IAHR Young Professionals Hydro-Environment challenge

IAHR Young Professionals Hydro-Environment challenge

The IAHR Young Professionals Hydro-Environment challenge seeks to promote international and interdisciplinary collaboration among young professionals and academics working at institutions across the globe in the hydro-environment field. It is an open contest, hence any kind of young professional profile working on any of the IAHR main themes is welcome to take part in the initiative. A number of representative case studies aligned with IAHR themes will be assigned to the participating teams who, after a period of web-based collaborative engineering work, will present their project outcomes during an IAHR webinar to be held in June 2021. A number of project stakeholders, including universities, companies, and public authorities will be involved during the design and mentoring of the case-studies. A jury made up of senior IAHR members and representatives from partners in industry will evaluate the teams.


  • Registration deadline was 18 February 2021.

  • A total of 81 participants have registered for the challenge.

  • Award for the winning teams to be announced!


  • International and interdisciplinary web-based collaboration.

  • Open contest, any kind of young professional profile working on any of the IAHR main themes is welcome to join the initiative.

  • Engineering challenges, case studies aligned with IAHR themes.

  • Universities and companies are involved in setting up the case studies and providing mentoring to the students.

  • Project outcomes to be presented during the IAHR Online Forum. 5-7 July 2021

General learning objectives

Upon completion of the challenge, each participant will be able to:

  • Analyse complex hydro-environmental problems for collaborative engineering.

  • Use web-based tools.

  • Defend his or her input in an interdisciplinary team of specialists.

  • Assess his/her own strengths and weaknesses with respect to working in a group.

  • Defend the groups' findings in front of a team of experts in the field.

Workload and implementation

Size: 50 hours (equivalent to 2 ECTS)

Workload: 5 hours/week (one half day per week)

Total duration: 8 weeks

Mentoring: two mentors per case-study, for technical support and coaching

Modality: online

Engineering challenges

 Fluvial hydraulics challenge

General description: Modelling of river hydraulics with hydropower dams.  The task will be to model the river and analyse the hydraulic characteristics with and without the dam.  The tool to be used will be HEC RAS 2D. 

  • Learning goal: Demonstrate use of engineering models when faced with data limitations associated with historical river condition.

  • Organisations involved: United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

  • Mentors: 

    - Technical mentor: David Smith

    - 1st coach: Jose Maria Carrillo

    - 2nd coach: Michael Nones

 Ecohydraulics challenge

General description: Heavy hydropeaking in a tributary releasing into a highly protected, unregulated river. The students will assess the effects of the hydropeaking release from an ecological and socio-economic perspective. 

  • Learning goal: Develop critical thinking with respect to the ecological and socio-economic effects of hydropeaking.

  • Organisations involved: ECoENet and associate partners

  • Mentors:

        - Technical mentors: Roser Casas, Davide Vanzo, Ana Adeva-Busto

        - 1st coach: Michael Nones

        - 2nd coach: Maria Bermúdez and Eva Fenrich

In collaboration with EcoENet

Hydropower challenge

General description: Hydropower conduit design, protection and operation. The participants will be provided with information from a real hydropower scheme project. They will have to build a hydraulic model to simulate an incident caused by an operating error and improve and protect the original design against hydraulic transients.

  • Learning goal: Conceptualize solutions for reliable engineering designs of hydropower conduits.

  • Organisations involved: Pöyry Energy

  • Mentors:

    - Technical mentor: Miroslav Marence (Poyry)

    - 1st coach: David Ferras

    - 2nd coach: Eva Fenrich

 Water supply challenge

General description: The challenge is based on a real water distribution system. The goal is to detect the location of some leaks at a metered area within a specific district. Pressure and flow measurements will feed a hydraulic model, which will be used for the purpose of leakage detection.

  • Learning goal: demonstrate the potential of hydraulic modelling for leakage detection in water distribution systems.

  • Organisations involved: IHE Delft

  • Mentors:

    - Technical mentor: Slavco Velikov. Bentley

    - 1st coach: David Ferras. IHE-Delft

    - 2nd coach: Jose M. Carrillo. Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena

Organising committee

Key dates

Call opens: 17 November 2020

Deadline for applications: 18 February 2021

Project starts: 3 May 2021

Project ends. Defense: 25 June 2021 11:00-14:00 h. GMT

Session during the 1st IAHR Online Forum: to be announced

Session "Meet and Greet" during the 39th IAHR World Congress: to be announced

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