Keynote Speaker

Sébastien ERPICUM

HECE | Hydraulics in Environmental and Civil Engineering
ArGEnCo | Architecture, Geology, Environment & Constructions
Liege University, Belgium

Title of the Talk : “Composite Modeling for Hydraulic Structures Design


Modeling plays a central role in hydraulic structures design since it is the only method able to analyse such large structures behavior in normal and extreme conditions. The combined application of physical and numerical modelling, so called composite or hybrid modeling, is widely recognized as the most effective strategy for the in-depth analysis of complex flow and transport processes, both in basic research and for the design of real-world projects. It aims at capitalizing on the benefits of a synergetic implementation of physical and numerical modelling as two highly complementary components. In this lecture, several strategies that can be applied to enhance hydraulic structures design by means of a composite modeling approach are detailed, and the benefit arising from composite modeling is emphasized. It is shown that there is no question of choice between physical and numerical modeling in hydraulic structures design. None of the two approaches enables a perfect prediction of flow conditions on the real structure. However, combined application through composite modeling is a way to decrease the uncertainties linked to each approach individually.

About the Speaker

Dr Sébastien Erpicum is Associate Professor at Liege University, Belgium, where he is the head of research and modelling activities at the Engineering Hydraulics Laboratory. Starting from a strong international background in the use of physical scale hydraulic modeling as a problem-solving tool, he expanded the laboratory capability through the development of composite modeling techniques (coupled physical and numerical modeling). In association with three colleagues (Dr. P. Archambeau, Prof. B. Dewals and Prof. M. Pirotton), he founded the Hydraulics in Environmental and Civil Engineering (HECE) research group, which develops the modeling system WOLF and conducts research ranging from hydrology to hydraulic structures engineering, and flood damage evaluation.

Dr Erpicum is past chair of the IAHR Hydraulic Structures Committee and Belgian representative at the Hydraulics for dams Technical Committee of ICOLD. He received the ASCE-EWRI Hydraulic Structures Medal in 2020 and the 22nd Arthur Ippen award from IAHR in 2021.

His recent research topics, closely related to hydraulics and hydraulic structures, concern the design and operation of spillways, in particular nonlinear weirs, small hydropower and its interaction with fish migration, and also energy storage.