Special Sessions



Theoretical, Computational and Experimental Methods (TCEM) – under the auspices of the IAHR Technical Committee on Experimental Methods and Instrumentation 

Short description on the session:
Most would agree that creativity plays a crucial role in natural sciences, including experimental endeavours. However, and as creativity is on the side of the subjective, this is hard to reconcile with the objectiveness and standardization that are associated to experimental research.

We propose that science is akin to the creative process in arts in most stages of research, including the choice of instruments, methods of analysis, and formulations of work hypothesis or visualization options; in these terms, creativity can shape our science and its message. It is within this creative process that adherence to good practices and standards can be reconciled with absolute novelty. As is the case of the creative process, it is not a linear path – there are pitfalls and apparent dead-ends. But, again, these are opportunities for growth and discovery. As Samuel Beckett would put it: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better” [next time].

A broad range of technologies have enabled sampling in novel and creative ways. This special session calls for creative experimental modelling contributions that, at the same time, can assist to setting a good data validation standard on the new frontiers of experimental hydraulics. Creative contributions on do-it-yourself instrumentation, unconventional physical modelling, and scale and model effects are welcomed. Creative solutions may also come together with error estimations and uncertainty analysis to inspire other researchers on new ways to reformulate experimental work. When dealing with model limitations, a solution does not need to be proposed, but presenters are invited to present a detailed and systematic analysis of the observed problems that can allow an open debate with the audience.

This special session is aimed at promoting creativity hand-in-hand with scientific standards in experimental hydraulics.


Daniel VALERO, Research Associate at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Water and River Basin Development (IWG), Lecturer at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Water Resources and Ecosystems department (WRE), Email: daniel.valero@kit.edu, Phone: +49 721 608-44101

Isabella SCHALKO, Research Associate at ETH Zurich, Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Email: schalko@vaw.baug.ethz.ch

Benjamin HOHERMUTH, Research Associate at ETH Zurich, Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), Email: hohermuth@vaw.baug.ethz.ch

Rui M.L. FERREIRA, Professor at Institut Superior Técnico (IST) Lisbon, Email: ruif@civil.ist.utl.pt, Phone: 218418143

Helena ELIAS, Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Universidade de Lisboa

Helena NOGUEIRA, Researcher/consultant at Deltares, Hydraulic Engineering Unit, Email: helena.nogueira@deltares.nl

Mário FRANCA, Professor at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Water and River Basin Development (IWG), Email: mario.franca@kit.edu, Phone: +49 (0) 721 608-42194

Useful information: 
Duration of session:
2 hours
Duration of oral presentation: 15 minutes (12 presentation + 3 discussion)
Total number of presentations: 6 - 8
Length of abstract: 2 pages, following the template of the Congress
Special issue on a journal: Yes, by the Convener; it can be supported by the Organizing Committee