The world is currently experiencing a hydropower boom, with thousands of reservoir in planning or in construction, as well as a push to exploit the potential of small hydropower (< 10MW) in many mountainous areas. A key reason for this is that hydropower is a low-emission and reliable source of renewable electricity. Yet, changing flow patterns are challenging hydropower availability and potential in many parts of the world. Technical gaps remain in designing hydropower infrastructure that remains financially viable in the face of climate change and other factors. This presentation will explain these gaps, and describe ongoing work underway in my research group to address them. This work currently focuses on small hydropower systems where we integrate technical design considerations with climate change impacts on flow. I will finish by outlining plans to extend this to the integrated design of hydropower systems at the basin scale.
I am a Lecturer (title equivalent to Assistant Professor) at the University of Sheffield in the UK. After studies at Ecole Polytechnique, France’s premier engineering school, I did MSc at the UIUC Hydrosystems Lab under the direction of Prof Ximing Cai. After a PhD back in France, I moved into postdoctoral research positions at top institutions in Canada, the UK and the USA, working on diverse water projects ranging from resilience and vulnerability assessments in the Middle-East and the American West, to an appraisal of smart water metering in London.
My research interests revolve around the modelling and analysis of complex water resource systems, to understand how they can be made resilient to change and hazards, and adapt to them. In particular, my research increasingly tackles how water infrastructure design and operations might facilitate, or hinder, the transition to a low carbon economy.