Outdoor portrait of associate professor Steve Conrad


Email: steve.conrad@colostate.edu

Phone: 970-491-7869

Steven Conrad

Associate Professor of Systems Engineering

Dr. Steve Conrad has conducted research and consulted with the water and energy industry for over 25 years on the feedbacks between human-environmental systems through the coupling of social and engineering sciences to inform decision making and visualization, the quantification and modelling of system function, system optimization and resilience, and policy and planning as applied to four research thrusts:

  1. Water – Energy nexus interactions in the urban environment,
  2. Applications of AI in the built environment and augmenting decision making,
  3. The human dimensions of engineering and decision sciences, and
  4. Sustainable and environmental systems engineering encompassing nature-based solutions, ecological resilience, and community.

Prior to joining the systems engineering department, he led the Future Waters Research Excellence Cluster at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Before that he was the Associate Director of the Pacific Water Research Centre and chair of the REM Water Research Group at Simon Fraser University.

Dr. Conrad is active in industry having served on the Board of Directors for the American Water Works Association and the British Columbia Water and Waste Association, and chairing multiple industry committees on energy management, climate change, and risk and resilience.

Open Opportunities for Graduate Supervision and Post Doctoral positions

1) On campus PhD Graduate Research Assistantships – Currently recruiting 1 PhD student for on campus supported research in my research focus area 1 – Water – Energy nexus interactions with the possibility of additional research in focus areas 2 or 3. Please click here for more information about this funded position and how to apply. This research will focus on water and energy system feedback and decision support at the utility scale. Please send 1) a summary of your prior academic (degrees, research papers, unofficial class transcript) and industry experience, and 2) a general outline of what you’d like to research and how this aligns with my background and this research focus.

2) Distance program advising for PhD, MS students – If you are looking for an advisor as a distance student please send me an email with 1) a summary of your prior academic (degrees, research papers, unofficial class transcript) and industry experience, 2) a general outline of what you’d like to research and how this aligns with my background. 

3) On campus MS thesis/project advising – I have several ongoing studies related to social sciences, quantitative human behavioural modelling, AI and ML, system dynamics, human cognition, and decision making relating to urban water energy, food, and climate systems. If you are interested in these areas of study, please send me an email describing your research interests and academic background and I will advise on any open lab positions. 

4) Other advising or serving on your graduate committee – If you are looking for other advising opportunities such as undergraduate research experiences, honors advising, or looking for an additional committee member, send me an email describing your research topic, interests, current advisor if applies, and areas you would like advising.

5) Post Doctoral positions – None currently open. Please check back.


Ph.D. 2016, Simon Fraser University – Resource and Environmental Management

M.S. 2005, Arizona State University – Environmental Technology Management

B.S. 1998, University of Arizona – Psychology, Math/Physics

B.S. 1998, University of Arizona – Optical Engineering


Courses Taught

Research Interests

  • Water, energy, and resource systems
  • Human dimensions/behavioral modeling
  • Coupled systems modeling/system dynamics modeling
  • Decision analysis/support systems
  • Decision visualization
  • Sustainable community design
  • Machine learning and AI augmented decision making
  • Climate change adaptation

Honors and Awards

  • 2021 (AWWA) – George Warren Fuller Award 
  • Stanley S. Copp Service Award
  • 5S Merit Award
  • Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Fellow