) in the CEE Department. He is a member of undergraduate curriculum committee and website committee.


Selected Publications

Cheng, C., Yang, Y. C. E., Ryan, R., Brabec, E. and Yu, Q. 2017. Assessing climate change-induced flooding mitigation for adaptation in Boston’s Charles River Watershed (USA). Landscape and Urban Planning, 167: 25-36.

Yang, Y. C. E., Ringler C., Brown C. and Mondal, M. A. H. 2016. Modeling the agricultural water-energy-food nexus in the Indus River of Pakistan. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management – ASCE, 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000710, 04016062.

Yang, Y. C. E., Wi, S., Ray, P. A., Brown, C. M. and Khalil, A. F. 2016. The Future Nexus of the Brahmaputra Basin: Climate, Water, Food and Energy trajectories. Global Environmental Change, 37: 16-30.

Wi, S, Yang, Y. C. E., Steinschneider, S., Khalil, A. F. and Brown, C. M. 2015. Calibration approaches for distributed hydrologic models using high performance computing: Implication for streamflow projections under climate change. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 19: 857–876.

Yang, Y. C. E., Zhao, J. and Cai, X. 2012. A Decentralized Method for Water Allocation Management in the Yellow River Basin. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management-ASCE, 138(4): 313-325.

Yang, Y. C. E., Cai, X. and Stipanović, D. M. 2009. A Decentralized Optimization Algorithm for Multi-Agent System Based Watershed Management. Water Resources Research. 45, W08430, doi: 10.1029/2008WR007634.

Yi-Chen Ethan Yang
Y. C. Ethan Yang
Assistant Professor
(610) 758-5685
STEPS Building 466
1 West Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015


Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010
M.S., Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, 2004
B.S., Geography, National Taiwan University, 2002

Areas of Research

Water Resources Systems Analysis, Food-Energy-Water-Environment Nexus, Agent-based Modeling, Complex Adaptive Systems, Stormwater Smart City, IoT-based green infrastructure