Strengthening diversity and gender equity at IAHR

 IAHR task force on Strengthening Diversity and Gender Equity

Created in 2010 the IAHR task force on Strengthening Diversity and Gender Equity seeks to emphasize the consideration of differences between people, ensuring that these variable attributes and characteristics are highly valued in our association. Having a strong diversity of members united in IAHR will enrich the common goals that are achieved when multilingual people, of different ethnicities, ages, gender, educational level, and cultural heritage come together.

Interaction between different people in our events, magazines, and workgroups enhances our ability to work in a diverse environment, with different styles, cultures, and personalities. The objective of our association is to attract and retain talents, professionals, and both young and experienced researchers, finding a common place to share.

In particular, IAHR wants to encourage the participation of women in engineering and a balanced membership is one of its strategic priorities, with the aim of having more women participate in the technical committees, divisions, and boards of the IAHR. Approximately 23 per cent of the members of the IAHR are women. However, its geographical distribution is quite unequal: Latin America is the region with the highest proportion of affiliated women (27 per cent), while women from the Middle East and Africa are the least represented (15 per cent and 11 per cent respectively). In the younger generations, the gender distribution is more balanced (67 per cent are men and 33 per cent are women), but in recent years there has been very little increase in the number of women affiliated. IAHR wants to change this to further strengthen the potential and leadership position of the association.

Bringing diversity to the association is not a trend to follow or a quota that we must meet. Nor is it just a social responsibility to embrace diversity in the international mission that we have. We intuitively know that it is a path we must travel. The benefits of diversity are immense. Diversity improves interactions, associative culture, and talent involvement, and creates new communication opportunities. A proportional representation between genders, regions, ages, and interests within IAHR would be more realistic and would more closely reflect the composition of the engineering community as a whole. Therefore, the IAHR working group on strengthening diversity and gender with a focus on gender equality aims to increase the number of women members from 25 per cent to 33 per cent in the next five years, while increasing the ratio of women to men in divisions and committees.

We are a group of people who work together to achieve scientific and technical goals. And as a group, we do much better when we are diverse and share our talents.

 Task force members

Silke Wieprecht

Silke Wieprecht

University of Stuttgart



Jing Peng

Jing Peng



Amparo López

Amparo López

Polytechnic University of Valencia 


Damien Violeau

Damien Violeau



Ioana Popescu

Ioana Popescu

IHE Delft

The Netherlands

Dalila Loudyi

Dalila Loudyi

Hasan II University of Cassablanca


David Ferras

David Ferras

IHE Delft

The Netherlands

 María Gabriela Castrellón

María G. Castrellón

Universidad Tecnológica Panamá 


IAHR is aware that gender diversity often remains a struggle. This is why IAHR endeavours to identify women leaders, help develop the skills of young women members and recognise their contributions. We invite you, women, to become part of the IAHR community and help increase the visibility and representativity of women engineers! 

 Interviews with IAHR women

Interview with Silke Wieprecht. Focus on gender equity

“We currently have about 25 per cent women in the association. So, within the next five years in IAHR, we can and want to reach the number of 30 per cent women that work in the engineering sciences on the whole. But this should also be reflected in the leadership teams…”

Equality generally refers to equal opportunities and equal support for all sectors of society. Equality assumes that everyone in the same place has to deal with the same obstacles and that everyone needs the same help or support. It therefore means that everyone should be treated equally. However, it’s not always fair to treat everyone equally.

Interview with Claudia Adduce. Focus on research and early career researchers 

“Early career researchers should to try to have scientific and professional interactions with other students or researchers by accepting opportunities for research stays in different institutions and/or participating in congresses and master classes...” 

Claudia Adduce, Associate Professor of the Department of Engineering from Roma Tre University, shares with us her professional experience as a young academic and IAHR member. 

Interview with Silvia Meniconi. Focus on hydraulic transients

“My main research contribution is in the diagnosis of pressurized pipe systems using hydraulic transients. Small pressure waves can be a powerful tool for detecting any faults (e.g., leaks, blockages, wall deteriorations, illegal branches) in pipes. Part of my satisfaction in this work comes from the fact that we started with numerical analysis, then we conducted experiments in the Water Engineering Laboratory of the University of Perugia, and finally we moved to the real world, where we’ve had the chance to carry out field tests in actual pipe systems…”

Interview with Roser Casas-Mulet. Focus on ecohydraulics 

Roser Casas-Mulet, member of the committee, share with us her views about ecohydraulics, forthcoming activities from the committee, including a session on ecohydraulics to be held at the First Young Professionals Congress this month and the upcoming International Symposium on Ecohydraulics webinar, as well as the role the association plays in this regard at the international level.

Interview with Isabella Schalko. Focus on Women and Girls in Science 

Dr Isabella Schalko, member of the IAHR technical committees on Fluvial Hydraulics, Fluid Mechanics and Ecohydraulics, shares some highlights of her career with us and tells us all about the IAHR Coffee Chat series and the upcoming 2nd IAHR Coffee Chat that will take place on 11 February to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Interview with Monica Fossati. Focus on women engineers

Dr Mónica Fossati, professor at the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Environmental Engineering (IMFIA) of the University of the Republic in Uruguay, and an active member of the IAHR Latin American Division, shares with us her interests as well as the highlights and achievements of her career on the occasion of the International Women in Engineering Day celebrated on 23 June every year. 

 Projects and activities

We are permantely working to ensure a correct diversity balance in terms of gender, region, age and sector in all our communities including the following: council, regional divisions and technical committees leadership team members, speakers and organising committee members at congresses and events, journal editorial boards etc. We are working closely with the Task Force on Young Professionals Development and the Africa Division. If you have any suggestions please contact us at

Special Sessions

Special Session "Water and diversity: hydraulic and environmental research for future" to be held during the 39th IAHR World Congress, on the ocassion of Women in Engineering Day. 23 June 2022 12.00-13:30 h 

Diversity is a highly valued aspect at IAHR. Having a diverse panel of people participating in research in the fields of hydraulics and the environment enriches all future actions. Many are the efforts made from the various work areas of our organization so that the tasks we carry out have diverse implications: in gender, age, origin and academy-company relations.Some of our interest are:

  • Water problems in developing countries, interaction with global problems

  • Water and gender balance

  • Water and Industry: the need of transfer

  • Water research in academy: new challenges in a changing world


Laure Pellet. Head of the Hydraulics and Environmental Sciences National Laboratory (LNHE). Electricité de France

Maria Gabriela Castrellón. Universidad Tecnológica Panamá

Moez Louati. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Na Yin. Administrative Coordinator of Erasmus+ Consortium for Polytech Group with 15 engineering school in France from 2010. Which is the leader of French consortium of Erasmus+ internships with nearly 650 mobilities in EU with the European companies. Chief of international project of Polytech Nice Sohia, Université Côte d'Azur , collaborated to the exchange/dual-degree programmes and International (Franco-Chinese) engineering school

Special Session a A Diverse Approach to Hydraulic and Environmental Research during the 1st IAHR Online Forum. 5 July 2021. The session looks at hydraulic and environmental research from different points of view. The topics range from flood control, to pipe hydraulics, to ecological hydraulic engineering and economic impacts - a highly interdisciplinary session, highly enjoyable and challenging. 

IAHR Women's Voices video series

IAHR Women's Voices video series provide the opportunity to IAHR women members to introduce themselves and their background, explain why it is important to them to work in the hydro-environmental field, the challenges they are confronted with, and reflect about specific research topics or actual events such as COVID-19, floods, droughts, the world congress, etc. 

Introduction to the Women’s Voices project by Verónica León 

Introduction to the Women’s Voices project by Verónica León Verónica León, young professional member of the IAHR Venezuela YPN currently working with the flood risk prevention authorities in Toulouse, France, introduces the purpose of this video series and invites you to participate. Raise your voice! Join the IAHR Women’s Voices video series. Contact Verónica León at to add your voice. 

Invitation to participate from Silke Wieprecht

Invitation to participate from Silke Wieprecht Silke Wieprecht, vice-president of IAHR and chair of the task force on Strengthening Diversity and Gender Equity, invites you to join this project aimed at raising women’s voices within and beyond IAHR.

Video 1 | Beatriz Negreiros, member of the IAHR Baden-Württemberg YPN  

Video 1 | Beatriz Negreiros, member of the IAHR Baden-Württemberg YPN  In this video, Beatriz Negreiros, a civil engineering graduate from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, who was awarded a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to complete her studies in Water Resources Engineering and Management (WAREM) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, introduces her career and experience as a research assistant working for over a  year at the Institute of Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems at the University of Stuttgart and lays out the challenges that women working in engineering and research are confronted with.

Video 2 | Maria del Rosario Ponce Guzman, member of the IAHR Baden-Württemberg YPN   

Video 2 | Maria del Rosario Ponce Guzman, member of the IAHR Baden-Württemberg YPN

Maria del Rosario Ponce Guzman member of the IAHR Baden-Württemberg Young Professionals Network is a civil engineer with a master’s degree in hydroinformatics and water management working as a research associate at the Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems of the University of Stuttgart in Germany. She shares with us her views about working on water issues as a woman civil engineer and her message for young professional women.  

Video 3 | Amparo López, member of the IAHR Council

Amparo López, member of the IAHR CouncilAmparo López, IAHR member since 2010, is an industrial engineer specialised in the fields of hydraulic engineering and fluid mechanics. Professor at the University of Valencia in Spain, she is particularly interested in the energy impacts of water management, the linkages of urban hydraulics with energy efficiency, and the environmental impacts of cities. She is a member of the IAHR Council and is regularly involved in the activities of the IAHR Spanish Chapter and the IAHR Europe Division. She shares with us her vision about the future of urban hydraulics, and its linkages with the Sustainable Development Goals, and the importance of bringing women closer to environmental engineering.

Video 4 | Maria Gabriela Castrellon, president of the IAHR Panama YPN

IAHR Women's Voices with Maria Gabriela Castrellon, president of the IAHR Panama YPN Maria Gabriela Castrellon, IAHR member since 2019, studied environmental sciences and has a master’s degree in hydrological sciences. She is particularly interested in research and especially in the way water moves through nature and how we, as humans, interact with it in a sustainable way. Gabriela got involved in IAHR in 2019, when she, together with other students and young professionals, decided to start the Panama YPN. She shares with us how the Panama YPN has adapted to the pandemic and her views about the main challenges facing Latin American tropical regions with regards to water.

Video 5 | Xiaolei Zhang from the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research

IAHR Women's Voices with Xiaolei ZhangXiaolei Zhang works at the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR), one of the IAHR Institute members, on flash flood disasters. Flash floods are a very serious issue in China. Xiaolei shares with us her own experience working on disaster prevention and monitoring and early warning systems, and introduces a global partnership that has recently been created to strengthen disaster preparedness and relief capacities.

Video 6 | Modupe Olufunmilayo, vice-chair of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria 

Modupe Olufunmilayo, vice-chair of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria Modupe Olufunmilayo is a civil engineer from Nigeria who specialises in water and environmental engineering. She has been a member of IAHR since 2019 and she currently works as a senior teaching fellow in Civil and Humanitarian Engineering at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. 

Modupe shares with us how she got interested in water engineering and capacity development, and how these can help to improve people's quality of life. She is participating in the 1st IAHR Online Forum to be held on 5-7 July 2021 with a keynote talk on “Water Research in Africa: The dichotomy of two continents in one” within the Water Challenges and Professional Development in Africa session.

Video 7 | Karol Sánchez, president of the IAHR Venezuela YPN 

karol_sanchez_200x120px.pngKarol Sánchez, a Venezuelan civil engineer with a Master's degree in Hydraulics from the Central University of Venezuela, shares with us her professional experience working as a project engineer in the water sector and her view on how the hydraulics discipline helps to improve people’s living conditions. Currently president of the IAHR Venezuela YPN, she also shares the story of how the Venezuelan YPN was created. Karol is a member of the IAHR Latin American Division and an editor of NewsFlash Iberoamerica.

Video 8 | Arianna Varrani from the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Arianna VarraniArianna Varrani works as Research Assistant at the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. She is a member of IAHR since 2017, and in 2020 helped shape IAHR Poland YPN. Her research interests span from geomorphology to microplastics transport. With this video, Arianna shares her views on the value of communication and education in an ever-changing world.

Video 9 | Samih Ikram from the Hassan II University of Casablanca

Samih IkramSamih Ikram is an environmental engineer with a Master degree of Environmental management. She is also a PhD. Student at Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco. With this video, Samih shares her project thesis working on a disaggregated water demand management by sectors in Morocco (agriculture, industry, municipal and other activities of national importance) as well as the major challenges for coupling women women and water in Morocco.

Video 10 | Dayana Pita, Venezuela YPN

Dayana PitaDayana Pita, from Venezuela, is a civil engineer who graduated in 2016 from Andres Bello Catholic University located in Caracas. In 2021 she finished her postgraduate studies in Sanitary Engineering at the University of Buenos Aires. Dayana currently works as quality control inspector in the Represas Patagonia consortium in southern Argentina. She is also vice president of the YPN Venezuela since January 2022.

IAHR Coffee Chats

1st  Coffee Chat for young professional women: How to develop sustainable mentor relationships. 10 September 2020 The share of women in the engineering disciplines is approximately 35 to 40 per cent, depending on the region. The recently created IAHR task force on Strengthening Diversity and Gender Equity intends to raise the profile and visibility of women engineers and especially those who are active within the association |  Summary

2nd Coffee Chat: Work-Life Balance.11 February 2021 (on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science) Prof. Silke Wieprecht and Prof. Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva shared their experiences and tricks on how to be a successful researcher, while still maintaining a healthy and sustainable work-life balance.Prior to the event, the participants sent more than 130 questions in advance ranging from questions related to “Time Management”, “Work and Family”, “COVID-19 related Advice”, and “Gender Equality” |  Summary and replay

3rd Coffee Chat: Picture a Scientist. 23 June 2021 Before this coffee chat we asked participants to watch the movie “Picture a Scientist” that covers difficult topics related to gender discrimination and race in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) as well as perspectives on actions to address those issues | Summary and replay

4th Coffee Chat on Range of career paths: Industry versus Academia. 8 March 2022 (on the occasion of International Women’s Day). This time, we will have four panelists from industry and academia: Tanja Janisch-Breuer, Head of the Hydro Power Plant Pool Kaprun-Salzach at VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH in Austria, and María Pedro Monzonis, Head of I+D+i Agua Potable at Global Omnium in Spain, will provide insights on their career in industry; Prof. Ioana Popescu, Associate Professor at IHE Delft in The Netherlands, and Prof. Blair Johnson, Assistant Professor at University of Texas at Austin in the US, will share their experiences from academia | Summary and replay 

Others projects

Infographic: Women at IAHR on the occasion of the International Women's Day. 8 March 2021

Mosaic "Together we build science, together we are IAHR" on the ocassion of Women in Engineering Day. 23 June 2020. IAHR is aware that gender diversity often remains a struggle. This is why IAHR endeavours to identify women leaders, help develop the skills of young women members and recognise their contributions. We invite you, women, to become part of the IAHR community and help increase the visibility and representativity of women engineers! On this International Women in Engineering Day we also invite you to share this mosaic together with the hashtags #IAHRWomen #ShapeTheWorld #INWED20 and a link to this page.

Take our survey on women’s careers and help advance gender equity in science! Results will be published shortly

Poster "We are IAHR, working together!AHR" on occasion of the International Women's Day. 8 March 2022. Call for pictures closed. International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

This year’s slogan #BreakTheBias is a call for a gender equal world, a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, a world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive, a world where difference is valued and celebrated. 

IAHR is taking this opportunity to put women members work in the spotlight as part of the actions from the Task force on Strengthening Diversity and Gender Equity.

IAHR is aware that gender diversity often remains a struggle. This is why IAHR endeavours to identify women leaders, help develop the skills of young women members and recognise their contributions. We invite you, women, to become part of the IAHR community and help increase the visibility and representativity of women engineers and scientists! On this International Women's Day we also invite you to share this poster together with the hashtags #IAHRWomen#IWD2022 #BreakTheBias and a link to this page.

 Related IAHR journals and articles


HydroLink is the primary magazine of IAHR. It brings you the latest news in the world of hydro-environment engineering and research and provides a platform for reporting on IAHR activities and gathering news from our members. Hydrolink publishes articles on projects, research, and new methods and tools of interest to the hydro-environment engineering community. A special issue of HydroLink has been published on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of IAHR in September 2020. In this issue, six leading women members share their thoughts on progress towards greater diversity and gender equity within the association and in water issues:

Women in the IAHR leadership team share their thoughts by Silke Wieprecht, Jing Peng, Dalila Loudyi, Amparo López Jiménez, Ioana Popescu and Verónica Minaya. Published in Hydrolink 3/2020

This article, published in issue 2/2017, analysed the gender situation at IAHR in 2017, compared it with similar organizations and analysed the challenges women engineers regularly face.

New section in Hydrolink:

Publication of bios of great women hydraulicians in Hydrolink:

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Valentina Samsonovna Istomina (1899-1989, Moscow, Russia)
Famous women in hydraulics
Published in Hydrolink Issue 1, 2021

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Irmgard Flugge-Lotz (1903, Germany-1974, USA)
Famous women in fluid mechanics
Published in Hydrolink Issue 2, 2021

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Rose Katherine Morton (1925-1999, USA)
Famous women in hydraulics
Published in Hydrolink Issue 3, 2021

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Pelagueya Polubárinova-Kóchina (1899-1999, Russia)
Famous women un hydraulics
Published in Hydrolink 4, 2021

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Gabriella Giuseppetti. (1945-2003, Italy)
Famous women in hydraulic
Published in Hydrolink Issue 1, 2022


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