IHA Young Researchers of the Year 2017 winners announced

Three candidates have been selected for the 2017 Young Researcher of the Year award, presented on Tuesday 9 May at the opening of the World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa.

IHA Young Researcher of the Year 2017

Alexandros Korkovelos is a young researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. His research focuses on small-scale (0.01-10 MW) hydropower potential in Sub-Saharan Africa, which he carried out in response to ongoing global dialogue on energy poverty and in view of the region’s plentiful renewable resource potential. Using open-source geospatial datasets, he was able to evaluate 712,615 km of river network over 44 countries, taking into account environmental, topological and social constrains. This resulted in the identification of 15,599 potential sites across the subcontinent, including micro and small-scale potential.

Read Alexandros' award submission article here.

In Sara Mercier-Blais’s research, she outlines the rationale behind the G-res tool. Sara began work on this globally-important project to model greenhouse gas emissions from hydropower reservoirs after gaining an MSc in biology. The G-res tool has been developed to enable decision-makers and stakeholders to accurately measure greenhouse gas emissions from existing and planned reservoirs, ultimately empowering them to make well-informed societal, economic and environmental decisions. In her award submission, she explains how the tool can be used not only to accurately calculate net emissions from the introduction of a reservoir into the landscape, but also for understanding factors that contribute to emissions levels.

Read Sara's award submission article here.

Rafael Schmitt works at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley on developing lower-impact dam portfolios and studying the optimal sequencing of dam developments in the transnational Mekong river basin. His research focuses on reducing the conflicts between hydropower and environmental objectives through basin-scale planning of dam portfolios in the world’s large river basins. He presents the CASCADE (CAtchment Sediment Connectivity and Delivery) framework, a computationally effective numerical model for network sediment transport and reservoir sediment trapping. He explains how application of CASCADE in a major tributary of the Mekong river basin, revealed that when 17,000 different dam portfolios were considered, just 60 result in an optimal trade-off between sediment trapping and hydropower production.

Read Rafael's award submission article here.

The IHA Young Researcher Award recognises emerging talent in the hydropower sector. Find out more here.

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