Santa Cruz, CA
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  Portland, OR
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Denis Ruttenberg, PE, MS

Senior Engineer

Yosemite DRContact Denis:
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Denis Ruttenberg is a Registered Civil Engineer in California and Oregon with more than 25 years of experience in civil engineering and water resources, serving to sustainably restore and maintain surface water systems. His experience ranges from maintaining hydroelectric turbines to designing amphibian habitat ponds and nature-like fish passage structures. Mr. Ruttenberg joined Waterways in August 2018 as a Senior Engineer in the Santa Cruz office, continuing his emphasis on projects in the SF Bay Area and Central Coast, after previous positions with other respected firms. His responsibilities include civil design, advanced hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, ground and bathymetric survey, remote sensor deployment, and project management. Mr. Ruttenberg has led projects that vary from small bridge replacements to large-scale hydrologic monitoring programs with regulatory reporting. In addition, he also has performed many technical presentations and planned and moderated sessions at professional conferences, primarily focused on biotechnical design, sediment transport, and fish passage design.

Mr. Ruttenberg is an active member and a past Chair of the Fisheries Engineering Committee, a Joint Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers (EWRI Institute) and the American Fisheries Society (Bioengineering Section), which serves as a nexus for Engineers and Biologists to improve fish passage for native species.


Past Project Experience:

  • Ground survey and bathymetric survey
  • Design and terrain modeling in Autodesk Civil 3D
  • Advanced hydraulic modeling in HEC-RAS for fish passage and biotechnical design
  • Design and implementation of Large Wood Jams for aquatic habitat
  • Hydrologic modeling in HEC-HMS, SCS Curve Number Method (TR-55), other models
  • Sediment transport modeling for dam removal studies and salmonid habitat assessments
  • Remote sensor deployment and maintenance for stream gaging and reporting
  • Construction observation and post-construction monitoring for instream and pond projects
  • Regional Stream Engineer for USDA NRCS to prioritize and implement habitat restoration
  • Committee Member and Past Chair of National ASCE-EWRI / AFS-BES Fisheries Engineering Committee, since 2012



M.S. University of Idaho in Boise, Center for Ecohydraulics Research; 2007, Civil Engineering; Thesis and Study Emphasis on Hydraulic Modeling and Fish Passage at Rock Weirs.

B.S. University of California at Davis; 1990, Civil Engineering

Natural History Certificate, College of Marin; Greenbrae, California; 2004, Biological Sciences