3rd IAHR Young Professionals Hydro-Environment Challenge

    3rd IAHR Young Professionals Challenge

Previous editions

After two successful editions, in 2023 the IAHR Committee on Education and Professional Development will run the 3rd edition of the Young Professionals Hydro-Environment Challenge, which seeks to promote international and interdisciplinary collaboration among young professionals and academics working at institutions across the globe in the hydro-environment field. The first two editions of the project brought together around 200 participants. This event attracts practitioners and academics fostering in both streams future leaders in the hydro-environment field.

The Young Professionals Hydro-Environment Challenge is an open contest, so any kind of young professional profile working on any of the IAHR main themes is welcome to take part in this online initiative. Many representative case studies aligned with IAHR themes are assigned to the participating teams who, after a period of web-based collaborative engineering work, present their project outcomes during an IAHR webinar. Several project stakeholders, including universities, companies, and public authorities are involved in the design and mentoring of the case studies. A jury made up of senior IAHR members and representatives from industry partners evaluates the teams.

The next edition will take place between March and June 2023, for a total workload of around 50 hours over 10 weeks. During this time the participants will interact with their fellow participants as well as with IAHR coaches and technical mentors, aiming to solve three technical challenges, focusing on ecohydraulics, experimental data, and fluvial hydraulics. The best groups will have the opportunity to be recognized for their accomplishment and receive an award during the 40th IAHR World Congress in Vienna, Austria, in August 2023.

The Education and Professional Development committee of IAHR is looking for institute partners to support the Young Professionals Hydro-Environment Challenge. There are three means whereby your institution, as an IAHR institute member, can contribute to the initiative:

  • Dissemination of the event throughout your institution and engagement of participants. We are now looking for participants, who should all be <35 years. No specific background is needed as long as the participants are working in the hydro-environment field. If you would like to recommend any of your staff members or students, please submit his/her data through the following form by 31 October.

  • Sponsoring the event. This is an opportunity for your institution to gain visibility by providing economic support to the event. This support will address the event’s sustainability, and will also provide an award to the best team. Please contact the IAHR secretariat (, for more information about sponsoring packages.

  • Bring your own case study. Future editions are currently being prepared. If your institute would like to actively contribute to this initiative by proposing case studies and topics, please get in contact with the organisers (Michael Nones,

The challenge is reserved for young professionals (<35 years). Please note that no training on the software will be directly provided as part of the challenge, but proper references will be given to allow participants to develop basic skills and to be able to complete the challenge.



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

  • Winners will receive a free copy of an e-book from CRC Press / Balkema by Taylor & Francis Group.

  • Project outcomes will be presented during the 40th IAHR World Congress.

  • Participation is free.

  • Certificates of attendance will be issued upon request.

    Members: Free 

    Non members: 25 euro or 12 euro (depending on the income country level) which is equivalent to a membership fee so a one-year free membership fee will be included. 

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 on 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

  • Total hour load: 50 hours

  • Workload: 5 hours/week

  • Total duration: 10 weeks

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

  • Mode: 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. 

  • Fluvial hydraulics challengeLearning 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. (ERDC - US Corps of Engineers. United States)
    - 1st coach: Jose Maria Carrillo. (Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena. Spain)
    - 2nd coach: David Ferras. (IHE Delft. The Netherlands)

 Ecohydraulics Challenge

General description: Assess and relief hydropeaking in a tributary of a highly protected, unregulated river. The students will assess the effects of the hydropeaking driven by dam releases, and take the point of view of an ecologist focusing on the risk of fish stranding. Also, the tasks require calculating areas susceptible to stranding (i.e., disconnected habitat areas) and finding escape routes (similar to a the Stranding Risk Assessment algorithm implemented River Architect - More details

In collaboration with EcoENet

 Experimental Data Challenge

General description: Explore a laboratorial database acquired with Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) in a boundary layer flow. PIV is an advanced optical measurement technique employed in a large range of research and industry applications ensuring good performance, efficiency and high resolution. The objective is to carry out an analysis of a turbulent open-flow over a glass bead bed based on an existing PIV database.

Organising committee

Key dates

  • Call for applications opens: 1 August 2022

  • Deadline for applications: 15 February 2023

  • Project starts: March 2023. Kick off meetings:

    • Fluvial Hydraulics Challenge: 2 March 2023 2-4 pm CET

    • Experimental Data Challenge: 3 March 2023 2-4 pm CET

    • Ecohydraulics Challenge: 8 March 2023 2-4 pm CET

    Midterm meetings

    • Experimental Data Challenge: 17 April 2023 2-4 pm CEST

    • Fluvial Hydraulics Challenge: 18 April 2023 2-4 pm CEST

    Final meeting

    • Experimental Data Challenge: 22 May 2023 2-4 pm CEST

    • Fluvial Hydraulics Challenge: 23 May 2023, 14:30-16:30 CEST

    Report submission: 30 May 2023


    Project ends: June 2023

    Presentation of the winners and Session "Meet and Greet" during the 40th IAHR World Congress in Vienna 

     Become a sponsor!

     Advertising and sponsorship opportunities at IAHR Young Professionals Challenge

    Sponsoring IAHR YP Challenges and being featured on the Challenge online platforms is a cost-effective way to advertise to our membership base and reach the next generation of hydro-environment professionals and leaders while attracting and retaining young talent in your community.

    As our young professional’s membership grows, and the need for a greater diversity of professional development and networking opportunities arise, your sponsorship will ensure that our members continue to receive quality opportunities for growth as young professionals.

    As a sponsor of the 3rd IAHR Young Professionals Challenge, you will enjoy a high level of visibility on a variety of IAHR platforms and channels of promotion, including:

    • Displaying your logo and linked company name on the event webpage

      Displaying your logo and linked company name on the promotional emails

    • Displaying your logo and linked company name in social media campaigns

    • Displaying your logo on the certificate of participation and attendance

    • Verbal recognition by the organising committee at the opening & closing of the challenge public defenses

    • A 2-minute exhibit (video) to promote/introduce your products or services can be arranged during the break of the defenses

    • 1-year FREE Institute membership (for non-members)

    Minimum sponsorship amount:

    » Access IAHR Institute Members Directory

    We’ll be happy to cater your support to the needs of your organisation/company. Please contact  

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