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News Professor in Hydraulic Engineering and River Basin Development m/f (1.0 FTE)

The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education offers post-graduate courses and PhD research programmes in Delft, The Netherlands, and carries out research and capacity building projects all over the world. The mission of UNESCO-IHE is to contribute to the education and training of professionals and to build the capacity of sector organisations, knowledge centres and other institutions active in the fields of water, the environment and infrastructure in developing countries and countries in transition.

 UNESCO-IHE has a permanent staff of 160, of which 90 are academic staff, while about 250 guest-lecturers from academia and industry contribute to the educational programme. Each year 750 participants (incl. about 200 new MSc students per year) from all over the world attend the various regular and short courses at UNESCO-IHE.

 The functions of the Institute include serving as an international standard-setting body for postgraduate water education programmes and continuing professional training, building human and institutional capacities through education, training and research, setting up and managing networks of educational and water sector institutions and organisations worldwide, functioning as a ‘policy forum' for UNESCO member states and other stakeholders, and providing advice on water education to partner organisations and other members of the UN water family.

 About the Department of Water Engineering

The Department of Water Engineering conducts research and provides post-graduate education and training to professionals in the fields of water resources assessment and control, water supply, irrigation and drainage, navigation and hydropower, river, port and coastal engineering, and floods, droughts and pollution. The department's history and mission are traced to the origins of UNESCO-IHE and are today organized into four scientific core groups: 1) Hydraulic Engineering - River Basin Development, 2) Land and Water Development, 3) Hydrology and Water Resources, and 4) Coastal Engineering and Port Development, each headed by a professor. More information is available at the WE Department Website (

 All specialized training and research at UNESCO-IHE are organized within cores, and professors compose the academic leadership that advances the institute's mission.

The Department of Water Engineering wishes to appoint a:

Professor in Hydraulic Engineering and River Basin Development m/f (1.0 FTE)


The professor is to assume leadership of the Hydraulic Engineering - River Basin Development (HERBD) Core, which is primarily concerned with education and research related to water infrastructure in rivers and river basins that is needed to enhance the beneficial and sustainable use of water and/or to control water-related problems. The current staff of the HERBD core is composed of dynamic lecturers and senior lecturers anchoring the teaching program and leading research and capacity-building projects around the world. The core also includes an affiliated flood resilience group devoted to cultivating resilience in urban communities and built-up areas to face uncertain climate and socio-economic drivers, as well as extreme floods.

 Current areas of expertise and research activities in the HERBD Core include:

  • Flood risk management: inundation prediction and real-time forecasting;
  • Morphology and its interaction with ecology;
  • Strategic environmental assessment;
  • Hydropower design, optimisation and impact assessment;
  • Environmental water allocation and reservoir operation;
  • Flood vulnerability indices.

 The professor is expected to have his or her main expertise in the field of hydraulic engineering with insight and understanding of river basin development as a whole. Furthermore, the professor should be able to integrate hydraulic engineering into the wider technical, social, economic and environmental context of the basin water cycle.

 The professor will lead the HERBD core to achieve education and research excellence in hydraulic engineering - river basin development and to maintain and elevate the visibility of UNESCO-IHE in this field. The core has been actively developing to distinguish itself as a leader in development-related education and research, relevant for both developed and developing countries. In this context the professor should be part of an international network for acquisition of education, research and capacity building projects.

 The candidate will:

 provide vision and strategic leadership of the HERBD core;

  • supervise PhD and MSc research;
  • take overall responsibility for the quality and contents of the MSc programme specialisation in hydraulic engineering - river basin development;
  • teach in the MSc programme, and in relevant short courses offered within the institute and abroad;
  • develop proposals and acquire funding for education, research and capacity building activities;
  • develop and establish close links with other institutions, universities and organisations working in the specified fields both worldwide and in the Netherlands;
  • serve on the UNESCO-IHE Academic Board and other committees overseeing the academic mission of the institute.


  • PhD degree in hydraulic engineering or related field;
  • extensive university teaching and curriculum development experience at postgraduate level;
  • strong record of funded research and peer-reviewed publication in the areas of hydraulic engineering, river structures, hydropower, morphology and/or river basin development;
  • professional experience in multi-disciplinary engineering projects; experience in developing or transition countries is an asset;
  • participation in teaching, research and/or capacity building projects in developing countries and countries in transition is an asset;
  • experience in the guidance of MSc and PhD-level research;
  • well-established international network within the river basin development sector, including academia and donor communities;
  • proven competency in project management and acquisition;
  • good communication and organisational skills and a pragmatic attitude;
  • affinity to working in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment;
  • excellent command of the English language and preferably one additional international language such as French or Spanish;
  • willingness to frequently travel and work abroad for short and medium term assignments.


It is the intention that the successful candidate for the position at UNESCO-IHE will also acquire the position of Extraordinary Professor at the TUD in the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.

 Conditions of employment
This position is, in principle, a permanent one, however, according to our Personnel Manual, the first contract is temporarily, and only after this period a permanent contract can be offered. The position is based in Delft, The Netherlands. A competitive salary is offered depending on qualifications and experience in accordance with the conditions of employment for Dutch Universities. The appointment implies entry into the Netherlands' Civil Service Pension Fund (ABP). 

 Information and application

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Michael McClain, Head of the Water Engineering Department (+31-15-215-1852 or Candidates are asked to submit a curriculum vitae detailing their qualifications and experience, the names and addresses of two references, and a vision statement for leading the HERBD core  to UNESCO-IHE, attn. Personnel and Organisation Department (, PO Box 3015, 2601 DA Delft, The Netherlands,

referencing vacancy-number 09-200-02. The deadline for applications is 15 November 2009 (closing date)

Contact information The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education (email:
News type Vacancies
File link
Source of information The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
Geographical coverage Netherlands
News date 14/09/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH