Committee on Hydraulic Structures

Upcoming Events   Research Areas   Collaborative Activities   Best Paper Award   Past Events   Publications


Hydraulic structures engineering is one of the most important fields of civil and environmental engineering with challenges arising from new and complex environmental issues, refurbishment of aging infrastructure and increasing resilience to climate change. Such challenges will require the combined efforts of both researchers and practitioners in future years.  The purpose of the Hydraulic Structures Committee is to champion the subject area of hydraulic structures in an era of increasing specialization in the hydraulic profession. There are important new developments in the planning, design, construction, and life cycle maintenance of hydraulic structures that are to be addressed by both researchers and practitioners. To help facilitate these efforts, the Hydraulic Structures Committee has the following objectives:

  • to champion the area of hydraulic structures in an era of increasing specialization;

  • to help with the adaptation of hydraulic structures to reduce footprint and impact and instead harmonise with the surrounding environment;

  • to bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners by engagement with government water agencies, participation in codes and standards committees and writing and promoting technical publications;

  • to identify knowledge gaps where hydraulic research can be applied;

  • to provide a solid knowledge and experience base for design of hydraulic structures;

  • to encourage continuing education in hydraulic structures through specialty conferences, short courses, and educational curriculum;

  • to gather competent data bases from the laboratory and field to encourage advancements in modelling, theory, observation, and technology;

  • to collaborate with other organizations in the advancement and understanding of hydraulic structures in the natural environment.


Sustainability framework for hydraulic structures engineering

Upcoming Events

  • 10th Internatinal Symposium on Hydraulic Structures 2024 (ISHS 2024), 17-19 June, 2024, ETH Zurich, Switzerland,

  • 9th International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures (ISHS2022), 24-27 October 2022, Roorkee, India. Website

  • 3rd IAHR Young Professionals Congress, 29 November - 1 December 2022. Website

Leadership Team
Brian Crookston

Utah State University

United States of America

Vice Chair
Stefan Felder

UNSW Sydney


Past Chair
Sébastien Erpicum

Liege University


Fabian Bombardelli

University of California, Davis

United States of America

Valentin Heller

The University of Nottingham

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Sean Mulligan

VorTech Water Solutions and National University of Ireland, Galway


Mario Oertel

Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg


Daniel Valero Huerta

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)


Zulfequar Ahmad

Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee


Elena Pummer

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)


Prior Leadership Team

Past Chairs


Group photo of the past chairs of the Committee on Hydraulic Structures at the 38th IAHR World Congress in Panama City, Panama, 2019

Active Research Areas

The flow fields in and around most hydraulic structures are complex, three-dimensional, highly turbulent and can cause phase changes resulting in air entrainment or sediment transport. To provide important design advancements, research of hydraulic structures engineering must therefore be addressed from various perspectives.

The multidisciplinary research activities of the Hydraulic Structures Committee are guided by the sustainability of hydraulic structures engineering in the 21st century addressing important research questions in an era of rapid technological development, urgency in reducing the carbon footprint and maintaining a secure water infrastructure for humanity. In particular the Committee actively pursues research in the following areas:



Providing fundamental solutions for complex three-dimensional flow processes associated with hydraulic structures including multiphase flows and process-based approaches for turbulent flows.



Educating the next generation of hydraulic engineers and contributing to life-long learning within the hydraulic structures community.


Modelling Tools

Exploring the newest physical and numerical modelling tools to expand the fundamental and applied knowledge base for betterment of hydraulic structures design.


Multidisciplinary Research

Conducting multidisciplinary research at the interface of hydraulics and (fish) biology and/or chemistry to provide guidelines for fish passes at hydraulic structures or for hydraulic structures in wastewater treatment plants.

Technology Advancements

Technology Advancements

Embracing technological advancement and employing and developing new instrumentation to provide unique insights into flows across hydraulic structures.



Continuing the tradition of sound physical modelling together with advanced numerical modelling tools to provide practical solutions to water infrastructure design, while embracing field and full-scale observations of hydraulic structures to bridge the validation gap.

Current Practices and Design Standards

Current Practices and Design Standards

Applying best standards for current practice and to enhance these standards for future challenges to provide practical solutions to a changing climate and associated impacts on hydraulic structures.

Regulations and Requirements

Regulations and Requirements

Improving current legislation to embrace the need for more sustainable and nature based hydraulic structure solutions for the benefits of future generations.

Collaborative Activities

It is our desire to collaborate with other IAHR Committees as well as international associations such as the Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of ASCE or the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) to organize workshops and symposia as well as technical publications, thus improving the practice of hydraulic engineering as it relates to structures. Our Committee also hosts the Working Group on Reservoir Sedimentation, which was formally launched in 2019 during the 38th IAHR World Congress in Panama.  

Phil H. Burgi Best Paper Award

Given the 20th anniversary of the IAHR Hydraulic Structures Technical Committee in 2018, the Leadership Team decided to create the Philip H. Burgi Best Paper Award, named after the first chair of the Technical Committee Philip H. Burgi. This award aims at rewarding the best technical paper presented during the International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures.

The award has been delivered for the first time during the 7th International Hydraulic Structures Symposium in Aachen. The recipient receives a certificate and possibly a gift. Due to COVID-19 no award was presented in 2020.

Award recipients

ISHS 2018 - Svenja Kemper & Andreas Schlenkhoff - “Numerical simulation of intake structures like street inlets with supercritical flow conditions”

Past Events

Symposium on Hydraulic Structures

  • 8th International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures (ISHS2020), 12-15 May 2020, Santiago de Chile, South America. (Event cancelled due to COVID-19).  Proceedings Open Access

  • 7th International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures (ISHS2018), 15-18 May 2018, Aachen, Germany (ISHS2018). Website; Proceedings Open Access

  • 6th International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures (ISHS2016), 27-30 June 2016, Portland, Oregon, USA. Proceedings Open Access

  • 5th International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures (ISHS2014), 25-27 June 2014, Brisbane, Australia. Proceedings Open Access

  • 4th International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures (ISHS2012), 9-11 February 2012, Porto, Portugal. Website

  • 3rd International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures (ISHS2008), 20-23 October 2008, Nanjing, China.

  • 2nd International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures (ISHS2006), 12-14 October 2006, Cuidad Guayana, Venezuela.

  • 1st International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures (ISHS2004), 26-28 April 2004, Tehran, Iran. 

Group photo in front of Eupen dam during field tour of ISHS2018

Bonneville Dam powerhouse during field tour of ISHS2016

Fish collection downstream of Hinze Dam during field tour of ISHS2014

Junior Researcher and Engineer Workshop on Hydraulic Structures

  • 8th IAHR International Junior Researcher and Engineer Workshop on Hydraulic Structures (IJREWHS2021), 5-8 July 2021, Galway, Ireland. Website Report

  • 7th International Junior Researcher and Engineer Workshop on Hydraulic Structures (IJREWHS2019), 25-27 June 2019, Denver, USA. Flyer

  • 6th International Junior Researcher and Engineering Workshop on Hydraulic Structures (IJREWHS2016), 30 May - 1 June 2016, Lübeck, Germany. Proceedings Open Access

  • 5th International Junior Researcher and Engineer Workshop on Hydraulic Structures (IJREWHS2014), 28-30 August 2014, Liege, Belgium. Website; Proceedings Open Access

  • 4th International Junior Researcher and Engineering Workshop on Hydraulic structures (IJREWHS2012) June 2012, Utah State University, Logan, USA. Proceedings Open Access

  • 3rd International Junior Researcher and Engineering Workshop on Hydraulic structures (IJREWHS2010) 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland. 

  • 2nd International Junior Researcher and Engineering Workshop on Hydraulic structures (IJREWHS2008) 30 July - 1 August 2008, Pisa, Italy. Website; Proceedings  

  • 1st International Junior Researcher and Engineering Workshop on Hydraulic structures (IJREWHS2006) 2-4 September 2006, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal. Proceedings Open Access

Online group photo at the IJREWHS2021 (National University of Ireland, Galway Virtual Event)

Group photo at IJREWHS2019 (Hydraulics Laboratory at U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, USA)

Group photo at IJREWHS2016 (ship lift Scharnebek)

Group photo
at IJREWHS2014

Group photo at IJREWHS  2012

Group photo at IJREWHS2010

Group photo at IJREWHS 2008

Group photo at IJREWHS 2006

Workshops on Hydraulic Structures

  • 2nd International Workshop on Hydraulic Structures: Data Validation (IWHS 2015) 7-9 May 2015, Coimbra, Portugal. WebsiteProceedings

  • International Workshop on Hydraulic Design of Low-Head Structures (IWLHS 2013) 20-22 February 2013, Aachen, Germany. Proceeding Open Access

  • International Workshop on Rock Scour due to falling high-velocity jets, 25-29 September 2002, Lausanne, Switzerland.

  • International Workshop on Hydraulics of Stepped Spillways, 22-24 March 2000, Zurich, Switzerland.   

Workshops on Labyrinth and Piano Key Weirs Website

  • 3rd International Workshop on Labyrinth and Piano Key Weirs, Qui Nhon, Vietnam, 22-24 February 2017. Proceedings  

  • 2nd International Workshop on Labyrinth and Piano Key Weirs, Chatou, Paris, France, 20-22 November 2013. Proceedings

  • 1st International Workshop on Labyrinth and Piano Key Weirs, Liege, Belgium 9-11 February 2011. Proceedings

Events supported by the HS Committee

  • 2nd IAHR Young Professionals Congress, 30 November - 2 December 2021, online. Website

  • Hydraulic Structures (Roundtable) at 1st IAHR Online Forum. 1-9 July 2021. Website

  • Hydraulic Structures session at 1st IAHR Young Professionals Congress | Online. 17-18 November 2020. Website

  • Workshop on Design of Nonlinear Weirs during 2019 ICOLD annual meeting/symposium, 14 June 2019. Ottawa, Canada. Website

  • Workshop on Design of Nonlinear Weirs: 15 May 2018, Aachen, Germany. Website

  • Workshop on Stepped Spillways (H. Chanson), 27 June 2016, Portland/USA

  • Protections 2018: the 3rd International Conference on Protection against Overtopping, 6-8 June 2018, Grange-over-Sands, UK. Website

  • 2nd International Seminar on Dam Protection Against Overtopping, Fort Collins Colorado, 7-9 September, 2016. Website

  • International Symposium on Hydraulic and Hydrological Aspects of Reliability and Safety Assessment of Hydraulic Structures, 29 May - 2 June 2002, St. Petersburg, Russia.

  • Special Seminar on Key Hydraulic Issues of Huge Water Projects, 17-18 September 2001, Beijing China.

Committee-lead Publications

  • Felder, S., Erpicum, S., Mulligan, S., Valero, D., Zhu, D., Crookston, B. (2021), 'Hydraulic structures at a crossroads towards the Sustainable Development Goals', IAHR White Paper Series 2, IAHR, Madrid. Website

  • Opinion paper by the Committee: Erpicum S., Crookston B.M., Bombardelli F., Bung D.B., Felder S., Mulligan S., Oertel M., Palermo M. (2021), 'Hydraulic structures engineering: An evolving science in a changing world', Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 8. Website

  • Special collection in Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE (2020) on Advances in Hydraulic Structures Engineering. Website

  • Special collection in Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE (2020) on Teaching Hydraulic Engineering and Design. Website

  • Special issue in Journal of Hydro-environment Research (2019) 'Flow Studies in Hydraulic Structures: Recent advances in experimental and numerical modelling'. Website

  • Energy Dissipation in Hydraulic Structures. IAHR Monograph, 2015, Editor H. Chanson, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Leiden, The Netherlands, 168 pages.

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