The main innovative aspects worth underlying for the HydroEurope Project are:
1) A set of pedagogic resources. HydroEurope will create the first and only set of pedagogic resources dedicated to the development of flood resilience approach. The resources will be integrated within an innovative pedagogic approach (problem oriented – collaborative engineering) fully integrated at the Master level by the different partner institutions. In recent years, through the collaboration within the FP7 CORFU Project and now in the FP7 PEARL project, the members of the consortium have developed a Flood Resilience Index that aids the evaluation of building and infrastructure resilience capacity within urban settlements under flooding events. This methodology is currently already applied in megalopolis like Beijing, Taipei, Dhaka, Mumbai as well as European cities like Hamburg, Barcelona and Nice. The creation of a Flood Resilience Index sets a milestone in the engineering domain especially following the tremendous natural disasters of Fukushima in Japan (tsunami) and in the department of Vendée in France (cyclone Xynthia). Through the HydroEurope strategic partnership project, the consortium will develop a unique set of pedagogic resources and an innovative training method based on the concept of collaborative engineering (ICT tools).
2) An innovative pedagogic approach based on the collaborative engineering concept. The HydroEurope Project is based and developed on the close partnership between the academia and the professional sector (businesses and public services). Differently from other theory-based Masters programmes, HydroEurope proposes a collaborative and innovative educational approach equipping participants with a combination of the necessary in-depth academic theoretical concepts and with an intensive practice approach and operational analysis of concrete case studies of various European catchments located in the project partner countries. The pedagogic approach is based on the team work with an international distribution of the team mates within the different participating institutions.
3) The development and use of a Collaborative Engineering Platform. This tool is a unique web-based platform that will be developed and benefit from the knowledge and experience of the consortium members already applied in similar approaches during the last ten years. This unique environment will benefit from the most advanced technologies and the most advanced modeling tools provided by research and industrial partners. The objective is to set up a unique numerical environment that gathers the most advanced modeling tools and allows all participants to be exposed to such technologies. The platform is dedicated to serve as main work tool for all course participants throughout the three-month duration of the training module: during the first two and a half months participants are based at their host university and work remotely collaborating with their peers through the platform. A final and intensive two-week phase reunites all participants at one location where they finally conclude their work project. This unique collaborative working platform groups all modeling tools developed by world leading enterprises and research institutes (e.g. EDF, Suez Environment, DHI, DHI-WASY...) allowing participants to put their skills and competences into practice. The Collaborative Engineering education methodology was invented by the consortium and obtained numerous international rewards and nowadays is used by more than 3000 engineers worldwide as part of their education programme as well as within the framework of intensive programmes in Asia (HydroAsia in South Korea) and in South America (HydroLatinAmerica).
4) The validation of study credits. The new pedagogic resources and the collaborative platform will be used and implemented as a compulsory part within the master curricula of each participating institution and the relevant ECTS study credits will be validated by the partner institutions.
5) An international dimension integrated in existing actions. The resilience approach developed by the members of the consortium is now adopted by the United Nations within the Integrated Flood Management Programme managed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in charge of all flood related issues worldwide.
6) The composition of the consortium. This is also an innovative aspect as the consortium partnership is based on master courses where the topic of Flood risk management strategy and resilience is integrated as a compulsory module. All partners have long and deep experience in water engineering and in pedagogic innovation.
7) Emphasis towards employability. HydroEurope aims to strengthen the capacities of young and skilful engineers equipping them with hands-on modeling abilities of real case studies.
HydroEurope is a Strategic Partnership under Erasmus+
The partners of the HydroEurope Project are:
- UNS, University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France
- BTU, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus Senftenberg, Germany
- UPC, Technical University of Catalonia, Spain
- NU, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
- WUT, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
- VUB, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Each partner has a pivotal role in the project as each contributes with its experience and competence to develop the pedagogic resources and the collaborative platform:
- UNS will ensure the general coordination of the project and contribute to the technical support. In partnership with City of Niceand various stackholders, UNS will provide the data set dedicated on the Var river and produce pedagogic resources for this specific study case. The expertise of UNS will be mobilized on urban flooding processes simulation and on the methodology for flood resilience characterization following the approach developed within the FP7 CORFU Project.
- BTU will develop pedagogic resources on the numerical modelling methods and tools that may apply for flood risk management strategies. These resources will be integrated within the collaborative platform and will be used by the course participants.
- UPC will develop pedagogic resources (course material, exercises and data sets) dedicated to urban flooding processes and assessment of floods on urban functions and services. These resources will be integrated within the collaborative platform and will be used by the course participants.
- NU will contribute to the project by developing pedagogic resources focused on deterministic hydrological modeling (Modeling systems like SHETRAN). This aspect represents a new approach that could offer alternatives for decision support system and real time systems dedicated to risk management. These resources will be integrated within the collaborative platform and will be used by the course participants.
- WUT will focus their development on pedagogic resources for groundwater modeling methods and tools. The ground water issue is becoming nowadays a major problem in many European locations and is frequently associated to a high vulnerability. The use of groundwater resources for water supply represents a major issue for numerous European municipalities. The produced resources will be integrated within the collaborative platform and will be used by the course participants.
- VUB will develop resources hydrological modeling and on flood propagation in urban environment. These resources will be integrated within the collaborative platform and will be used by the course participants.
The six partners constitute a unique consortium with complementary experience and knowledge which has been already demonstrated within the EuroAquae Joint Master Degree since 2004. The innovative approach of the consortium is made by the uniqueness of the experience of each participant and its combination in one unified vision. The approach has been highly welcome by industrial partners who are recognizing this innovative method as a major way to improve skills and competences of young engineers.
In addition to the HEIs, industrial partners are also associated to the Project. As already mentioned they provide technical support through the collaborative engineering environment but also during the online collaboration and through return of experience (ROE) with the various approaches and modeling methods.