Fluvial ecosystem design

Low physical stability and mediocre improvement of habitat conditions are a bygone era. On the basis of a comprehensive literature research, I developed the concept of “Lifespan maps” with my colleagues at UC Davis. The lifespan mapping technique and many other geospatial analysis tools are integrated in our River Architect.

Hydrodynamic modelling

Numerical hydrodynamic modelling represents the backbone of modern river design and engineering. My research builds on two-dimensional models, which is a compromise between computational performance and accuracy. The ultimate goal, however, is morphodynamic modelling, which currently provide reliable results only with complementary physical laboratory models.

Geomorphology & Sediment transport

Gilbert (1914 and 1917) documented the devastating impacts of hydraulic gold mining in California and set the foundation for modern geomorphology. Ever since, the complexity of the fluvial landscapes provides opportunities for research. My current work and PhD thesis assess the underpinnings of sediment transport and geomorphology in the light of anthropological impacts.

Laboratory experiments

As long as numerical methods are still struggling with efficient solutions for sediment transport and morphodynamics, these can be well reproduced in physical models. We used physical modelling, for example, to optimize sediment passage in the framework of the restoration of the Drance River (Valais, Switzerland).

Ecohydraulics

Every year, countless fish migrate between preferable foraging and spawning habitat. My research aims at enabling barrier-free fish journeys and to provide fish with abundant habitat.

Hydro-informatics & geospatial data processing

Numerical models require and produce important amounts of data. I am working on River Architect for the automation of processing geospatial data and numerical model outputs for useful applications.

Flood protection

Floods may first recall images of submerged cities in our minds. A far more devastating effect of floods are important amounts of sediment that are particularly mobilized during floods. Why not retain all the hazardous sediment? The answer lies in disturbances in the aquatic eco-hydraulic system and river morphology. The healthy state of both aquatic habitat and the landscape require sediment exchange. Enhanced answers can be found in my thesis and the related 2016/2017/2018 papers.

Hydraulic facilities

Multipurpose water infrastructures such as dams for hydro power generation, irrigation and flood protection impact the natural river system but they are crucial for human infrastructure. During my early carrier, I had the opportunity to acquire skills for designing these important structures. My Bachelor’s Thesis, Master’s Thesis and involvement with Fichtner GmbH & Co KG were accompanied by high profile engineers who taught me important aspects on the design of water infrastructures.

OTHER KEYWORDS

Flood protection

River hydraulics

Geospatial hydraulics & hydrology

Sediment management

Python programming

Hydraulic structures

Numerical & physical modelling

River management