AQUA TERRA Consultants
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Tong Zhai

Environmental and Agricultural Engineer


  • Computer Simulation Modeling (hydrologic, water quality, ecological, agricultural)
  • Botany and Plant Protection
  • Software Development
  • Geographic Information Systems


Dr. Zhai is an environmental and agricultural engineer with wide-ranging experience in computer simulation modeling to support scientifically-based resource management decisions.

Dr. Zhai joined AQUA TERRA Consultants in 2008 with over ten years of experience working for academia and industry in the areas of environmental engineering and life sciences. During his time with AQUA TERRA, he has been able to contribute to and completed a variety of projects including: software redesign work, climate change assessments, integration of software tools, and environmental impact assessments. In addition, Dr. Zhai provides GIS support on many of AQUA TERRA's modeling projects, and has written customized GIS software with ArcGIS. Dr. Zhai also helps create GIS data for various modeling projects.

As a highly proficient computer programmer, Dr. Zhai has developed decision support systems for environmental impact assessment, and numerous web-based GIS applications. He is part of the US EPA BASINS software development team.

Dr. Zhai's knowledge of computer simulation models spans agroforestry models, soil and water models, ecosystem models, and hydrologic surface water and ground water models. He has extensive experience in applying models including: SWAT, GLEAMS, GRASIM, WEPP, HEC-RAS, MODFLOW, and HSPF among others.

Dr. Zhai has taught university-level courses (at Purdue University) that include computer modeling, land surveying, technical graphics communication, and geometric modeling for visualization and communication. He has authored many journal articles and research proposals through his career. In addition, he has provided extension and outreach curricula and workshops for several international endeavors.

Professional Data

  • AgriLife Research and Extension Service (formerly Blackland Research and Extension Center at Temple, Texas) - Postdoctoral Scholar, 2008
  • Purdue University - Postdoctoral Researcher and Instructor in Agricultural Engineering, 2005
  • Purdue University - Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, 2003
  • Purdue University - MS in Botany and Plant Pathology, 1998
  • Beijing Agricultural University - BA in Botany and Plant Protection, 1992