River Flow 2020 (10th Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics)

One of the most successful IAHR conferences - the 10th Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics - River Flow 2020, originally planned to be held in Delft, Netherlands, was moved online from 6 to 10 July 2020 under the COVID-19 circumstances. 

The conference counted with more than 420 participants and more than 300 papers were presented. 58 sessions were held, from these 49 technical sessions with asynchronous discussions of the papers; and from these nine were special sessions organized by prominent researchers in the field which had a very important role on enriching the conference with cutting edge and impacting topics for discussion, as well as being responsible to promote online discussions which made the conference more vivid. 

Seven Master Classes, an essential feature of River Flow conferences, were held due to the excellent response of the masters who organized them online. Three keynote lecturers were also very keen to adapt to the online format, and provided three excellent presentations with varied topics, which are freely available on this website. Finally, a video presentation where the Coleman awardee present her high quality work is available. Several technical, welcoming and social parallel sessions were held, some provoked by the participants, compensating for the lack of physical proximity and allowing social interaction nevertheless..

Local Organising Committee

Wim Uijttewaal (chair)

TU Delft

Mário Franca (co-chair)

IHE Delft and TU Delft

Ralph Schielen

Rijkswaterstaat and TU Delft

Johan Boon


Alessandra Crosato

IHE Delft

Astrid Blom

TU Delft

Victor Chavarrias


Daniel Valero

IHE Delft

Clàudia Ylla Arbós

TU Delft

Nicole Fontein

TU Delft – BlueBox Events

Keynote Lectures

Gabriela Eslava Bejarano
MPA in Development Practice candidate, School of International Public Affairs, Columbia University, NY, USA.
Future Generations Fighting Climate Change

Gabriela Eslava Bejarano is a lawyer, with a Minor in Journalism and Literature. She's currently an MPA in Development Practice candidate at Columbia University. She's an environmental advisor for the Red Cross Colombia, where she has developed an approach to carry out humanitarian aid in harmony with nature. She has worked as a researcher at the Center for the Study of Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia) where she led the first climate change and future generations lawsuit in Latin America that resulted in recognition of the Amazon rainforest as an entity subject of rights. Gabriela has also worked as a political advisor at Colombia's Congress, where she focused on environmental justice, economic instruments for biodiversity conservation, the human right to water, and animal rights. Her main focus of work is on issues related to environmental policy making.

Irina Overeem
Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences & INSTAAR, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
Rivers Dynamics in Regions of Rapid Climate Change

Irina Overeem is an Associate Professor at the Department of Geological Sciences and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA. Irina serves as the Deputy Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS). She graduated in 2002 from the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Earth Sciences at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on earth surface process modeling to quantify responses of sedimentary systems to changing environmental conditions. She has a keen interest in using field studies to critically assess model performance; and has applied projects in regions of rapid change (the Alaskan Coast, Greenland Rivers, the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta and the Yellow River).

Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva
Assistant Professor, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
When a Tree Falls in a River… A Cascade Process Begins

Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. She previously worked as a scientific collaborator at the ETH in Zurich and at the University of Geneva and Bern. She obtained her PhD in Geomorphology at the University Complutense of Madrid (Spain) in February 2013. Virginia is a fluvial geomorphologist and her research is focused on the understanding of fluvial ecosystem dynamics. She is interested in the form and function of rivers and their catchments and their linkages with the landscape, including physical-biotic interactions. For example, one focus of her current research is dedicated to the organic load of rivers (i.e., instream large wood), the study of its dynamics, its monitoring and its potential hazard during floods.

Coleman Award 2020


Emeline Perret
INRAE Riverly, Lyon, France
Lead author of the article Estimating time-varying stage-discharge relations in rivers with aquatic vegetation, co-authored by Jerôme Le Coz & Benjamin Renard.

Emeline defended her PhD thesis in October 2017 and she has first started her professional career as an engineer specialized in fluid mechanics before decided to go closer to scientific research. Her main research topics are river hydraulics, sediment transport and hydrometry. Her PhD thesis was about sediment transport and morphodynamics. It aimed to understand the transport of moderately sorted gravels at low bed shear stresses in alpine rivers, and specifically the impact of bed arrangement and of presence of fine infiltrated sediments (cohesive or not). The thesis was based on laboratory and field experiments. After that, she enrolled in a postdoc position at INRAE in France, working on hydrometry. She is now developing models to help better predict streamflow time series (and their uncertainties) at hydrometric stations either that are affected by the presence of aquatic vegetation, or that are located in tidal areas, or that are subject to hysteresis phenomena due to flood wave propagation.

Coleman Award Committee

All the members from the IAHR committee on Fluvial Hydraulics contributed to the reviewing of the 110 papers from authors who applied for the award.

The Stephen E. Coleman award

The Stephen E. Coleman Best Paper Award is given biennially for the best paper submitted to the River Flow Conference Series and authored or co-authored by a young researcher*. This award was established by the IAHR Fluvial Hydraulics Committee in September 2014, in memory of Prof. Stephen E. Coleman (1966–2012). 

Prof. Coleman is remembered for his outstanding and original contributions to fundamental and applied research in the fields of river mechanics and environmental fluid mechanics and his devotion and enthusiasm in the training of the new generations of hydraulic engineers and scientists. 

The conditions for applying to Stephen E. Coleman Best Paper Award: (i) the first author of the paper is a young researcher* who will present it orally at River Flow conference; (ii) the young researcher applied to the award when submitting the paper; (iii) the submitted paper should be a full paper or an extended abstract of at least four (4) pages. The selection of the best paper was done by the Stephen E. Coleman Award Committee composed by members of the (Leadership Team of the) IAHR FHC. 

* a young researcher is defined as a M.Sc. or Ph.D. student or a researcher who has completed his/her Ph.D. no more than three years before the date of the conference in which the award will be given. The time used for parental leaves is not counted for the definition of young researcher.

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