Dynamic Solutions

Introduction to Numerical Modeling


This course presents the basic ideas and approaches of numerical modeling for water resources engineering.

Numerical models are widely used to test water resources plans and to assess the impacts of both projects and natural events on challenges such as flood and storm damage reduction, stream restoration, sediment management, and many others. A wide variety of models are available and it’s seldom obvious which model is the best choice for a given situation. Yet there is a sound engineering approach to model selection and usage that non-modelers can learn and apply without becoming computational experts.


Participants will:

  • Learn how models are conceived and built.
  • Understand the role of models as stories about real life.
  • Be able to describe the differences between finite difference, finite element, and finite volume; implicit vs. explicit; and steady vs. unsteady methods.
  • Learn how to select the best model for the job and spot common problems.
  • Be able to identify and use best modeling practices.


The course will be useful to those who manage and advise water resources projects as well as beginning model users who want to learn best model practices from the beginning.


  • Learn how your business or agency can benefit from numerical modeling.
  • Help clients understand the proper use of numerical models.
  • Be able to spot time and cost problems early.
  • Earn PDH.


  1. Modeling – What’s it really about?
  2. The Modeling Toolbox
  3. Choosing a Model – Fitting the model to the problem
  4. Good Modeling Practices
  5. Objectives and Questions
  6. Sites and Processes
  7. Grid Development
  8. Sensitivity testing
  9. Verification and Validation – How good is good enough?
  10. Putting confidence bounds on model results
  11. Interpreting model results correctly – how should we use them?

LENGTH: 4 hours


Contact us for more information about our Short Courses and Training!


Return to the Short Courses/Training Page