Salih is a professor of Civil engineering at Khartoum University, Sudan. After his PhD and DIC at Imperial College, London, he returned to Sudan in 1973 and has since worked in various teaching, research and consulting capacities at the University and abroad. These positions include the deputy vice chancellorship of the University; UNESCO's environmental adviser (Arab Region), deputy secretary of the IHP and director of Cairo and Tehran Offices and director of Water Sciences Division in Paris. He initiated regional and international networks on water resources management in arid zones and served as a jury member of many international water prizes. He is a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences and the International Water Resources Association. He is a member of many International Scientific Associations (IAHR, IAHS, etc.).