River Research & Design
Select a page to visit:
Executive Introduction - David L. Derrick
David L. DerrickName: David Derrick
 Telephone: 601-638-7717
Cellular: 601-218-7717

Mr. Derrick graduated from Villanova University with a B. S. Civil Engineering degree in 1978 and has been employed continuously at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Engineering Research and Development Center since June of 1978. He currently holds the position of Research Hydraulic Engineer in the Coastal and Hydraulics Lab (CHL).  In addition, since 1997 Mr. Derrick has held the position of vice president with River Research and Design, Inc.  A true innovator, he specializes in environmentally compatible, cost-effective approaches and methodologies for design of river and streambank stabilization and riparian corridor restoration projects; stream investigation and analysis using principles of fluvial geomorphology; sediment transport analysis; navigation channel improvement effects of river training structures; innovative construction methodologies for stream stabilization works; river and stream training structure inspection, monitoring, and performance analysis; and physical movable-bed modeling.  David is a very hands-on practitioner and has been actively involved in the development of innovative workshops (assessment, design, construction, and bioengineering), innovative construction methodologies, construction layout techniques, and inspection and monitoring master plans and guidelines for stream and river restoration projects.  Mr. Derrick has also been involved in 7 dam removal projects, karst topography (sinkhole) stream stabilization situations, arid dry-wash restorations, and salmon and trout stream restoration.  He has practiced in most parts of the country, and his knowledge and practical experience ranges from the Mississippi River to the very smallest of streams.

He has been the principal investigator, or a team member, of research work units investigating the effects of vegetative roughness and developing repair and maintenance guidelines for all Corps shallow-draft river training structures (over 10,000 structures). 

Mr. Derrick has developed and refined the following cost-effective streambank protection techniques:  the Willow Curtain and Willow Pole bioengineering methodologies; machine-placed and minimal-stone (hand-placed) Bendway Weirs; tree trunk Bendway Weirs (5 variations);  Traffic Control Stones, Thalweg Control Stones, geotextile bag Bendway Weirs; two-stage Bendway Weirs; L and T-Head Bendway Weirs; minimal Longitudinal Peaked Stone Toe Protection (LPSTP at less than 1 ton/ft), LPSTP combined with rock vanes or plain, L or T Head Bendway Weirs, and LPSTP combined with vegetated benches and spur dikes for desert environments.  Mr. Derrick has been instrumental in pioneering the use of Bendway Weirs to redirect stream flow to protect highway bridge abutments and pipeline crossings.  In most cases these projects have required a combination of techniques   Mr. Derrick has also used Single-Stone Bendway Weirs successfully on three projects.

For grade control Mr. Derrick has championed 3 tree trunk “Log Digger” Structures; Adjustable Engineered Rock Riffles; Engineered Rock Riffles with all stones in compression, Adjustable Random Native Boulder Engineered Grade Control Structures, and Viffles.

For restoration/aquatic habitat improvement projects Mr. Derrick has developed and refined the "Locked-Limb"; "Locked-Log"; "Locked-Log" with footer logs; Fuzzy Locked Logs; “Half-Dense” Riprap,  “Smooshed” riprap, "Instant Shade"; Extreme Instant Shade; "California" style LUNKERS; “Corner LUNKERS”; ADA accessible fishing platform “LUNKERS”; "Hydraulic Cover Stones" (5 types); "Wiggle" shoreline deflectors; "Align & Catch" log revetment pairings; “Squeezers”; “Missing Tooth” Stone Transverse bars; "Dense Fibrous Root Replication"; "Pushed Trees"; Missouri River Kickers & “Kink” kickers for small streams; many types of  innovative fisherman access; vegetated, buried (soil-choked), and curved keys; vine cover for exposed stone, Duck Resting Rocks; and "Exclusionary Vegetation".

Mr. Derrick has also championed the following Abrupt Planform Modifiers:  Angle Slams, Grand Slams, Boil-Up Pools. Wrong-Way Boil-Up Pools, & Twin-Spin Boil-Up Pools.

Most complex projects have involved many shareholders, including landowners and conservation groups, as well as local, county, state and federal agencies.  In many cases Mr. Derrick acts as a facilitator to combine the skill sets and experience of these diverse assemblages of personnel, forming them into the required interdisciplinary team.   
He has conceptualized, but not yet built the following: “California” style LUNKERS; “wiggle” shoreline deflectors; “fingerling escape channels”; “low-elevation melt-away wooden pole retards; totally removable bank protection; “stream-side shrubs”; and sharp-nosed chevron flow concentrators.

Ongoing research centers on the practical application of many of the aforementioned techniques, and analysis of soaking and planting of eight species of adventitious rooting plants in six different configurations during the non-dormant season.

 In addition to his work in research and development, Mr. Derrick is often called on as a technical consultant for complex projects involving diverse shareholders, including landowners, conservation groups, as well as local, county, state and federal agency personnel. he often acts as a facilitator to identify and combine shareholder’s skill sets and experience of this diverse assemblage of personnel, forming them into the required effective, interdisciplinary design team.

Each year Mr. Derrick develops and instructs in workshops and week-long training courses on various subjects throughout the country for a multitude of aquatic resource clients, both public and private, reaching an audience of 500-900 people annually. Mr. Derrick is a co-developer and co-instructor in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) course “An Introduction to Stream Investigation, Stabilization, and Restoration”.  In 2006 Mr. Derrick started teaching hands-on workshops where a stream is completely constructed during class and participants take part in planting and other construction activities.

Selected projects and research are hereby presented.  Many of these technically complex projects involved multiple agencies and required an interdisciplinary team approach.  Mr. Derrick collaborates both formally and informally with an extensive network of regional, national, and internationally known experts.