conference

39th IAHR World Congress (Granada, Spain)

The 39th World Congress organized by the International Association for Hydro-Environmental Research (IAHR) was held last week in Granada (south Spain; see figure below, left). Adina Moraru (work package 2) has attended this biennial congress that included 98 oral regular sessions, 15 special sessions, 4 high-level panels, 8 technical visits, hundreds of posters on display (see figure below, right) several side events, workshops and master classes.

The week was packed with meetings of different IAHR committees and special sessions. Adina attended the so-called “Institutes Meeting”, a networking-oriented side event (see upper three photographs below) where several public and private research instutions were invited to present their research and diversity (upper-left: Ana Adeva-Bustos from SINTEF, Norway, upper-center: Cristina Anacabe from IHE-Delft, the Netherlands). Tom Soo, the executive director for IAHR attended the meeting (upper-right photograph) and initiated a brainstorm for future events. Another interesting special session was the “Review of the IAHR Green Paper: Towards practical flood assessment for development projects“, coordinated by Stefan Haun (head of the Hydraulic Lab. at University of Stuttgart, Germany; lower photograph below) with Alastair Barnett (HYDRA Software, New Zealand; lower photograph below) and James Ball (University of Technology Sydney, Australia) as authors of the paper and invited speakers.

The breaks and late evenings were reserved for networking events especially oriented to early careers. For instance, the John F. Kennedy Student Paper Competition held (see list of finalists in upper-left and upper-center figures below) before the Young Professionals Assembly and Young Professionals Night (upper-right photograph portraits some of the attendees to the latter networking event crossing Genil river). Adina (lower photograph, second from right to left in back row), as co-founder and president of IAHR Scandinavia Young Professionals Network (founded in late 2020), got a VIP invitation to the Young Professionals Night. During the evening, a Kahoot competition was arranged by the local YPN, IAHR Spain YPN, and prizes were handed to the winners (lower photograph: the 1st prize was handed to Markus Bähner, a friendly master student from TUM in Germany).

The oral presentations were grouped in themes, and Adina attended the ones focused on Computational and Experimental Methods and, of course, Extreme Events: from Droughts to Floods (see photographs below). Some highlights of these thematic sessions were presentations on the use of numerical models to investigate intermittent streams, i.e. small rivers that do not always contain flowing water, under increasingly pressing climate change conditions (left-hand figure: Prof. Michael Tritthart from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences BOKU, Vienna, Austria) or the recently developed drought prevention and management toolbox by the United Nations in collaboration with DHI (right-hand figure; UN Environment Programme-DHI Centre), which is supported by an openly available database and uses specific indicators to build an early warning system for droughts. The latter is very related to Adina‘s previous work on indicators controlling river channel erosion during flash floods (conference paper), as well as on the identification of critical points in steep rivers using numerical modelling (conference paper) for a better and faster flood modelling. She went home very pleased and excited!

Finally, the Congress Gala (upper-left and lower-center photographs) and Closing Ceremony ended the 39th IAHR World Congress. The Congress Gala was held at the Parque de las Ciencias, where they carry out scientific dissemination, and a delightful flamenco show entertained the attendees (upper-left photograph). So what’s next? The Young Professionals Assembly held earlier in the week brought up forthcoming activities for early careers (upper-right photograph), and several YPNs will arrange these activities to help their members learn and network. Some of the IAHR Scandinavia Young Professionals Network board attended these events (lower-center, from left to right: Slaven Conevski, co-founder and secretary for IAHR Scandinavia YPN, and Adina Moraru, co-founder and president for IAHR Scandinavia YPN) and will take part in future initiatives. Although this congress is held biennially, as the 39th IAHR World Congress was delayed 1 year due to the pandemic, the 40th IAHR World Congress will take place in August 2023 in Vienna, Austria, right in schedule.

From left to right: Slaven Conevski (Secretary for IAHR Scandinavia YPN), Adina Moraru (president for IAHR Scandinavia YPN), Théo Dezert (posdoc at NTNU) & Geir Helge Kiplesund (PhD candidate at NTNU)
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NTNU Digital Transformation seminar 2022

Every year since NTNU’s Digital Transformation initiative started in 2018, WoWW (as one of the 9 projects funded by this initiative) is invited to present its latest results. WoWW’s presentation followed directly after the event was introduced by director for NTNU Digital, John Krogstie (see image below). With some of the WoWW members spread across the country due to exchanges, our presentation was partly in Trondheim and partly remote.

John Krogstie, director for NTNU Digital, introduces the seminar (©Adina Moraru)

Oddbjørn Bruland, project leader for World of Wild Waters and team leader for work package 2 (see image below) creating hydrologic and hydraulic models of flash floods , introduced the project presentation with an impacting question for the audience: “Is it safe where you live?” followed by an animation of a 2D hydraulic simulation of the flash flood that severely damaged his hometown in 2017 (the case was widely covered by different news outlets, and the flood’s hydrology and hydraulics are analyzed in two of WoWW’s journal publications: Bruland (2020) and Moraru et al. (2021)). The follow-up question to this animation was “Does this scare you enough to act?“. If your answer is “no“, you need to continue reading… and watch the whole presentation in WoWW’s YouTube channel (linked below).

Oddbjørn Bruland, project leader for WoWW, presents the motivation for WoWW’s research (©Adina Moraru)
Full recording of the presentation (©Adina Moraru)

Gebray Habtu Alene, PhD candidate in work package 3 in charge of studying flow landslides of sensitive clays, such as the devastating episode in Gjerdrum (Norway) on the 30 December 2020 presented the integrated workflow from his numerical modelling of the quick clay landslide beforementioned (see image below) to its preparation for gamification in work package 4. This is not as straightforward as one might expect, and the team identified a significant obstacle to overcome during this workflow. I personally found it fascinating how quickly the Virtual Reality clip that Gebray shared triggered a response in the audience! Check out the video recording of the presentation above to see what I mean.

Gebray Habtu Alene, PhD candidate in work package 3, showcases the difference between scientific visualization of results and their gamification in Virtual Reality (©Adina Moraru)

Lastly, Andrew Perkis, team leader for work package 4 (see image below) responsible for creating an immersive and interactive experience of natural hazards concluded the project presentation by addressing the gap that WoWW has had to bridge throughout the project duration. Although research projects oftentimes encounter obstacles along the way, the gap between work packages in WoWW had little to do with research and external consultants were needed to fill the role of “the black box” that converges from numerical simulation results to graphically visualized outputs.

Andrew Perkis, team leader for work package 4, highlights the main challenges of WoWW and the Digital Transformation initiative (©Adina Moraru)

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WoWW presented at UN World Water Day 2020

Every nation member of the United Nations (UN) celebrates the World Water Day (designated in 1992 by the UN) to increase global awareness on the importance of water and WoWW was invited to present during the World Water Day held in Oslo, Norway (postponed from March to November 2020 due to the pandemic).

The main topic for the World Water Day in 2020 is Water and Climate Change and the connection between these two (for instance, floods, droughts, storms, water quality and even the spread of water-borne diseases and its effect in tourism). This comes hand in hand with WoWW’s focus on water-derived natural hazards, such as flash floods and quick clay landslides.

The event was organized by UNESCO, The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, The Norwegian Water Association, The Norwegian Hydrological Council, The Norwegian Society of Graduate Technical and Scientific Professionals (Tekna) and The Norwegian Institute for Water Research. The World Water Day included sessions on Global Perspectives: the relationship between water and climate change, Water and Climate Change: what are the students working with?, Water and Climate change: what is happening in Norway?, as well as the Junior Water Price ceremony award.

Adina presented “Serious gaming in the World of Wild Waters project and 3D visualization of floods” during the second session. WoWW’s motivation, project structure and potential applications were shown and exemplified with excerpts of the research carried out to date by all the WoWW modules. Moreover, the project’s current challenges were exposed and public participation and collaboration was encouraged. The presentation was recorded by the organizing committee and it’s available down below.

Adina presenting WoWW for the UN World Water Day 2020 (© The Norwegian Water Association YouTube)

As every year in such occasion, the United Nations has released the “World Water Development Report 2020 – Water and Climate Change” (document available here and live presentation available here). Additionally, the topic selected for World Water Day in 2021 is #Water2Me.

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1st IAHR Young Professionals congress

The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) has hosted their first Young Professionals congress this week. The congress aims to encourage networking and mentorship for young researchers in fields such as Fluvial Hydraulics, Hydroinformatics, Flood Risk Management or Sediment Transport, Experimental Methods and Instrumentations, among others. The event was held virtually (streamed live in YouTube) and gathered nearly 1,000 attendees.

Michal, Nitesh and Adina took part in the congress and the latter two presented their most recent findings in form of extended abstracts and posters in the Flood Risk Management session, chaired by Stefan Haun (Stuttgart University in Germany) and Benjamin Dewals (University of Liège in Belgium), and moderated by José M. Carrillo (Technical University of Cartagena in Spain). Both presentations were recorded by the congress organizing committee and are available down below.

Flood Risk Management session (© IAHR)

Adina presented an overview of her research, namely “Optimization and visualization of numerical models of flash floods in steep Norwegian rivers“, where she compared the computing effort of High-Performance Computing with the standard computing versions for a small 2D hydrodynamic model based on the 2017 flood in Utvik (western Norway).

Adina’s presentation (© IAHR YouTube)

Michal and Nitesh presented “Coupled hydrodynamic and hydrologic modelling using Telemac-2D” in a different study case in western Norway. The focus was on testing the effect of modelling short and long term Antecedent Moisture Conditions, mesh size and steep slope correction. The congress proceedings will be available in the e-Library of IAHR.

Nitesh’s presentation (© IAHR YouTube)

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River Flow 2020

The 10th International Conference in Fluvial Hydraulics, organized by TU Delft, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Deltares and Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands), together with the International Association for Hydro- Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) and the Netherlands Centre for River Studies (NCR), has been held from the 7th to the 10th of July.

Researchers from water-related disciplines like Hydraulics, Morphodynamics, Ecology and Integral approaches presented their work digitally, and the contents were exceptionally available for the attendees to discuss upon until the 17th of July due to the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Among the varied topics in fluid mechanics, river monitoring, extreme events and rivers under pressure, few studies focused on optimized numerical modelling techniques, as well as visualization and flood risk communication.

Adina presented the “Current trends in the optimization of hydraulic flood simulations in ungauged steep rivers” in the session “Numerical Modelling – Applications”. Her presentation (available here) summarized few optimization techniques nowadays applied to the the hydraulic analysis of floods and addressed their advantages and limitations when applied to steep rivers where historical hydrologic data is seldom available.

Alongside with the different thematic sessions arranged, young researchers were given the opportunity to present and discuss varied topics in masterclasses arranged by experienced researchers. For instance, Adina participated on the 6th of July in the masterclass “The Digital River”, organized by Enrica Viparelli (University of South Carolina) and Ioana Popescu (IHE Delft).

The Digital River masterclass, held during River Flow 2020 (© E. Viparelli)

The conference program had other highlights, such as an e-social gathering and keynote lectures in “Future generations fighting climate change” (Gabriela Eslava Bejarano, Columbia University, USA), “Rivers Dynamics in Regions of Rapid Climate Change” (Irina Overeem, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA) and “When a tree falls in a river… a cascade process begins” (Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva, University of Lausanne, Switzerland).

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22nd Northern Research Basins conference (Yellowknife, Canada)

The 22nd Northern Research Basins Symposium/Workshop was held in Yellowknife, Canada (by the Great Slave lake, one of the 10 largest fresh water lakes on the planet), from August 18th to August 24th 2019. There, Oddbjørn (project leader) and Adina (work package 2) presented their research regarding hydrology and hydraulics of flash floods in steep rivers.

Oddbjørn’s presentation was titled “Extreme flood in small steep catchments: how extreme can it become?” and covered the complex hydrology around the flood event that affected his hometown, Utvik, exactly two years ago, in July 2017. Also, several recent flood events affecting the southwest of Norway were presented. The take-home message was that these events are more extreme and more recurring than ever as northern regions are suffering a global warming trend. Adina’s presentation, on the other hand, tackled a virtual experiment on “River idealization for identification of critical locations in steep rivers using 2D hydrodynamic modelling and GIS“. This allows correlating hydrologic and topographic parameters to sensitive areas worth focusing on during more detailed studies (such as channel bends) without the interference of case-specific conditions. The study is time and cost-saving oriented, aiming at optimizing flood risk analysis.

A pannel of discussion was organized on the last two days, which led to very enriching and insightful discussion regarding how to better collaborate and achieve synergies among local field knowledge and the scientific community. Attendees were indigenous experts, the scientists presenting during the conference and the local pannelists invited.

The conference agenda included social activities, such as a boat trip to visit the indigenous Dene community nearby, learn about their traditions and how to use natural and forest resources and appreciate what nature has to offer. We got the chance to go on a guided tour around artsy Yellowknife, always accompanied by live fiddle music (see photographs below). Lastly, a banquet was held and a visit to Scotty creek closed the conference on Saturday.

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Coming soon: 22nd NRB conference – Canada

WoWW’s project leader, Oddbjørn Bruland, and Adina will present at the 22nd Northern Research Basins Symposium/Workshop held in Yellowknife, Canada, from August 18th to August 24th.

Oddbjørn’s presentation is titled “How extreme can specific runoff become in steep Norwegian catchments?” and covers the complex hydrology around the flood event that affected his hometown, Utvik, exactly two years ago, in July 2017. This data has been used to simulate the hydraulics and morphodynamics of the affected rivers both in Utvik and the neighbour village, Innvik, in the poster Michal and Oddbjørn presented at EGU in April this year.

Oddbjørn Bruland in Utvik during the flood event of July 2017 (Photo: Hallgeir Vågenes VG)

Adina’s presentation is titled “River idealization for identification of critical locations in steep rivers using 2D hydrodynamic modelling and GIS” and tackles the characterization of any named steep river’s susceptibility to changing conditions, such as extreme rainfalls. The preliminary idealization of scenarios allows to detect parameters and sensitive areas worth focusing on during more detailed studies (such as channel bends) without the interference of case-specific hydrologic and topographic conditions. The study is time and cost-saving oriented, aiming at optimizing flood risk analysis.

Both presentations will take place on the first day of the conference, Monday 18th of August. We will update with anecdotes on this event; stay tuned!

Gamification

First WoWW Kick-off

A view of Ørland Kysthotell , Brekstad
 World of wild waters team comprise 7 PhD students and 5 professors at NTNU. The Team is led by Oddbjørn Bruland. The main goal for the KickOff was to get to know each other better and start the process of generating a strong team feeling and desire to achieve something together.
 
 Our first meeting was held at  Ørland Kysthotell, located in the coastal town of Brekstad, a 1-hour boat ride from Trondheim, Norway. We Departed from Trondheim on Wednesday 30. January at 12:15 from hurtigbåt terminalen and reached the venue which offered beautiful panoramic views of the Trondheim Fjord.
 

We were greeted with lunch and coffee by the Kysthotell staff, and we went straight to the meeting room to get the project introduction started. After a thorough presentation by the team lead regarding the aims and objects of WoWW , everyone gave a brief presentation about themselves followed by a detailed discussion on everyone’s role in the project and how we will proceed in the future to achieve our goals. before the dinner we had a small session where one of the team member introduced others with Virtual Reality by showing them a small demo.

A long evening meeting was followed by a savory dinner.

WoWW team

The dinner was again followed by a long discussion and social activities among the PhD fellows. In the morning there was a detailed discussion on how we will proceed with the project, important milestones etc. and we headed back to Trondheim .