Andrew Binns

Headshot of Andrew Binns
Associate Professor
School of Engineering
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ext. 54011
THRN 2414
Seeking academic or industry partnerships in the area(s) of: 
Industrial partnership with Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR):
Available positions for grads/undergrads/postdoctoral fellows: 
Yes - grad students

Instrumentation and Capabilities

Teledyne RDI StreamPro acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) 

  • Instrument for measurement of stream cross-sectional velocity profiles

Nortek Vectrino 2D Water Velocity Sensor Lab Probe

  • Side-looking fixed-stem velocity probe to be able to measure two-dimensional velocities in shallow flows

River basin flume

  • 1.9 m-wide by 5.6 m-long river basin flume connected to a recirculating water supply system to conduct physical laboratory experiments to investigate river morphodynamic processes

Backwater valve laboratory model

  • Physical model of a backwater valve to investigate the performance of backwater valves installed on household sewer laterals to mitigate occurrences of basement flooding

Foundation drainage system laboratory model

  • Physical model of a household foundation drainage system to investigate infiltration processes and the performance of basement flooding mitigation approaches

Education and Employment Background

Dr. Andrew Binns received his PhD from Queen’s University in 2012. He then held a position as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph and a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Western Ontario. He joined the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph in 2015 where he is an Associate Professor and a Principal Investigator for the G360 Institute for Groundwater Research. He is a registered professional engineer in the province of Ontario.

Research Themes

Binns’s research focuses on water resources engineering and environmental hydraulics and is concerned with the sustainability and resiliency of surface water environments. This includes examination of the fundamental processes related to surface water hydraulics and watershed hydrology and the development of tools and approaches to predict this behaviour and the response to natural and anthropogenic stressors. In general, Binns’s research falls within the broad topics of fluvial hydraulics, urban hydrology and flood prevention and prediction. Key areas of focus include:

  1. Response and resiliency of rivers and streams to natural and anthropogenic stressors. Rivers and streams are sensitive to changes in discharge conditions resulting from natural disturbances (such as seasonal variation in flow regime) and anthropogenic stressors (such as flow regulation, river engineering and stream modification projects). Complex interactions between stream hydraulics and sediment transport result in morphological adjustments in rivers where the stream bed and banks undergo processes of erosion and deposition. These processes can have severe short- and long-term consequences to flood hazard, ecosystem health and the downstream transport of pollutants. Research under this theme investigates the response and resiliency of alluvial rivers and streams to natural disturbances and anthropogenic stressors through laboratory and field-based investigations in order to design engineering solutions and management plans to minimize adverse effects on the riverine environment.
  2. Urban resiliency and basement flood risk. Urban flooding events can result in dramatic property and economic losses, with lasting adverse impacts to social and environmental well-being. Research under this theme investigates the performance of technologies and approaches that can be implemented at the property-scale to reduce property damages associated with basement flooding. This includes technology such as backwater valves to reduce the risk of basement flooding due to sewer surcharge, foundation drainage systems to reduce the risk of basement flooding due to infiltration, and other lot-level approaches to improve drainage and reduce excessive runoff to municipal infrastructure. Research under this theme investigates the performance of these technologies and approaches through experimental and numerical techniques and seeks to develop a greater understanding of the factors affecting basement flood risk in order to reduce water-damage and improve urban resiliency to flooding events.
  3. Watershed hydraulic and hydrologic processes. Hydrologic and hydraulic processes impact the spatial and temporal distribution of water within watersheds. Of particular interest to the vulnerability of infrastructure and societal well-being is the issue of flooding driven by pluvial and fluvial events. Research under this theme aims to develop greater knowledge of hydrologic and hydraulic processes in watersheds in order to predict impacts from extreme rainfall events and riverine flooding and design measures that protect the environment and ensure the sustainability of water resources. Research under this theme includes examination of the effects of land use, watershed characteristics, climate and the presence and condition of stormwater management infrastructure on the magnitude, timing and impact of flooding events. Furthermore, this research explores how these characteristics and conditions impact the various components of the hydrologic cycle (e.g., runoff, evapotranspiration, infiltration, etc.).


  • Peter A. Rosati Award for Outstanding Teaching in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Western Ontario, 2013
  • NSERC Discovery grant, 2020-2025 (Response and resiliency of rivers and streams to natural and anthropogenic stressors)
  • NSERC Collaborative Research and Development grant with Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, 2017-2021 (Lot-level practices to control urban flood risk and mitigate basement flooding in Canada)
  • Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Canada-Ontario Agreement (COA) grant, 2020-2023 (Nutrient dynamics in the transition zone between groundwater and surface water)
  • OMAFRA-UofG Partnership grant, 2018-2021 (Groundwater-surface water interactions and agricultural nutrient transport in a Great Lakes basin clay plains system)
  • Associate Editor for Journal of Flood Risk Management, 2019-present
  • Hydrotechnical Division Committee Member, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, 2014-present

Media Coverage

Flooding Research