Murugesu Sivapalan holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering (University of Ceylon 1975), M.Eng in Water Resources Engineering (Asian Institute of Technology Thailand 1977), and M.A. (1983) and Ph.D (1986) in Civil Engineering, with a major in hydrology, from Princeton University.
Between 1978 and 1981, Dr Sivapalan worked as a consulting civil engineer in Nigeria. During the period 1986-1988 he served as a Research Associate at Princeton University. He spent the next 17 years at the University of Western Australia, Perth, joining as a Lecturer and being promoted to full Professor in 1999. Dr Sivapalan has also served as Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria, and the Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands. He joined the University of Illinois in 2005.
Dr. Sivapalan has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in watershed hydrology, engineering hydrology, stochastic hydrology and water resources engineering.
He is a member of the American Geophysical Union’s Surface Water Committee and the European Geophysical Society’s Catchment Hydrology Committee. Dr Sivapalan was the founding chair of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences’ (IAHS) Decade on Predictions in Ungauged Basins (PUB) initiative. He is a member of the editorial boards of several international journals and is the Executive Editor of the European Geophysical Union’s Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) journal.
Dr. Sivapalan has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a Fellow of the Modeling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, and a Life Member of the International Water Academy. He is the recipient of the International Hydrology Prize from the International Associate of Hydrological Sciences, the European Geophysical Union’s John Dalton Medal, and the Biennial Medal (for Natural Systems) of the Modeling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Hydrological Sciences Award of the American Geophysical Union, and the prestigious Robert E Horton Medal of the American Geophysical Union. In 2003 he was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government “for service to Australian Society in Hydrology and Environmental Engineering.” In January 2012, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.