At the 2017 scientific assembly in Port Elizabeth (South Africa) I gave a perspective talk titled "Should we reconsider the conceptual structure of hydrological models?". My presentation is a bit provocative and focuses on stochastic physically-based modeling of hydrological processes.

I gave a talk on the river memory experiment at the 2017 scientific assembly in Port Elizabeth (South Africa).

I presented a perspective on the status of the IAHS scientific decade 2013-2022 Panta Rhei at the IAHS 2017 scientific assembly in Port Elizabeth (South Africa). Panta Rhei is about change in hydrology and society.

Coastal engineering made easy is a pretentious title for an evolving e-book that is meant to provide an introductory reference to students who are interested in the design of coastal structures for beach preservation and restoration.

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Short curriculum of Alberto Montanari


Alberto Montanari

Professor of Water Engineering and Hydrology


Short curriculum vitae et studiorum


Current position

  • Professor of water engineering and hydrology at the Department DICAM of the University of Bologna.
    He is currently teaching Hydraulic Works, Sustainable Management of Water Resources Systems (taught in English) and Coastal Engineering (taught in English) in the master degree programmes in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering.
  • Head of the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Material Engineering at the University of Bologna.
  • Council member of the School in Engineering and Architecture at the University of Bologna since 2012.
  • Council member of the Ph.D. programme in Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Material Engineering at the University of Bologna.
  • Tutor at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna
  • Editor in Chief of the scientific journal Water Resources Research, published by the American Geophysical Union (wrr.agu.org).
  • President of the International Commission on Water Resources Systems of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS).
  • Vice national representative of Italy at the IAHS.
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of the AMGA Foundation.
  • Member of the International Scientific Steering Committee "Florence 2016", which is in charge of proposing solutions for the mitigation of the flood risk in the city.
  • Chair of the Leonardo Committee of the Division on Hydrological Sciences of the European Geosciences Union.
  • Member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), EGU and IAHS.
  • Member of the italian association of professional engineers.


Past positions

  • Coordinator of the master degree programmes in Civil Engineering at the University of Bologna from 2012 to 2015.
  • President of the Division on Hydrological Sciences of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) from 2007 to 2011.
  • Chair of the Union Award Committee of EGU from 2009 to 2016
  • Chair from 2011 to 2013 of the Task Force of IAHS which was tasked of preparing the science plan for the Scientific Decade 2013-2022 of IAHS.
  • Chair from 2013 to 2015 scientific decade 2013-2022 of the IAHS "Panta Rhei - Change in Hydrology and Society" (www.iahs.info/pantarhei).
  • National representative for Italy at the IAHS from 2011 to 2015.
  • Member of the John Dalton and Henry Darcy Medal Committes of EGU from 2007 to 2015.
  • Editor of the scientific journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, published by EGU, from 2004 to 2013.
  • Associate Editor of the scientific journal Water Resources Research, pubblished by AGU, from 2005 to 2013.
  • Associate Editor of the scientific journal Survey in Geophysics, published by Springer, from 2010 to 2013.
  • Associate Editor of the scientific journal Hydrological Sciences Journal, published by IAHS, from 2011 to 2013.
  • High School Diploma: High School Diploma in Environmental Survey and Civil Constructions obtained in 1985 in Reggio Emilia, with the maximum grade (60/60).
  • Master Degree: Master Degree in Civil and Hydraulic engineering obtained at the University of Parma in 1992, maximum grade cum laude, by defending a master degree thesis entitled “A Water Quality Model of the Baganza River (in Italian)”, whose supervisor was Renzo Rosso.
  • Professional habilitation: professional habilitation in Engineering obtained in Parma in 1992.
  • Ph.D.:Ph.D. in Hydraulic Engineering obtained in 1996 by defending a Ph.D. thesis entitled "Stochastic Modelling of Hydrological Variables Affected by Long Term Persistence” (in Italian).


Academic Career

  • Post-doctoral student at the University of Bologna from March 1997 to January 1998.
  • Assistant Professor in Hydraulic Works and Hydrology at the Department DISTART of the University of Bologna from 1998 to 2001.
  • Associate Professor at the Department DISTART (now Department DICAM) of the University of Bologna from 2001 to 2012.
  • Professor at the Department DICAM) of the University of Bologna from 2012.


Short summary of research activity

Alberto Montanari focused his research activity on water resources management and flood risk mitigations, in the presence of environmental change and climate change. In particular, Alberto Montanari dedicated his attention to advanced methods for environmental management and engineering design in the presence of uncertainty, by bringing forward the idea that estimation of design variables in hydrology should always be associated to uncertainty assessment. To this end, Alberto Montanari proposed a blueprint for modelling uncertain hydrological systems, which is based on the concept of stochastic physically-based modelling that allow one to properly account for inherent uncertainty in hydrology.

By following a coherent path for modelling hydrological change, Alberto Montanari initiallly focused on statistical method for real-time prediction of precipitation, simulation techniques for hydrological variables observed at fine time scale, statistical methods for real time updating of flood forecasting and spatially distributed rainfall-runoff models.

Currently Alberto Montanari is concentrating on uncertainty assessment for hydrological models in the presence of hydrological change, identification of critical areas for flood risk, climate change impact assessment, flood frequency analysis, open science and data sharing.


Scientific publications and citations

Alberto Montanari authored 164 pubblicazioni on international scientific journals (101 papers), conference proceedings or book chapters (55 contributi) and monographs (8 contribution).

According to the ISI Web of Science data base the pubblications by Alberto Montanari are 101, which received a total number of about 3200 citations. The average number of citation to each paper is about 31. The most cited and the second cited paper count 239 and 173 citations, respectively. The H index is 31. Mode details are given by the ResearcherID profile, the Google Scholar profile and the ResearchGate page.


Editorial activity

Alberto Montanari is Editor of Water Resources Research, published by the American Geophysical Union.

He has been Editor of Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, published by the European Geosciences Union, Associate Editor of Water Resources Research, Associate Editor of Survey in Geophysics, published by Springer, Associate Editor of the journal Hydrological Sciences Journal published by the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, and Associate Editor of the scientific journal Open Civil Engineering Journal published by Bentham Science Publishers.

Alberto Montanari has been Guest Editor of the following spcial issues of International scientific journals:

  1. Special Issue of the journal Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, entitled "Predicting and Estimating Extremes of Precipitation", volume 26, 2001.
  2. Special Issue of the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, titled "Climatic and anthropogenic effects on hydrological processes", volume 26, 2002.
  3. Special Issue of the journal Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, entitled "Hydrological Processes and Distributed Hydrological Modelling", volume 28, 2003.
  4. Special Issue of the Journal of Hydrology, entitled "Catchment modelling: towards an improved representation of the hydrological processes n real-world model applications", volume 291, 2004.
  5. Special Issue of the journal Water Resources Research, entitled Uncertainty assessment in surface and subsurface hydrology.

Alberto Montanari edited the book “Hydrological Risk - Recent advances in peak river flow modelling, prediction and real-time forecasting - Assessment of the impacts of land-use and climate changes”, published by BIOS (Italy) in 2004, and the book “Evolving Water Resources Systems: understanding, predicting and managing water-society interactions, published by the International Association of Hydrological Sciences in 2014. He has been editor of the book "Legacy and Perspective for the Science of Hydrology", published by the American Geophysical Union in electronic form to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Water Resources Research. Articles published in the book were also collected in the special section of Water Resources Research with the same title.


Organization of conferences and symposia

Alberto Montanari organized and chaired more than 30 sessions held at General Assemblies of the European Geophysical Society and then European Geosciences Union, Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, meetings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences. He has been the main organizer of the conference "6th IAHS-EGU International Symposium on Integrated Water Resources Management”, held in Bologna on June 4-6, 2014. In his capacity of chair of the Leonardo Committee of the European Geosciences Union he dcontributed to the organization of 9 editions of the Leonardo Conference Series.


Recent Invited scientific presentations

  • 2011: "Uncertainty estimation in hydrology Incorporating physical knowledge in stochastic modeling of uncertain systems", invited talk at the Uppsala University Sweden, Uppsala 9 June 2011.
  • 2012: "Hydrology of the Po River: looking for changing patterns in river discharge", invited talk at the Accademia dei Lincei, Rome 22 March 2012.
  • 2012: "Towards the IAHS Scientific Decade 2013-2022", invited talk at the Hohai University, Nanjing, China, 12 May 2012.
  • 2012: "Uncertainty estimation in hydrology, or Stochastic physically-based modeling of uncertain hydrological systems", invited talk at EPFL Lausanne, 12 June 2012.
  • 2012: "Modelling flood change", invited talk at the Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, 4 September 2012.
  • 2012: "A tribute to Vit Klemes", invited talk at the STAHY International Workshop, Tunis, 2 October 2012.
  • 2012: "An overview of the Science Plan of the IAHS Scientific Decade 2013-2022", invited talk at the Delft University of Technology, Delft, 25 October 2012.
  • 2013: “Impatto del cambiamento climatico sul rischio di alluvione: recenti orientamenti della ricerca scientifica nazionale ed internazionale”, invited talk at the “Giornate dell'Idrologia”, Naples, 11 January 2013.
  • 2013: “Climate ChangeVerso un cambio di clima anche nella collaborazione accademica?”, invited talk at the round table of the “Marchi Lecture”, Milan, May 31st 2013.
  • 2013: “Panta Rhei: The IAHS Scientific Decade 2013-2022”, invited talk at the IAHS General Assembly, July 24th, 2013.
  • 2014: “Perspectives for the use of big data in environmental planning and management”, invited talk at the EGU General Assembly, April 2014.
  • 2014: “Towards a theory for hydrological change”, invited talk at the EGU General Assembly, April 2014.
  • 2014: “Meet the expert in hydrology - How young scientists can contribute to ‘Hydrology in a changing world’”, invited talk at the EGU General Assembly, April 2014.
  • 2014: “Panta Rhei – Everything Flows: Change in Hydrology and Society - Towards a theoretical framework for change assessment and attribution in hydrology”, invited talk at the CUAHSI Biennal Meeting, West Virginia, July 2014.
  • 2014: “Solving Water Crisis through Understanding of Hydrology and Human Systems: a Possible Target?”, invited talk at the AGU Fall Meeting, December 2014.
  • 2015: “New Data for Deciphering the Human Pressure on River Ecosystems. A Step Forward to Assess Global Water Emergency”, invited presentation at the 2015 Gordon Research Conference (USA).
  • 2015: “Global change and global water emergency: A new vision for new solutions”, invited presentation at the 2015 IUGG General Assembly (Prague).
  • 2016: "Is climate change modifying precipitation extremes?", invited talk at the EGU General Assembly, April 2016.
  • 2016: "Balance in scientific impact assessment: the EGU Awards Committe experience", invited presentation at the EGU General Assembly, April 2016.
  • 2016: "Cambiamenti tendenze e ciclicità negli eventi climatici estremi: un rebus da risolvere" (in Italian), invited presentation at the II Conferenza Nazionale di Statistica, Rome, June 2016).
  • 2016: "Seeking a Step Forward in Research and Education in Water Science", invited presentation at the University of Saskatchewan within the Distinguished Lecture Series, Saskatoon, October 2016).
  • 2016: "Cambiamenti climatici, rischio alluvionale e rischio geologico: strategie innovative di adattamento e mitigazione" (in Italian), invited presentation at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (National Academy), within the XXXIV Giornata dell'Ambiente, Roma, November 2016.


Supervision and co-supervision of PhD Students and post-docs

  • Serena Ceola (2012-2014)
  • Emanuele Baratti (2011-2014)
  • Elena Montosi (2009-2012)
  • Laura Lombardi (2008-2011)
  • Simone Castiglioni (2007-2010)
  • Alessandro Bigi (2004-2007)
  • Giuliano di Baldassarre (2003-2006)
  • Laura Montanari (2002-2005)
  • Luigia Brandimarte (2002-2005)
  • Greta Moretti (2000-2003).


Coordination of Research Projects

  • 2004-2012: Coordinator of the Working Group at the University of Bologna on "Design Flow Estimation in Ungauged Basins", within the international research initiative Prediction in Ungauged Basins (PUB) promoted by the International Association of Hydrological Sciences.
  • 2007-2008 National Coordinator of the research project "Advanced Techniques for Estimating and Predicting Extreme Hydrological Events with Uncertainty Analysis (SPIE)", financed by the Italian Government.
  • 2009-2012 National Coordinator Progetto of the research project "Uncertainty Analysis for Rainfall and River Flow Data and Effects on Water Resources Management", financed by the Italian Government.
  • 2013-2017: Coordinator at the University of Bologna of the research project “Sharing Water-related Information to Tackle Changes in the Hydrosphere – for Operational Needs (SWITCH-ON), financed by the European Union.


Participation to International Research Projects

  • 1996-1997: Post-doctoral researcher in the project "Production of precipitation scenarios for impact assessment of climate change in Europe" (POPSICLE), financed within the 4th Framework Programme of the European Union.
  • 1998-2000: Associate researcher in the project "Flash-flood risk assessment under the impacts of land use changes and river engineering works" (Framework), financed within the 5th Framework Programme of the European Union.
  • 2001-2002: Associate researcher in the project "Multi-sensor precipitation measurements integration, calibration and flood forecasting" (MUSIC), financed within the 5th Framework Programme of the European Union.
  • 2011-2012: Associate researcher in the project "Transitions to the urban water services of tomorrow" (TRUST), financed within the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union.
  • 2013-2017: Coordinator at the University of Bologna of the research project “Sharing Water-related Information to Tackle Changes in the Hydrosphere – for Operational Needs (SWITCH-ON), financed by the European Union.


Recent Coordination of Consulting Activities

Alberto Montanari has been coordinator of the following recent consulting activities dealing with river basin management, water resources management and hydraulic engineering:

  • Consulting activity for water resources management in the Enza Valley, financed by the Province of Reggio Emilia (ended in 2012).
  • Analysis of the effects on flow routing and sediment transport of barriages along the lower course of the Po River, financed by ARPA Ingegneria Ambientale (ended in 2010).
  • Monitoring of the new fish ramp along the Fiume Secchia at Fornace, financed by SEA Srl.
  • Analysis of likely inundation scenarios of the industrial plant of Niagara Srl, financed by Niagara Srl (private company; ended in 2011)
  • Analysis of the seasonal flood frequency distribution along the Blue Nile River, financed by Studio Pietrangeli Srl (professional engineers; ended in 2012).
  • Assessment of the hydrological balance of the Lake of Monate, financed by Comune di Travedona Monate (ended in 2013).
  • Monitoring the environmental impact of the mining activities at Cava Faraona and Cava Santa Maria (Italy), financed by Comune di Travedona Monate, long-term consultancy activity during the period 2014 - 2023.
  • Solutions for recovering the waste disposal site at Poiatica (Italy), financed by Atersir Emilia-Romagna (ended in 2017).
  • Consulting activity on the asset of the sewer system of the city of Modena, financed by Comune di Modena (ended in 2017).


Scientific and Teaching awards

  • "Young Scientist Travel Award" conferred by the European Geophysical Society during the XX General Assembly held in Hamburg (Germany) from 3 to 7 April, 1995.
  • "Young Scientist Travel Award" conferred by the European Geophysical Society during the XXI General Assembly held at Den Haag (The Netherlands) from 6 to 10 May, 1996.
  • Award "Best Teacher Award 2014" assigned by the Department DICAM of the University of Bologna for the Master Degree Programme in Environmental Engineering.
  • Union Service Award by the European Geosciences Union in 2016.


Activities in Academic Commissions

  • President of the Permanent Research Commission of the Department DISTART of the University of Bologna from 2008 to 2010.
  • President of Library Committee of the Department DISTART (and subsequently DICAM) of the University of Bologna from 2006 to 2010.
  • Member of the Library G.P. Dore Committee of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Bologna from 2008 to 2010.
  • Member of the Didactic Commission of the Degree Programme in Environmental Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Bologna from 2005 to 2010.
  • Coordinator of the master degree programme in Civil Engineering of the University of Bologna from 2012 to 2015.
  • Head of the Department DICAM of the University of Bologna from 2015.


Activity in medal and awards committees

2009-2016 Chair of the Union Awards and Medals Committee of the European Geosciences Union

2007- Member of the Dalton and Darcy Medal Committees of the European Geosciences Union.

  • 2011: Membro of the Governmental Commission UEFISCDI for the peer review of Romanian Universities.
  • 2014: Member of the SENSE review panel for Universities in The Netherlands.

  • Scientific publications

    Peer reviewed international publications.
    Proceedings.
    Monographs.