Student Spotlights

Gonzalo Espinoza-Dávalos

Solutions for Water Sustainability

gonzalo davalos espinoza

For his research, Gonzalo utilizes GIS technology which are digital map representations of geospatial features.

Gonzalo Espinoza-Dávalos is currently working on his Ph.D. in water resources engineering. For his research he utilizes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and is investigating innovative methods of spatial interpolation of precipitation data taking into account local topographic factors such as elevation and slope.

Espinoza obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering at the La Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes (Mexico) and his Master’s Degree in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at UT Austin.

While he was an undergraduate student, his volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity Mexico taught him about the great need for his current research:  “I visited most of the rural communities in my home state (Aguascalientes) and I realized the importance of water for development and quality of life; especially in the semi-arid high planes of Mexico that have important challenges regarding water sustainability.”

Espinoza said he decided to pursue his graduate degrees at UT Austin specifically to work under his current supervisor, David Maidment, the leading expert in GIS for Water Resources and a very important referent in hydrologic sciences.  Among Maidment’s recent awards, he received the Ray K. Linsley Award from the American Institute of Hydrology in 2012, “In recognition of his contributions in the field of Surface Water Hydrology”.  

Espinoza has engaged in summer internships for two consecutive years at Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (Esri), the leading GIS software company.  He has been working in the hydrology department developing tools, new approaches, and best practices that can be used by the water resources community.

When asked what he likes most about Austin and UT, Espinoza replied, “I like the diversity, the spirit, and the good vibe.”  What he likes most about the department is that “it is very focused on practical application and has a very close relationship with industry.”  

In his spare time, soccer is his favorite hobby.  He plays in the intramural fields and also watches international games with his group of friends.

Espinoza summarized his future goals: “I would like to go back to Mexico and collaborate with the government to face the water scarcity and sustainability challenges.”