Water resources face increasing pressures from population growth, land use change, and climate change. The mission of our lab is to create innovative tools and methods that can help improve the sustainability of water resources in the built and natural environments. We use modeling and optimization techniques, such as hydrologic and hydraulic models, agent-based models, cellular automata, GIS, remote sensing, and evolutionary optimization algorithms.

Research Interests
  • Sustainability of the Built and Natural Environments
  • Stormwater Low Impact Development (LID) and Green Infrastructure
  • Drought Management and Water Conservation
  • Resilience and Security of Cyber-Physical Systems




Research Resources

  • Evolutionary Computation Framework: we use advanced simulation and optimization algorithms implemented in Java, for single and multi-objective problems, that include genetic algorithm, evolution strategies, method for generating alternatives, and agent-based modeling.
  • Other softwares: ArcGIS, ENVI, Matlab, Eclipse, R, Python, HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS, SWAT, SWMM and Anylogic.
  • High Performance Computing: UTSA Office of Information Technology owns a high performance computing (HPC) cluster, SHAMU, which consists of 80 computational nodes, with 16 TeraBytes of shared memory and 96 TB of shared disk storage. The SHAMU cluster also includes two high-end visualization nodes (gpu-1-0 and gpu-1-1 listed above). These two nodes include Nvidia Tesla K80 GPU accelerators. All nodes are connected via InfiniBand 40Gbs fiber cards and switches and SHAMU has 10Gbps connectivity to Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in Austin.
  • Stormwater Flow Monitoring: our lab currently operates 3 stormboxs with Teledyne ISCO Signature Flow Meter, ISCO 3700 automatic water sampler, tipping bucket TR-525USW rain gauge, and solar panel. Water samples are analyzed in the UTSA Environmental Engineering Laboratory for a range of water quality parameters, including pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, total suspended solids, volatile suspended solids, nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria, and metals.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Sharif, H., Weissmann, A., Giacomoni, M., Dessouky, S., Rashed-Ali, H., Kapoor, V. “Hydrology Infrastructure Data Collection and Analysis Services”, Sponsored by Texas General Land Office, State, $1,536,419 (June 1st – October 31st 2019).
  • Papagiannakis, A. & Giacomoni, M. “Demonstrating the Environmental Benefits of Permeable Paved Surfaces over the Edwards Aquifer”, Sponsored by City of San Antonio, Local, $1,035,761 (September 1st 2019 – August 31st 2022).
  • Giacomoni, M. & Olivera, F. “Assessing the Impacts of Super Storm Flooding in the Transportation Infrastructure – Case Study: San Antonio, TX”, Sponsored by TranSET and City of San Antonio, Regional, $140,000 (July 1st 2018 – December 31st 2019).
  • Giacomoni, M. & Shipley, H., “Implementation of a Low Impact Development Test Bed at The University of Texas at San Antonio Main Campus“, Sponsored by City of San Antonio, $ 1,069,113 (June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2020).
  • Taha, A.,  Gatsis, N., Giacomoni M. “Collaborative Research: Selecting Sensors and Actuators for Topologically Evolving Networked Dynamical Systems: Battling Contamination in Water Networks“, Sponsored by National Science Foundation, Division of Civil, Mechanical & Manufacturing Innovation, $299,974.00 (August 1 2017 – July 31 2020).

Past Projects

  • Giacomoni, M. & Shipley, H. J., “Monitoring and Modeling Stormwater Quality at UTSA Main Campus“, Sponsored by Great Edwards Aquifer Alliance/San Antonio River Authority, State, $42,800.00 (January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016).
  • Castillo Villar, K. K. & Giacomoni, M., “Increasing Awareness through the Development of an Web-based Educational Tool to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Coal Power Plants“, Sponsored by Environmental Protection Agency, Federal, $15,000.00 (September 2016 – August 2017).
  • Castillo Villar, K., Giacomoni, M., Shipley, H., Chen, F., “Opportunities for Higher Education and Research Experience in Renewable Energy and Water Quality to Enable STEM Hispanic Leaders“, Sponsored by National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Federal, $290,000.00 (August 1, 2014 – July 31, 2016).
  • Giacomoni, M., “Development of an Optimization Framework for Sanitary Sewer Overflow Reduction in the San Antonio Sanitary System“, Sponsored by San Antonio Water System, Local, $187,972.00 (October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2015).


Published in peer reviewed journals

  1. Babbar-Sebens, M., Root, E., Rosenberg, D., Watkins, D., Mirchi, A., Giacomoni, M., Madani, M. (2019) “Training Water Resources Systems Engineers to Communicate: Acting on Observations from On-the-Job Practitioners”. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice. 145(4), https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)EI.1943-5541.0000427.
  2. Macedo, M., Lago, C. Mendiondo, E. Giacomoni, M. (2019) “Bioretention performance under different rainfall regimes in subtropical conditions: A case study in São Carlos, Brazil”. Journal of Environmental Management. 248, 109266, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.109266.
  3. Aranguren, M.*, Castillo-Villar, K., Aboytes-Ojeda, M. *, Giacomoni, M. (2018) “Simulation-Optimization Approach for the Logistics Network Design of Biomass Co-firing with Coal at Power Plants”. Sustainability. 10, 4299; doi:10.3390/su10114299.
  4. Zarezadeh, V. *, Lung, T. *, Dorman, T., Shipley, H., Giacomoni, M. (2018) “Assessing the Performance of Sand Filter Basin in Treating Urban Stormwater Runoff”. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 190: 697. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-018-7069-5.
  5. Taormina, R., Galelli, S., Tippenhauer, N., Salomons, E., Ostfeld, A., Eliades, D., Aghashahi, M., Sundararajan, R., Pourahmadi, M., Banks, M., Brentan, B., Campbell, E., Lima, G., Manzi, D. Ayala-Cabrera, D., Herrera, M., Montalvo, I., Izquierdo, J., Luvizotto Jr., E., Chandy, S., Rasekh, A., Barker, Z., Campbell, B., Shafiee, M., Giacomoni, M., Gatsis, N., Taha, A., Abokifa, A., Haddad, K., Lo, C., Biswas, P., Pasha, M., Kc, B., Somasundaram, S., Housh, M., Ohar, Z. (2018). “The Battle of the Attack Detection Algorithms: Disclosing Cyber Attacks on Water Distribution Networks”. J of Water Resources Planning and Management. http://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000969.
  6. Rosenberg, D., Babbar-Sebens, M., Root, E., Herman, J., Mirchi, A., Giacomoni, M., Kasprzyk, J., Madani, K., Ford, D., Basdekas, L. (2017)  “Towards More Integrated Formal Education and Practice in Water Resources Systems Analysis”. J Water Resources Planning and Management, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000847.
  7. Itaquy, B., Olufunso, O., Giacomoni, M. (2017). “Application of Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm to Reduce Wet Weather Sanitary Sewer Overflows and Surcharge.” J of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment. doi:10.1061/JSWBAY.0000826.
  8. Giacomoni, M., Joseph, J. (2017). “Multi-Objective Evolutionary Optimization and Monte Carlo Simulation for Placement of Low Impact Development in the Catchment Scale.” J Water Resources Management and Planning. 143(9), 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000812.
  9. Olufunso, O., Giacomoni, M. (2017). “Enhancing the Performance of Multiobjective Evolutionary Algorithm for Sanitary Sewer Overflow Reduction.” J Water Resources Management and Planning. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000774.
  10. Olufunso, O., Giacomoni, M. (2016). “Multiobjective Genetic Optimization Approach to Identify Pipe Segment Replacements and Inline Storages to Reduce Sanitary Sewer Overflows.” Water Resources Management, 10.1007/s11269-016-1373-z.
  11. Giacomoni, M., Berglund, E. (2015). “Complex Adaptive Modeling Framework for Evaluating Adaptive Demand Management for Urban Water Resources Sustainability.” J Water Resources Planning and Management, 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000543 , 04015024.
  12. Giacomoni, M.H., G. Ryan, E.Z. Berglund (2014) “Hydrologic Impact Assessment of Land Use Change Using the Hydrologic Footprint Residence”. J American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 1-15. DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12187.
  13. Giacomoni, M.H., Kanta, L., E.M. Zechman (2013) “A Complex Adaptive Systems Approach to Simulate the Sustainability of Water Resources and Urbanization” J Water Resources Planning and Management, 139(5), Sept. 2013, pp 554- 564.
  14. Zechman, E.M., Giacomoni, M.H., and Shafiee, M.E. (2013) “An evolutionary algorithm approach to generate distinct sets of non-dominated solutions for wicked problems,” Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence 26(5), pp. 1442-1457.
  15. Giacomoni, M.H., E.M. Zechman, K. Brumbelow (2012) “The Hydrologic Footprint Residence: An Environmentally-friendly Criteria for Best Management Practices,” J Hydrologic Engineering, 17(1), pp. 99-108.
  16. Damodaram, C., Giacomoni, M.H., Prakash Khedun, C., Holmes, H., Ryan, A., Saour, W. and Zechman, E.M., (2010) “Simulation of Combined Best Management Practices and Low Impact Development for Sustainable Stormwater Management,” J American Water Resources Association 46(5), pp. 907-918.
  17. Giacomoni, M.H., Mendes, C.A.B. (2008) “Regional Evapotranspiration Estimatives by Remote Sensing Techniques integrated to Energy Balance Model.” Brazilian Journal of Water Resources (RBRH). V. 13 n. 4, p. 33-42. (Published in Portuguese).
  18. Veríssimo, M., Rosa, J.W.C., Ribeiro, M.C.L., Giacomoni, M.H., Pinha, P.R.S. (2001) Urban Index to Water Systems Sustainability. Case: Federal District. Revista Universa, Brasília, v. 9, n. 2, p. 245-278, 2001. (Published in Portuguese).

Referred Book Chapter

  1. Ward S, Dornelles F, Giacomoni M, Memon FA. (2014) Incentivising and Charging for Rain Water Harvesting – Three International Perspectives, Memon FA,Ward S (eds), Alternative Water Supply Systems, IWA, 153-168.
  2. Veríssimo, M., Giacomoni, M.H., Ribeiro, M.C.L., Rosa, J.W.C., Meneses, P.R. APA Gama Cabeça-de-Veado – Conservation Unit Mosaic. In: Subsidies to environmental zoning of APA Gama Cabeça-de-Veado. Characterizations e Socio-Environmental Conflicts. Brasília: UNESCO, MAB, Biosphere Reserve of Cerrado, 2003.


Minority Student Recruitment and Mentoring

Active recruitment and mentoring of minority students is an important component of my teaching and education program. With an increasing percentage of the US population of minority background, it is important to encourage, recruit and mentor minority students. As a result, I have made it a priority to recruit and develop minority students. If you are a minority student willing to do research in the field of water resources, send an email to marcio.giacomoni@utsa.edu.

Former Graduate Students:

  • Olufunso Ogidan. PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering. Graduation: December 2016. Dissertation Title: “Sanitary Sewer Overflow Reduction Optimization using Multiobjective Evolutionary Computation”.
  • Vahid Zarezadeh. PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering. Graduation:  December 2017. Dissertation Title: “Coupling Hydrologic and Urbanization Modeling: A Multi-Scale Investigation to Enhance Urban Water Resource Systems Sustainability”.
  • Bruno Itaquy. Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Graduation: May 2016. Thesis Title: “Multi Objective Genetic Algorithm Approach To Reduce Sanitary Sewer Overflow”.
  • Jules Tallichet. Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Graduation: May 2018. Thesis Title: “Exploring the Optimization of Placement and Sizing for Low Impact Developments Using Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm”.
  • Siavash Eidi. Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Graduation: December 2018. Thesis Title: “Analyzing the Effect of Urbanization on Surface Runoff for Intense Rainfall Storm Events: Case Study of Olmos Creek in San Antonio, Texas”.

Former Undergraduate Students:

  • Alexander Manjarres. Undergraduate Research Assistant. Bachelor in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Graduation: May 2019. Research Title: “Low Impact Development Soil Media Column Experiments to Test Removal of Stormwater Pollution”.
  • Herta Montoya. Undergraduate Research Assistant. Bachelor in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Graduation: December 2018. Research Title: “Sensitivity Analysis of an Optimization Approach to Identify Cyber Attacks on Water Distribution Networks”.
  • Travis Lung. Undergraduate Research Assistant. Bachelor in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Graduation: December 2016. Thesis Title: “Storm Water Quality Monitoring for the Development of Low Impact Basin Design Alternatives”.
  • Crista G. Cerda-Garcia. Alamo Colleges CIMA Summer Research Program. Summer 2016. Research title: “Sand Filter Efficiency on Treating Storm Water at UTSA Main Campus“.
  • Paul Martinez. The McNair Scholars program. Summer 2014. Research Title: “Assessing the Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting on Storm water and Water Supply of an Institutional Watershed in San Antonio, Texas“.



CEE 4603 Water Resources Engineering

This course focuses on the analysis and design of surface and subsurface water resource facilities. Applications include the design of water supply systems, wastewater collection, and storm water systems.

CEE 4733 Applied Hydrology

Applied hydrology covers basic principles and applications of hydrology to water resources engineering. Main topics include: hydrologic cycle, precipitation, hydrologic abstractions, surface runoff, unit hydrographs, synthetic hydrographs, and flood and reservoir routing.

CEE 6013 Hydrologic Simulation and Analysis

This course addresses hydrological modeling (both theory and practical applications with focus on the latter) and related issues.  Most of the course is dedicated to hands-on, problem-oriented applications using a variety of practical techniques. It provide students with the knowledge and tools necessary to use data derived from geographical information systems (GIS) to develop hydrologic estimates needed for different applications.

CEE 6343 Water Resource Systems Analysis

Systems Analysis methods use algorithmic and mathematical approaches for problem-solving. These are powerful methods that can be applied to solve complex design and management problems for water resources systems and other engineering areas. This class focus on optimization methods, such as linear programming, integer programming, nonlinear programming, genetic algorithms, and dynamic programming, and their application to water resources systems. Advanced Systems Analysis methods, including sensitivity analysis, alternatives generation, and multi-objective optimization will be introduced to address the complexities associated with public sector decision-making.

CEE 4543 Project Design and Construction Management

Civil Engineering design process, project specifications, and construction management. Topics covered include design process/practices, project proposals, pricing, specifications, bidding strategies, project management/scheduling and project financing. The course forms the student teams for CE 4813 Civil Engineering Design and identifies projects. Students are trained on how to write Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the identified projects and how to write engineering consulting proposals in reply to the RFP. Students are also trained on how to present proposals to a panel of senior engineers at the end of the semester. Course must be taken the semester prior to taking CE 4813. (Formerly CE 3543. Credit cannot be earned for both CE 3543 and CE 4543).