Among awards and honors he received are the UNESCO Gold Medal for the Best Engineering Student of the Year (1979), Presidential Young Investigator Award (NSF, 1986), ASU Alumni Distinguished Research Award (1997), Rieger Foundation Distinguish Scholar Award in Environmental Sciences (2001), William Mong Lectureship from the University of Hong Kong (2004) and Life Time Achievement Award from the Sri Lanka Foundation of the USA (2007). He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Physical Society (APS), American Meteorological Society (AMS) and American Association for Advancement in Science (AAAS). He was elected to the European Academy in 2009 and was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universite Joseph Fourier (University of Grenoble, France) in 2014.
In 2007, he was featured in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune and a dozen of international news media for his work on hydrodynamics of beach defenses. In closing the year 2008, the Arizona Republic Newspaper honored him by including in “Tempe Five Who Matter” -- one of the five residents who have made a notable difference in the life of the city, in recognition of his work on Phoenix Urban Heat Island. He has held visiting professorships at the University of Cambridge (UK), ETH (Zurich), University of Toulon (France), Tel Aviv University (Israel) and University of Girona (Spain). Fernando was an AWU fellow at the Solar Energy Research Institute (1987-89) and a visiting scientist at the British Meteorological Office (1991-96).
He has served on numerous national and international committees and panels, more recently on the Sumatra Tsunami Survey Panel (NSF, 2005), Louisiana Coastal Area Science and Technology Board (2006-2011), the American Geophysical Union Committee on Natural Disasters (2006), National Science Foundation Environmental Science and Engineering Advisory Committee (2012-2015) and Sacramento Delta Independent Science Board (2012-2015). He serves on the editorial boards of Applied Mechanics Reviews (Associate Editor 1989-), Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics (Editor, 1997-), IAHR Journal of Hydro-Environment (Associate Editor, 2007-), EGS Journal of Non-Linear Processes in Geophysics (Editor, 2010-) and Physics of Fluids (Associate Editor 2013-2015). He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Environmental Fluid Dynamics. He has published more than 225 papers spanning some 50 different International Journals covering basic fluid dynamics, experimental methods, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences and engineering, air pollution, alternative energy sources, acoustics, heat transfer and hydraulics, river and fluids engineering. He is the Editor of the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Handbook (Taylor Francis), a volume on Human Health and National Security Implications of Climate Change (Springer), and Double Diffusive Convection (AGU).
Currently is leading two large multidisciplinary and multi-million dollar research projects: he is the Principal Investigator of the Weather Prediction in Mountain Terrain (Mountain Terrain Atmospheric Modeling and Observations – MATERHORN – Program; www.nd.edu/~dynamics/materhorn) funded by the Department of Defense and is the Principal Scientist for the ASIRI – Air-sea interactions in Northern Indian Ocean- project funded by the Office of Naval Research.