Frank L Engel, Ph.D.

Geographer and researcher passionate about developing new tools, technology, and apps using remote sensing to solve real-world problems.


Frank Engel is a Geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), specializing in the implementation of cutting-edge research applications into operational science. Originally trained as a fluvial geomorphologist, Frank now applies his expertise on process-oriented field studies of fluvial environments, with a heavy emphasis on the applications of his findings on river management decisions. Of particular interest to him is how current research advances in non-contact measurements of riverine parameters can be operationalized in the USGS for day-to-day gaging and project applications to solve real-world problems. Dr. Engel is advocating for the use of camera and radar sensors to measure hydraulic parameters at USGS streamgages or elsewhere to enable increased observation of our surface water networks. As the National Water Information System (NWIS) Modernization Imagery and Remote Sensing Subprogram Director, Dr. Engel is working to create enterprise-level cyberinfrastructure for cameras and multispectral sensors located at gaging stations throughout the USGS. Frank also chairs the USGS Water Mission Area (WMA) Surface Velocity Workgroup, where he and his colleagues aim to coordinate the national USGS effort at implementing novel non-contact flow measurement techniques including Image Velocimetry and Surface Velocity Radar (SVR) for stream gaging and research purposes. Dr. Engel's goal is to advance our national mission to collect timely and accurate information about our nation’s water resources through innovative and modern techniques which advance the boundaries of our scientific knowledge.