- Ph.D., in Hydraulics, specializing in fluvial sediment hydraulics, University College Civil and Municipal Engineering Department, UK
- B.Eng., Sheffield University, Civil Engineering Department, UK
Dr. Williams has been engaged in a wide range of national and international hydrologic and engineering hydraulics activities since he received his Ph.D. in 1970. In 1976, after working in civil engineering and environmental planning firms, he opened his own consulting practice in San Francisco, expanding to form Philip Williams & Associates in 1979. During the past three decades the focus of his work has been assisting clients in developing integrated engineering, geomorphology and natural resource management solutions to contemporary problems in river and estuary management. From his original research field of sediment hydraulics, Dr. Williams has pioneered practical technical analyses in wetland hydrology, multi-objective river corridor management, lake water balances, urban creek restoration, the impacts of climate change, the hydraulics of coastal lagoons, dam impacts on river systems, and estuarine resource management. His work has addressed a wide variety of problems, including flood hazard management, salt marsh restoration, reservoir operation, harbor maintenance dredging, floodplain restoration, watershed sediment yield, groundwater management, and coastal lagoon restoration.
The majority of Dr. Williams’ work has been leading or participating in multi-objective planning, design and adaptive management projects working in inter-disciplinary teams with professionals of other disciplines to prepare feasibility studies, management plans, and environmental impact studies. Over the last 30 years he has directed more than 400 such studies, including projects on flood control, wetland restoration, floodplain restoration, national park plans, water resources development, and estuarine management plans.
- Courses Taught
- LD ARCH 227 Restoration of Rivers and Streams
- LD ARCH 254 Wise Use of Floodplains
- Selected Publications
Brew, D., and P.B.Williams 2010. Predicting the Impact of Large-Scale Tidal Wetland Restoration on Morphodynamics and Habitat Evolution in South San Francisco Bay. Journal of Coastal Research, Vol 26, No 5, pp912-924, Sept 2010.
Williams, P.B., E. Andrews, J.J. Opperman, S. Bozkurt, and P. Moyle. 2009. Quantifying Activated Floodplains on a Lowland Regulated River: Its Application to Floodplain Restoration in the Sacramento Valley. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, September 2009.
Williams, P.B., M.K.Orr, S. Crooks, and P.B.Williams. 2003. Will Tidal Marshes be Sustainable. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science Vol. 1 Issue 1.
Williams, P.B., and M.K. Orr, 2002. Physical Evolution of Restored Breached Levee Salt Marshes in the San Francisco Bay Estuary. Restoration Ecology, Society for Ecological Restoration, Vol. 10 No. 3, 527–542.
Williams P.B., M.K. Orr, and N.J. Garrity, 2002. Hydraulic Geometry: A Geomorphic Design Tool for Tidal Marsh Channel Evolution in Wetland Restoration Projects. Restoration Ecology, Society for Ecological Restoration, Vol. 10, No. 3, 577–590.
Williams, P.B., 2001. Restoring Physical Processes in Tidal Wetlands. Journal of Coastal Research. Vol. SI, No. 27, 149–161.
Williams, P.B., and P. Faber, 2001. Salt Marsh Restoration Experience in the San Francisco Bay Estuary. Journal of Coastal Research. Vol. SI, No. 27, 203–211.
Williams, P.B., A. Mead, and J.P. Haltiner, 2000. Equilibrium Channel Geometry in a Tidally Influenced River Reach. International Conference on Riparian Ecology and Management in Multi-Land Use Watersheds, American Water Resources Association. 71–76, August.
Williams, P.B., 2000. Restoring Lowland River Floodplains in California. Proceedings of the International Symposium for Living Rivers. Budapest, Hungary. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. January 21st 2000.
“Restoring Healthy Riparian and Wetland Ecosystems” published interview of Philip Williams by Robin Freeman. Ecological Restoration 17:4 Winter 1999.
Williams, P. B., 1998. Inviting Trouble Downstream. Civil Engineering, ASCE. February.
Neary, V.S., P. Goodwin, and P.B. Williams, 1997. A Geomorphic Channel Design for Napa River. Proceedings: XXVIII IAHR/ASCE Congress, San Francisco, CA. August.
Andrews, E.S., and P.B. Williams, 1997. Flood Management and Ecological Enhancement Goals on the Cosumnes River, Linkages, Institute for Ecological health, Issue No.4.: 6–8, Spring.
Williams, P.B., 1997. California’s Opportunity to Achieve Improved Flood Management and Major Ecosystem Restoration. Water Power and Dam Construction, Wilmington Publishing, Ltd., Wilmington, UK, April.
Williams, P.B., 1997. The Big Dam Debate: The Engineer’s Role. Civil Engineering Practice. Boston, MA, Spring.
Williams, P.B., 1996. Viewpoint: Dammed to destruction: Our Planet, United Nations Environment Programme Magazine for Sustainable Resources, 8(3): 27–28. Nairobi, Kenya.
Williams, P.B., J.P. Haltiner, and G.M. Kondolf, 1996. Restoration Approaches in California–Chapter 11. In: A. Brookes and F. D. Shields (eds.), River Channel Restoration. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. London, UK
Williams, P.B., 1994. Learning from the mistakes of large-scale water development. Proceedings: Katmandu Meeting in Cooperative Development of Himalayan Water Resources, Water Nepal, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation, 4(1):36–39.
Williams, P.B., and C.K. Cuffe, 1994. The management implications of the potential for closure of Bolinas Lagoon. Shore and Beach, 62(4):3–12, October.
Williams, P.B., and J. Florsheim, 1994. Designing the Sonoma Baylands Project. Coast & Ocean, Fall.
Williams, P.B., 1994. Flood control versus flood management. Civil Engineering, ASCE, New York, May.
Williams, P.B., 1994. Changing Perspectives in Wetland Management. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Wetland Management, Institution of Civil Engineers, London, UK, June 1–3, 1994.
Williams, P.B., 1993. Assessing the true value of flood control reservoirs: The experience of Folsom Dam in the February 1986 flood. Proceedings: ASCE National Conference on Hydraulic Engineering, San Francisco, CA, July, 25–30.
Williams, P.B., 1993. Overcoming technical barriers to integrating floodplain and wetland management. Proceedings: Symposium of Wetlands and Watershed Management, Association of State Wetland Managers, Reno, NV, March.
Andrews, E.S., and P.B. Williams, 1993. Management of rice fields for wetlands, water, and rice production. Proceedings: 1993 National Conference on Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, San Francisco, CA, July, 25–30.
Williams, P.B., 1993. “Flood Control Analysis” Chapter Eight, “Dam Safety Analysis,” Chapter Ten, and “Sedimentation Analysis,” Chapter 11. In: M. Barber and G. Ryder (eds.), Damming the Three Gorges, Earthscan Publications, Toronto, Canada.
Goodwin, P., and P.B. Williams, 1992. Restoration of coastal wetlands: The California experience. Journal of Institute of Water and Environmental Management, n. 6, pp. 709–719.
Abbe, T., P.B. Williams, and P. Faber, 1991. Monitoring the physical evolution of tidal wetland restoration projects. Proceedings: Coastal Zone ‘91 Conference, ASCE, Long Beach, CA, Paper No. 911.
Florsheim, J.L., L. Fishbain, and P.B. Williams, 1991. Hydrologic and geomorphic changes in the Tijuana River Estuary. Proceedings: Coastal Zone ‘91 Conference, ASCE, Long Beach, CA, July 8–12, 3(64):2108–2121.
Goodwin, P., T. Abbe, and P.B. Williams, 1991. Marsh erosion by wave action in Corte Madera Bay, California. Proceedings: Coastal Zone ‘91 Conference, ASCE, Long Beach, CA, Paper No. 245.
Goodwin, P., and P.B. Williams, 1991. Short-term characteristics of coastal lagoon entrances in California. Proceedings: Coastal Sediments 91, Symposium on Quantitative Approaches to Coastal Sediment, ASCE, Seattle, WA, June 25–27.
Williams, P.B., 1991. The case against large dams. Civil Engineering, ASCE, New York, August.
Williams, P.B., 1991. Rivers and lakes: Damming the flow. In: J. Porritt (ed.), Save the Earth, Turner Publishing, Atlanta, GA, pp. 167–172.
Florsheim, J.L., and P.B. Williams, 1990. Flood loss reduction and erosion control. Proceedings: The Country in the City Symposium, Audubon Society, Portland, OR, Portland University Press, April 23–28.
Williams, P.B., 1990. Rethinking flood control channel design. Civil Engineering, ASCE, New York, January.
Coats, R.N., M.L. Swanson, and P.B. Williams, 1989. Hydrologic analysis for coastal wetland restoration. Environmental Management, 13(6):715–727.
Williams, P.B., 1989. Adapting water resources management to global climate change. Villach Conference on Developing Policies for Managing the Effects of Climate Change, Special issue of Climatic Change, pp. 83–93.
Williams, P.B., 1989. Managing freshwater inflow to the San Francisco Bay Estuary. Regulated Rivers, Proceedings: Fourth International Conference on Regulated Rivers, 4(3).
Williams, P.B. and M. Josselyn, 1988. How much freshwater does San Francisco Bay need? Waterfront Age, 4(2):8–12, Spring.
Williams, P.B., 1988. The impacts of climate change on San Francisco Bay. Proceedings: Second North American Conference on Preparing for Climate Change, Climate Institute, Washington D.C., December.
Williams, P.B., and J. Galton Gale, 1988. Integrating tidal wetland restoration in coastal flood basin design—the example of Shorebird Marsh. Proceedings: National Symposium on Wetlands ‘88: Urban Wetlands and Riparian Habitat, Association of State Wetland Managers.
Williams, P.B., and J. Morrison, 1988. Warm Springs Marsh restoration, an example of creative mitigation. Proceedings: National Symposium on Wetlands ‘88: Urban Wetlands and Riparian Habitat, Association of State Wetland Managers.
Williams, P.B., A. Shephard, and P. Faber, 1988. Monitoring a tidal restoration site in San Francisco Bay—the Muzzi Marsh. Proceedings: National Symposium on Wetlands ‘88: Urban Wetlands and Riparian Habitat, Association of State Wetland Managers.
Williams, P.B., and M.L. Swanson, 1988. A new approach to flood protection design and riparian management. Proceedings: Second California Riparian Systems Conference, University of California, Davis, September 22–24.
Haltiner, J.P., and P.B. Williams, 1987. Hydraulic design in salt marsh restoration. Proceedings: National Symposium on Wetland Hydrology, Association of State Wetland Managers, Chicago, IL, Sept. 16–18.
Haltiner, J.P., and P.B. Williams, 1987. Slough channel design for salt marsh restoration. Proceedings: Eighth Annual Meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists, Seattle, WA, May.
Williams, P.B., M. Josselyn, and F. Wernette, 1987. River flow, salinity, and vegetation in the managed and unmanaged wetlands of Suisun Marsh. Presented at the Ninth Biennial International Estuarine Research Conference, New Orleans, October.
Williams, P.B., 1986. Hydrology in coastal wetland restoration design. Proceedings: National Wetland Symposium—Mitigation of Impacts and Losses, New Orleans, LA, October 8–10, pp. 329–336.
Williams, P.B., 1983. Damming the world. Not Man Apart, 13(8), October.
Williams, P.B., and T.H. Harvey, 1983. California coastal salt marsh restoration design. Proceedings: Coastal Zone ‘83 Conference, ASCE, June.
Williams, P.B., and E. Arens, 1981. Wind and building energy consumption: An overview. Proceedings: ASCE Conference, New York, Preprint 81–128, May 11–15.
Williams, P.B., 1979. The EIR process as a tool for implementing floodplain management policies. Proceedings: Flood Management Conference, California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, CA, Report No. 44.
Williams, P.B., 1978. Dam design: Is the technology faulty? New Scientist, 77(1088):180–282.
Williams, P.B., 1977. Taking another look at electrical system reliability. Public Utilities Fortnightly, March 17.
Williams, P.B., and P.H. Kemp, 1972. The initiation of sediment ripples from artificial disturbances. ASCE Hydraulics Division Journal, 98(HY6):1057–1070.
Williams, P.B., and P.H. Kemp, 1971. The initiation of sediment ripples on flat sand beds. ASCE Hydraulics Division Journal, April.
Williams, P.B. et al., 1970. Deposition velocities, transition velocities, and spatial distribution of solids in slurry pipelines. Proceedings: Hydrotransport 1, Coventry, England.